Helderberg Nature Reserve 50th Anniversary

50th anniversary celebrations for the Helderberg Nature Reserve

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Helderberg Nature Reserve in Somerset West on 23 September 2010, you are invited to visit the Reserve for free from 24 September to 3 October.

From 24 to 26 September the City of Cape Town municipality and the Friends of the Helderberg Nature Reserve have compiled an entertaining programme for the entire family, ranging from a Teddy Bears' picnic to a Trail Run and culminating in an outdoor concert featuring the fabulous Delft Brass Band and Lottery Ticket.

In 1947 Land and Zeezicht was bought by the Cape Town Municipality to ensure a supply of water to the area. In 1960 the “Land and Zeezicht Nature Reserve” was proclaimed but was inadvertently named the “Helderberg Nature Reserve”, the name by which it was commonly known at the time.

Fifty years later, in 2010, the year of biodiversity, the Helderberg Nature Reserve is recognised as one of the areas in the South Western Cape which has a rich palette of indigenous flora preserved in its natural environment. During the past fifty years the reserve has experienced changes and development which attract international and local visitors throughout the year. Literally on the doorstep of Somerset West, the Reserve has also attracted numerous hikers and walkers who have enjoyed the wide open panoramic views and indigenous vegetation on the slopes of the Helderberg.

Today the Reserve boasts an Education Centre, a nursery, a tea kiosk, a popular picnic area with benches, tables and toilet facilities, a gift shop and information centre and a curator's house. Within the Reserve itself, dams and reservoirs ensure the long term preservation of the Reserve. Paths and trails have been opened up for visitors while roads ensure easy access for fire-fighting tenders and personnel.

Thanks to the unreserved dedication of the staff and numerous volunteers over the past fifty years, the Helderberg Nature Reserve has evolved into a popular recreational venue for both visitors and residents alike.

We therefore invite all of you to join us in our 50th anniversary celebrations. You are invited to visit the Reserve for FREE from the 24th September until the 3rd October. So get out of your comfort zone and come and enjoy the great open space that is the Helderberg Nature Reserve. Drop the stress levels and enjoy a walk in nature's garden. Take an easy walk up the Helderberg, turn around and look at the magnificent views across Somerset West to the Atlantic Ocean in the distance.

Marvel at the indigenous flora as you stroll (or gallop) along your way to the gorge where you can relax before returning to the restaurant for a calorie replacement or take up the challenge and continue up to the mountain. You decide. You can go for a short stroll or take the whole day. You will definitely return home in a much more positive frame of mind.

Throughout this period an exhibition of photographs taken since the inauguration of the Reserve will be on display in the Information Centre. At the same time an exhibition of indigenous flowers will be displayed next to the Oak Café.

Programme of Events


A Teddy Bears' Picnic Charity Drive will be held in the picnic area at the Reserve. This is a chance for your child (or you) to donate a teddy bear to charity. There will also be fun activities for the children. Only 30 spaces are available for the picnic so you need to book for a voucher by e-mail: hnr.eec@telkomsa.net. However, there will be a bin available for those of you who would like to donate a teddy bear which will be gratefully received and bring happiness to a young child.

09h30 and 14h30: Book for a guided walk in the Reserve. Booking is essential as only 20 people can be accommodated in each group. Contact the Info Centre on 021 851 4060

15h00 – 16h00: Teddy bears donated during the morning will be handed over to children from Cotlands Children’s Home during the afternoon.

SATURDAY 25TH SEPTEMBER, 8H30 to start at 9H00.

Sort the men from the boys and the women from the girls. Join in the Trail Run through the Reserve and stand a chance to win a prize. Participation is limited to 200, so contact Iain Olivier 021 851 6982 to ensure a place. The start will be in the car park behind the Education Centre.

09h30 and 14h30: Book for a guided walk in the Reserve. Booking is essential as only 20 people can be accommodated in each group. Contact the Information Centre on 021 851 4060 to ensure a place.

There will also be the scheduled Bird Walk with Rose Mills.


9H00 – 14H00: Meet up with friends and family for a picnic and stay for the afternoon's concert.

14h00 – 18h00: Concert performance by The Delft Big Band and The Lottery Ticket.

Entrance will be free. Just bring LOW chairs, blankets and your picnic.

Issued on behalf of the Friends of the Helderberg Nature Reserve by Merle Fannin.

For enquiries, kindly contact Merle on email address: merlefannin@hotmail.com

Please support the maintenance of the Reserve by becoming a member of ‘The Friends of the Helderberg Nature Reserve’ and join in the various events held throughout the year at the Reserve.

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