Nature and Hiking in the McGregor Area.

McGregor has a great deal for the nature lover. The village is situated some 245m above sea level, in a bowl surrounded by rolling hills and lofty mountains. Tributaries of the Breede River, flowing from the Riviersondereind Mountains, pass near the village. In the summer these are fairly dry, but in winter they flow freely.

Good places to start are McGregor's own Krans Nature Reserve and, for a terrific view over the village, the Kleinberg Trail. Also well worth a visit is the nearby Vrolijikheid Nature Reserve.

The area experiences high temperatures during summer, so please avoid the heat where possible, wear a sun hat, and take plenty of water. In the unlikely event of a snake bite, stay calm, try and identify the snake responsible for the bite and rush the victim to the nearest available medical facility. For advice on all cases of envenomation call: Tygerberg Poison Information Centre, 021 938 6084 (office hours), 021 9316129 (24 hours); Red Cross Children's Hospital, 021 658 5428/ 689 5227; Netcare Poison Centre, 0800 333 444 (toll free).

The Krans Nature Reserve

Situated just outside the village, this is being developed with the co-operation of the local municipality. Funds have been given by the Rowland and Leta Hill Trust under the auspices of WWF South Africa. The McGregor Heritage Society is presently much involved in this task.

The reserve is part of the meent, or commonage, of McGregor, and used to be available to all villagers for grazing livestock.

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McGregor Tourism | 023 625 1954
McGregor Tourism Bureau

Friends of Vrolijkheid

The Friends of Vrolijkheid (FoV) is a community-based group aimed at supporting the Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve and the broader conservation community.

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Piet van Zyl (Reserve Manager) | 023 625 1621 (Office hours) | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Rose Kent (FoV Chairperson) | 072 721 7377 | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The Kingsriver Kloof Trail

The Kingsriver Kloof Trail provides a gentle hike, starting at the guest house, curling up the beautiful, water-eroded ravine, past rock pools, waterfalls and large caves, and opening out to one of the largest dams in the area. It is ideal for nature watching or a picnic.

The trail's ancient Bushman caves are easily accessible, and around the cave and the kloof may be found clay potsherds, early stone age hand axes and lithic flakes. Klipspringer, cape clawless otter, steenbok, baboons, fish eagles and black eagles may be seen, and leopards and rooikat (aka caracal or desert lynx) are there for the lucky few.

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Kingsriver Wine Estate Guesthouse | 023 625 1040
KingsRiver Wine Estate

Boesmanskloof Trail

This 14km trail winds through the Riviersonderend Mountains in the Robertson Karoo region, and links the towns of McGregor in the north and Greyton in the south. It passes through the Riviersonderend Conservation Area, which is a declared mountain catchment area comprised of state land and private property.

The trail may be hiked in one day, from either McGregor or Greyton, but a popular option is a 2-day there and back route. If you opt for the 1-way hike, it is important to arrange for transport. It starts just outside Greyton, while it starts approximately 14km south of McGregor at Die Galg. Ample private accommodation is available in both towns, with private overnight facilities also available at Die Galg. No overnight camping is allowed on the trail, but there is a municipal campsite in Greyton.

The Boesmanskloof trail leads through spectacular Riviersonderend Mountains with steep gorges, large rock pools, waterfalls (the Oakes Falls) and lovely Cape wildflowers. At either end lie the lush Greyton and Mcgregor valleys. There is a great diversity of plant species with many different protea and erica species, including leucadendron (conebushes) and wild almond which grow along the watercourses. Animals found in the area include the Duiker, Grey Rhebuck, Klipspringer, Baboon, Dassie, Spotted Genet and, rarely, Leopards. Birdlife includes the Black and Booted Eagle, Cape Sugarbird, Malachite Sunbird and others.

Physically the trail requires a reasonable degree of fitness as it continuously ascends, descends and contours the slopes of Boesmanskloof. This is winter rainfall area (generally cold and wet) and the summer months are extremely warm and dry. Water may be required during the summer months.

Download Boesmanskloof brochure (pdf)

CapeNature Reservations | 0861 227 362 8873
021 659 3500
Vrolijkheid on Cape Nature website

Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve | Phone 023 625 1621/71
Fax 023 625 1674 | Manager's cell 082 496 2448
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | Piet van Zyl, Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve, Private Bag X614, Robertson 6705

Dassieshoek Nature Reserve

Located near Robertson, Dassieshoek has some spectacular mountain walks. Should you just wish to enjoy the wild environment without a hike, there is a large braai nearby the car park. The reserve is open on Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat and Sun, from 08:00 - 18:00.

Dassieshoek Trail

This is a 38km, 2-day trail through the foot hills of Langeberg Mountain. It takes you through mountain fynbos and gorges with great swimming. It is rated moderate.

Waterfall Hike

This is an easy walk to rock pools in a secluded gorge, surrounded by ferns and indigenous trees. Great to commune with nature, chill out or swim!

