Bredasdorp lies at the foot of the Heuningberg Mountain, home to the Heuningberg Nature Reserve.  The Reserve more than rewards the visitor who wanders its numerous contour paths.  On clear days, the summit boasts spectacular views in all directions, east to Arniston and De Hoop and south to Struisbaai and the Soetanysberg.  To the south-west, you can see Elim and to the north, the visitor is rewarded with magnificent views across the RĂ»ens to the Riviersonderend Mountains.

There is always an abundance of beautiful flowers to delight the visitor.  This Reserve is home to more than 260 species of plants, 34 of which are endemic and a number of these, e.g. the Bredasdorp Lily (Cyrtanthus guthriea), are found only on the Heuningberg Mountain. Other plants include various orchids, Proteas (P. compacta, P. neriifolia P. cordata and others) Serrurias, Ericas and many others.

The visitor will always find flowers in bloom from tiny Lobelias to giant Proteas (P. cynaroides), from delicate Painted Ladies to Everlastings each in its own season.  If one is lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the shy small buck ("duiker", "klipspringer" and "grysbok") which inhabit the mountain.  Visitors virtually never get a glimpse of the elusive leopard that has on occasion been reported to visit the Reserve.

The Bredasdorp Nature Reserve, as it was known when it was originally proclaimed on 16 September 1964, was only 68ha in size and comprised mainly old quarries.  This area was restored by way of terraces that can still be seen in the garden section of the Reserve today.  Originally planted with roses this was later replaced with indigenous plants and this garden area is today about 80ha in size.  On 27 March 1986, the Reserve was enlarged to 800ha and it was given its present name, Heuningberg Nature Reserve.  The Reserve encompasses a large section of the mountain and an extra 400ha of privately owned land to the south, the area around the Preekstoel rock, is managed as part of the reserve.  The hiking trails were the brainchild of Eps Joubert, then a teacher at the Bredasdorp High School, who recognised the unique value of the Reserve and started with the clearing of alien vegetation. Alien clearing is very important in the reserve, and whereas there were once patches of pines, gums, myrtle and acacias (especially Acacia longifolia) the area has largely been cleared of adult alien trees. However, the battle against these invaders of our fynbos is never ending.


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