The City of Cape Town boasts a handful of micro nature reserves, small slices of land intended to preserve some of the Cape’s more endangered veld habitats. One of these small reserves is the Durbanville Nature Reserve, a small 6 hectare triangle-shaped piece of land tucked alongside the Durbanville Racecourse in… well Durbanville of course.
Proclaimed in 1966 following the discovery of very rare Aristea lugens specimens in the area, the Durbanville Nature Reserve finds itself at the border between two critically endangered vegetation types, namely Swartland Shale Renosterveld and Cape Flats Sand Fynbos. As such, a lot of effort has gone into clearing invasive alien vegetation and restoring the indigenous landscape, with the result being that the park is now home to around 130 species of plant life – three of which exist only in Cape Town and ten of which are threatened with extinction!
Despite its quite compact stature, the park provides a natural habitat for a few small wild animals such as the angulate tortoise, the grey mongoose and the endangered Cape rain frog, and armed with a nice picnic spot and a few short paths for ambling along, the nature reserve does offer a welcome green space away from all the surrounding houses and cars.
This particular visit (that happened around the start last year) saw my brother Ryan and I pop into the nature reserve for a quick stroll about the park (a first for me mind you), but sadly for us, it just so happened to be pretty soon after a controlled burn had taken place (to stimulate fynbos regrowth). So sadly not the greatest of times to be on the lookout for much fynbos flowers then!
In summary, not really a ‘must visit’ place in all honesty, but certainly one of those nice little spots to have in your back pocket for when you want a bit of scenery that is not drowning in a lot of other visitors. Also, try not to visit just after a controlled burn has taken place – it should be a lot prettier if you get that right! ;)