Arrangieskop Trail

Another 2-day trail, this time 20km to the top of Langeberg Mountains. There are spectacular views over Robertson Valley and Koo Valley, with an over-night stop in a comfortable hut; complete with hot showers and a fire! Rated for experienced hikers

Langeberg Municipality, Ashton Office | 023 615 8000
Robertson Tourism Bureau | 023 626 4437

The Kleinberg Trail

This is an easy, 2hr walk up Badge Hill - you can spot the hill from the village as it is carries the McGregor crest. To get there you leave McGregor by the old Robertson dirt road, pass the brick works, and the sign posted trail starts on the right. No need to drive to the start of the trail; walking out from the village is half the fun!

McGregor Tourism | 023 625 1954
McGregor Tourism Bureau

Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve

Vrolijkheid, situated about 5 Km from McGregor on the Robertson road, is mainly concerned with the breeding of small game, dealing with problem animals and preservation of flora and fauna.They are also maintain and control of hiking trails and bird hides in the area.

All permits include the reserve entrance fee, with a self-issued permit for the trails beng obtainable at the reserve entrance. Trails may be closed at certain times of the year depending on the weather conditions. Limited accommodation for visitors and environmental education groups may be booked at Vrolijkheid.

Extremely high temperatures may be experienced from November to March, and during this period hikers should set out early in the morning to avoid walking during the heat of the day. A sun hat is essential. No pets, firearms, picking of flowers or collection of seeds allowed.

Download Vrolijkheid brochure (pdf)

CapeNature Reservations | 0861 227 362 8873
021 659 3500
Vrolijkheid on Cape Nature website

Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve | Phone 023 625 1621/71
Fax 023 625 1674 | Manager's cell 082 496 2448
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | Piet van Zyl, Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve, Private Bag X614, Robertson 6705
Tariffs - 1 September 2011 till 31 August 2012
  • Day visits, day hikes, overnight trails: Adults R30 Children (3-12) R15
  • Greyton-Macgregor Trail (per direction) R30
Rooikat Trail

This is a circular, 19 km trail through the Elandsberg mountains, offering scenic views of the Langeberg and Riviersonderend mountains. You are bound to see springbok grazing in the succulent karoo vegetation.

It is fairly strenuous, with the path rough underfoot, and requires 8 hours of walking. Sturdy hiking boots are essential. No water is available on the route, and hikers should carry a sufficient supply (2 litres per person).

Heron Trail

This is an easy, 3km hike through succulent karoo vegetation, which takes you to two shimmering dams. Each has a wonderful bird hide, well hidden in the reedy surrounds, and a few hours spent in either, of an early morning or evening, should produce a few birding surprises. A total of 195 bird species has been recorded at Vrolikjheid.

Vrolijkheid MTB

This pleasant circular route of 8 km (±1 hour) meanders through a section of the reserve. Please stay on the marked route. Rate: R60 pp (includes reserve entrance).


Genadendal Hiking Trail

Genadendal Hiking Trail

This is a two-day circular route of 25km. It begins and ends in Genadendal at the historic Moravian Mission Church, which dates back to 1738, and leads through private property and the conservation area on both sides of the Riviersonderend mountain range. It provides panoramic views of the Overberg as well as the Worcester-Robertson Karoo. Overnight facilities are available at the church for hikers who prefer to stay the night before starting on the route.

The first day leads past two pools at Groot and Klein Koffiegat, and ends at the farm Die Hoek on the north side of the mountain. Overnight accommodation, including braai facilities, is available here. The second day returns to Genadendal. The trail is fairly strenuous, and hikers should be fit and well-equipped. In summer it can be extremely hot and it is advisable to carry water. Winters are cold and wet and hikers should adhere to weather warnings as the trail can be dangerous in extreme conditions.

The tariff is R60 for adults, R45 for children/scholars. There is a maximum of 24 hikers per day, with a maximum of 14 per group. Separate bookings are required for the trail and for overnight accommodation.

Download Genadendal brochure (pdf)

CapeNature Reservations | 0861 227 362 8873
021 659 3500

Some other walks

Robertson Walkabout

There are two walks around town, mostly passing by interesting building styles, like the Victorian villa built during the Ostrich feather boom and other historical buildings. Booklets are available from Robertson Tourism.

Robertson Tourism | 023 626 3681/4437
Fish Eagle Trail

A 8.5km 3hr, trail on the Van Loveren Wine Estate, climbs up the Rooikrans, and has with breathtaking views over Robertson valley, vineyards and mountains. It is rated easy-moderate and costs R20.00 per person.

13km Moutain Bike Trail

Also on the Van Loveren Wine Estate. R20.00 per person.

Van Loveren Wine Estate | 023 615 1505
Gecko Trail

A 21km, 6-9Hr trail which starts at Nuy Valley or Simonskloof. Accommodation is available at either end of the trail. A permit is required.

Simonskloof Mountain Retreat | 023 614 1895
Nuy Vallei Guest House | 023 342 7025