Tag Archives: helderberg nature reserve

Hiking and Picnics at the Helderberg Nature Reserve in Somerset West (2017-10-21) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 25 MAR 2019

At the top of Somerset West, situated on the slopes of the Hottentots Holland Mountains, and overlooking False Bay, you’ll find the Helderberg Nature Reserve, a City of Cape Town owned and managed nature reserve.

Pushed by the Rotary Club of Somerset West, the Helderberg Nature Reserve was proclaimed as a wildflower garden (and to protect water resources in Somerset West) in 1960, but over time morphed into a proper nature reserve with the now 402-hectare reserve protecting a swathe of Swartland shale renosterveld, Kogelberg sandstone fynbos, Cape Winelands shale fynbos and Southern afro-temperate forest pockets.

The lower reaches of the park is home to large lawns, popular with families for the hosting of picnics, birthday parties and the occasional music concert, as well a small coffee shop and the Maskew Miller Educational/Visitors Centre.

Then there are of course all the walking and hiking paths scattered around the reserve, catering to nature lovers of all fitness levels. So as you would expect, there are plenty of beautiful examples of fynbos flowers to admire and even more superb views to take in – unless of course your children have pinned you down to the lawns and you’ve been forced to nap in the shade of one of the many massive trees overlooking the picnic space.

A terrible proposition, I know… ;)

All in all, a wonderful space for a deep breathe of fresh Helderberg air then.

Related Link: Helderberg Nature Reserve | Somerset West

Baby Steps Picnic at Helderberg Nature Reserve (2015-02-14) Photo Gallery 16 FEB 2015

Valentine’s Day fell on Saturday this year, and as such I treated Chantelle to a lovely candlelit dinner in the braai room* (whilst she bought me a selection of delicious Woolworths choccies) – but that’s completely beside the point, because what I wanted to mention here is the lovely picnic we enjoyed in the morning with the kids at the Helderberg Nature Reserve.

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Baby Steps owner and head honcho Rochelle Kelders had organised the morning picnic as a way for the parents and kids to have a bit of a social get together together, and pleasingly, despite the heavy clouds that looked rather threatening, there was a nice little turn out and everyone was able to enjoy some seriously relaxing time on the grass with the kids. (So, so many tiny cute faces!)

Emily was adorable (as expected), and even managed to stun Chantelle and myself by rooting out a nectarine from our bag and devouring it whole – nothing subtle there. It was basically just nectarine juices on everything!

(The rest of us made do with the blueberry muffins we had picked up from Woolworths on our way – though Emily was quite adept at stealing quite a bit from those as well!)

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We’ve been with Baby Steps for quite some time now – just short of three years with Jessica and now 1 and a little bit years with Emily – and funnily enough, this is the very first time that our schedules actually allowed us to join in on the fun.

And I’m kind of glad that we did.

*small kids are so, so limiting.

Vergeet-My-Nie Year End Picnic (2014-12-10) Photo Gallery 17 JAN 2015

Last year Jessica’s awesome playschool Vergeet-My-Nie ended off their year with a big weekday morning picnic, to which all the parents, grandparents, and whomever else wanted to come along were invited. We were treated to a beautiful Summer’s day with fantastic sunshine, soft grass, and of course large patches of shade provided by the multitude of trees standing tall in the picnic area at Helderberg Nature Reserve.

The kids were out in force, the teachers (complete with Santa hats) had their hands full, and it quickly became apparent that this was to be a day of play and certainly not a day of structured activity!

Songs were sung, prizes handed out (Jessica loved receiving her little ballet certificate), and of course a few Christmas-themed snacks made their way into the crowd. The parents had been instructed to drop off a gift for their child earlier in the week, meaning that there was even a chance for some much enjoyed present handing out – which as you can see, Jess was more than just a little enthralled with! :)

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All in all, it was a awesome morning out with Jessica (we left Emily at Baby Steps creche in order to give Jess our full attention), and Chantelle turned out to be pretty popular whilst manning the climbing wall and fireman’s pole! (I lucked out – my injured knee meant I wasn’t overrun with hyperactive kiddies!)

In fact, Jessica must have had a ball – seeing as she pretty much passed out once we got back into the car!

Photo Gallery: Impromptu Picnic at the Helderberg Nature Reserve (2014-01-02) Photo Gallery 02 JAN 2014

It seemed like a very good idea to start off 2014 with a breath of fresh air, and as such an impromptu picnic for Jess, myself and a heavily pregnant Chantelle seemed an awfully great idea at the time.

