South Africa has many exceptional hiking trails that are internationally acclaimed. Just outside of Robertson, we host a magnificent, biodiverse hiking route in the heart of the winelands.
Hiking in the Western Cape are a special experience for anyone interested in unusual flora and fauna or keen on natural geological formations. In this article, we will cover some of the main points of interest along our Biodiversity Hiking Trail in Robertson.
Hiking in the Cape Floral Kingdom
UNESCO has declared this area of the Western Cape a World Heritage Site. Named the “Cape Floral Kingdom,” this 553-hectare area contains nearly 20% of the endemic flora in Africa!
As some of our hiking trail falls under the Cape Floral Kingdom, Van Loveren has partnered with BWI (Biodiversity and Wine Initiative) to ensure that our wine farming methods protect and conserve this valuable ecosystem. Try our hiking route and explore the fynbos and renosterveld that is not found anywhere else in the world.
Hiking amidst volcanic rock
Around 200m from the start of our hiking trail, you can expect to come across an olivine melilite pipe. Geologists confirm this type of rock comes from beneath the crust of the earth and is an incredibly rare sight.
This means the magma must have travelled the 100km or so through the earth’s crust, but cooled along the way and didn’t end up erupting at the surface. Instead, it flowed into this narrow pipe formation. The correct term for this type of rock is an intrusive igneous plug which means that it falls just short of being a volcano as there was no lava that reached the surface.
Sometimes this type of rock carries diamonds, but none have been found on our farm yet – perhaps you could be the first to discover one along our hiking trail!
Nestled on our enchanting farm, we are fortunate to have a remarkable treasure that sustains our land - our very own hand-built water channel! This waterway traces its journey from the waters of the Greater Brandvlei Dam, bringing life to our farm's landscapes. Our water channel's delivery capacity harnesses the Breë River's natural flow, which is supplemented by releases from the Greater Brandvlei Dam. For those exploring the wonders of our Fish Eagle birdwatching and hiking trail, the captivating rock channel can be admired along the route.
What you need for our hiking trail
Before you begin using our hiking trail, you will need:
A permit (available on our website or from the Tasting Room open from Mondays to Fridays from 08:00 to 17:00, Saturday from 09:30 to 16:00, and Sundays from 11:00 to 15:00).
Water and snacks
A phone or camera to share your gorgeous photos with us!
Trekking poles are available to rent from the Tasting Room if you’re not comfortable when hiking on loose stones. For those who enjoys a dog-friendly hike are welcome to bring along their furry friends.
Hiking times to view fynbos
Fynbos and the indigenous animals and birds it shelters always seem to be doing something interesting.
In the dry months (December – February), one can expect to see chicks and flourishing animal life along the hiking route.
Towards the end of Summer and heading into Autumn, the fynbos begins to seed if it gets hot enough and one may spot the new seedlings sprouting as the weather begins to cool.
The rainy, Winter months (June – August) have some lovely, mild days in between the wet spells where the skies are clear and hikers may spot the blossoms forming after having a nice, long drink.
Spring time for hiking in the Western Cape (Sep to Nov) is the real show stopper where the fynbos aims to attract the bees and reveals the many colours of the African landscape.
Our Hiking Trail is not difficult and may be enjoyed by anyone with a passion for the outdoors. But if you’re an ecology enthusiast, our Biodiversity Hiking Trail really contains something special for you. See you out there soon!