I didn’t realize just how popular walking about in the Tygerberg Nature Reserve on a sunny Saturday morning is, but the hard scramble for a parking spot on this particular morning certainly taught me that lesson! The girls and I had invited Terrance and Joanne to join us for a walk up Tygerberg Hill, and as luck would have it, the Winter weather played along just beautifully for our dawdle up above the Northern Suburbs!

The Tygerberg Nature Reserve is a 300 hectare large nature reserve that sits at the top of Tygerberg Hill, commanding an exceptional view over the Northern Suburbs as they stretch up to meet the city and its iconic mountain at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Home to around 500 different plant species, a large number of birds, and the odd small mammal or two (not to mention the slightly unsightly but super important communication towers as well), the nature reserve serves as a popular environmental education hub for local schools, and is of course quite popular with locals looking for a decent walkabout in nature without having to venture all the way down south to the mountain.

Subsequently there are quite a few short trails of varying difficulty that criss-cross all over the reserve, meaning that in theory you can put together just about any walk to suit your needs. The hill also has a trail accessible by wheelchairs, as well as a couple of simple picnic spots dotted around.

As for this particular sweaty outing up the hill, as previously mentioned, the warm winter sun acted as a fantastic accompaniment to the invigorating fresh air, and indeed, other than a slight detour due to a closed path (slippery conditions), the walk went well (even if it elicited more than a few grumbles from my girls!). Having company along for a change was great (the girls essentially glued themselves to Joanne for the duration of the stroll), and at the end of the walk the girls got rewarded with a yummy bite to eat from one of the many cafes at the relatively nearby, airy Willowbridge Shopping Centre.

Bonus Fact: Swartland Shale Renosterveld (the type of environment that the Tygerberg Nature reserve was set up to preserve) is usually punctuated with a lot of large termite mounds, which when seen from afar all work together to create light ‘spots’ in the vegetation. These ‘spots’ are in fact behind the name of Tygerberg – tiger mountain – because at that point in time in our history, people of the Cape assumed that tigers had spots!

Related Link: Tygerberg Nature Reserve | Tygerberg Hills | Bellville