Koeberg Nature Reserve
Contact Koeberg Nature Reserve
Phone 021 5532466
Koeberg Nuclear power Station
Cape Town has many small nature reserves quite close to town.
Most of them have different things to see and some of
them have quite a variety of wild life.
Today we will visit the Koeberg Nature Reserve which is
on the grounds of the Koeberg Nuclear power station
near Melkbosstrand on the west coast of the Western Cape.
To get there one must drive up the west coast road past
Milnerton and Bloubergstrand a distanceof about 30 kilometres.
The entrance to the reserve is near the town of Melkbosstrand.
The Reserve is approximately 3000 hectares in size
and is on Eskom grounds.
To assist visitors in seeing everything of interest
various trails have been marked out.
A mountain bike trail for those who like riding in
the bush and two walking trails for those who love hiking.
The walking trails are named Grysbok (Grey Buck)
and Dikkop (thick head).
Dikkop is a species of bird which is quite well known in the area.
A while back a pair of them set up a nest on an open field
next to our house and managed to raise two chicks between
building operations and all the neighbourhood cats.
They are very protective birds especially when they have
chicks and they are quite prepared to take you on should
you approach their nest. They build their nests on the
ground so it is quite easy to step on their
eggs if they don't protect them.
The Dikkop trail has been marked out with 16 markers with
each marker being the centre of a specific area
with something unique to see.
This trail runs along the dune line which seperates the
sea from the land and here one can see the different species
of grasses which keep the dunes from being broken down by
the strong south east winds which blow during the summer months.
Other types of vegetation are the hardy Cape Reeds which
are part of the Fynbos in the area. Fynbos being the
indigenous plants found in the Cape area.
On the dunes you will also find the Metalasia muricata
(blombos or english translation flower bush)
This bush produces a bright yellow flower which gives
off a scent that smells like honey.
The main characteristic of this bush is the fact that
it grows on the dunes and helps to stabilise them.
The Grysbok trail has other things to see.
Along this trail are the dune crests along the beach
which were formed over a 100000 years ago.
As climatic conditions are different on the dunes to
elsewhere in the reserve you will find that the plantlife
is much shorter there than elsewhere in the Reserve..
The beach which runs along the western boundary of the
reserve is the breeding site of various sea birds
including the Black Oyster catcher which
is on the threatened list.
On this route there is also a saltpan which
supports a sensitive ecosystem.
In the winter months when the Cape gets its rain there
is an abundance of birds visiting the pan.
I have failed to mention some of the wildlife that you
may come across while walking through the reserve.
There are a number of different species of buck in the
park which include Springboks, Bontebok, Eland and Impala.
You will also find the odd donkey with its jamas on .(zebra)
There are a number of predators in the park but
none of the larger cats.
They are the African Wild cat, Grey mongoose and Genet.
The Caracul is a small cat about the size of a Labrador dog
and is the largest of the predators in the park. In Afrikaans
it is called the Rooikat(Redcat) and has sharp pointed ears.
When I was a child in Kommetjie these cats used to
attack our chicken coops and kill the hens.
Occasionally you managed to corner one and then you
had a very mad and dangerous cat on your hands.
Being a wild bushy place you will no doubt come across
some of the snakes that inhabit the area.
They are the very poisonous Cape Cobra and the Boomslang(tree snake).
Other varieties such as the Skaapsteker (sheepbiter)
and the mole snake are not poisonous.
The Mole snake can get quite big up to about
two metres in length with its main prey
being moles which live in the sand.
There are also many tortoises in the area.
For birdwatchers there are 172 species of bird in the
reserve and many of them can be seen at the Salt pan.
Would you like to spend a day or two walking in the
wilds and be able to have the luxury of your hotel at night.
Koeberg Nature Reserve is the place to visit.
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Koeberg Nature Reserve