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We played, we ate, and we relaxed – pretty much exactly what one should be doing on a picnic!

Photo Gallery: Helderberg Nature Reserve Picnic with the Storbecks (2013-01-06) Photo Gallery 06 JAN 2013

We started off December with a picnic at the Helderberg Nature Reserve, joined by Evan, Natasha, Evalynne and Ryan, and so it seemed fit to end my holiday off with yet another delightfully relaxed, frisbee-filled picnic at the shady Helderberg Nature Reserve, this time joined by Karl-Heinz, Trish and Ryan.

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(And yes, there were cupcakes for dessert!)

December and My Christmas Vacation 2012 My Life 04 JAN 2013

So I’m hurtling towards the end of my year-end vacation time (ugh, work starts on Monday again), and overall December and Christmas holiday 2012 has been quite the relaxing and enjoyable time, so I thought I’d better highlight some of it just for reference’s sake.

chantelle lotter and toddler jessica lotter in Hermanus

jessica lotter getting present from father christmas dean stapelbergOther than the passing of Chantelle’s grandfather early December, the period has been an entirely positive one, and it all kicked off with the awesome birthday party celebrating Zandea’s 3rd birthday. Dean and Zania went all out, and I must admit to feeling a tinge of pride when Jessica was the only little one not to run away crying at the appearance of Dean in his traditional Father Christmas suit!

With most of Chantelle’s time being taken up by all the baking for her Sacred Ground Franschhoek deli contract, Jessica and I found myself spending an inordinate amount of time together, spending plenty of time at the beach and in the sea, wandering about the mall or any plastics shop that I could find, or visiting with the grandparents in Bellville, always packing in the swimsuits for just in case! (I even bought an electric pump and gazeebo to make the outside swims for little Jess in her inflatable pool more fun).

craig lotter and toddler jessica lotter at hathersage farm night market

We pulled off a brilliant night market at Hathersage Farm to end off the market season, where we were lucky enough to be joined by both sets of parents, making it a proper family night out on what turned out to be a glorious summer’s evening with the most incredible vibe.

We had a stunning picnic at the Helderberg nature reserve with Ryan, Evan, Natasha and little Evalynne (plenty of frisbee was thrown that day), and we entertained Wayne and Candice, first at our place (or more specifically, breakfast at Sunset Spur in Gordon’s Bay), followed by a return visit to Hermanus. (This was particularly awesome because we hadn’t seen Wayne in two years, basically since they moved up to Potchefstroom!). We played host to Retha, enjoyed a rare date night which saw Chantelle and I dine at the fabulous Casa in Willowbridge, followed up by the excellent Skyfall James Bond movie.

toddler jessica lotter and chantelle lotter at picnic at helderberg nature reserve

candice smith and her birthday cake in onrus

In addition to all of that, I played a disastrous, but hugely entertaining, round of golf with Dad, Ryan and Jaco at Bellville Golf Course (thanks lastminutegolf.co.za), and although our New Year’s celebrations fell a little flat (fallen through plans and a frozen bottle of champagne), our Christmas 2012 was pretty damn awesome that to the brilliant Christmas day family get together that Claire and Riley organised.

I’ve been playing Gears of War 2 and FIFA 13 with Ryan at night, and even found myself helping out on a cake one evening, though the only true constant that played itself out each and every night was of course the big clean-up after a day of Jess running around the house! :)

chantelle lotter and jessica lotter toddler playing with bubbles

chantelle lotter and toddler jessica lotter walking in Hermanus

So yeah, despite not going away or being particularly productive in my two and half week long, well deserved break from work, I still managed to make a good thing out of Christmas Vacation 2012 I reckon.

Photo Gallery: Helderberg Nature Reserve Picnic Outing (2012-12-16) Photo Gallery 16 DEC 2012

In joint celebration of Natasha and Chantelle’s birthdays, we decided to organise a picnic outing, taking a break from our usual haunt of Klein Joostenberg and instead opting for the Helderberg Nature Reserve, a gorgeous picnic venue – provided you manage to grab a spot under the huge shady trees of course!

As it turned out, pretty much no one from the invited guest pool could join us on the day, so in the end it was just Evan, Natasha, little Evalynne, Ryan and the Gordon’s Bay Lotter clan who got to soak up the sun, throw plenty of frisbee and ball, play loads of ring-a-rosie, and of course, tuck in the mouthwatering fabulous picnic spread!

(And yes, there WAS cake!)

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