Gamkaberg Nature Reserve
South Cape DC
We are fortunate in the Western Cape. The land forever heightens our sense of exploration with its expanses and its wilderness. And with the Gamkaberg Nature Reserve in the Little Karoo, we need not go far to find a place with such space and detachment. The brooding Gamkaberg, together with the equally mysterious Rooiberg, appear to have been laid down as one over the lowlands of the Little Karoo. The Gamka is, therefore, a range in isolation and its name is derived from the Khoisan, gami, meaning lion, where the Cape Lion – now extinct – once so successfully wondered here. As the humans approached, so the lions withdrew so humanity could prosper. The Gamkaberg Nature Reserve, now a World Heritage Site, was established in 1974 to conserve a small, remnant herd of endangered Cape mountain zebra. They numbered just five in 1976 but, fortunately, focused conservation initiatives, involving resettling of animals into private and national nature reserves, helped their numbers increase. The reserve is open daily from 7h30 to 16h00. Day visitors can browse the information centre, enjoy finding their way through the labyrinth, take short hikes and use the picnic or braai facilities. The reserve is ideally suited to those seeking some peace and tranquillity.