Return to SA Birding Main Site
This predominantly fynbos reserve is conveniently situated almost in the centre of Hermanus and gives very easy access to a number of the region’s special species. A morning’s birding should produce a small but interesting list of about 40 species.



Verreauxs' Eagle, Jackal Buzzard, Cape Spurfowl, Olive Woodpecker, Cape Rock-jumper, Cape Grassbird, Victorin's Warbler, Cape Sugarbird, Malachite Sunbird, Orange-breasted Sunbird and Southern Double-collared Sunbird, Cape Siskin.



The two predominant habitats are fynbos and montane scrub with small riverine kloofs between mountain buttresses.



Walks range from leisurely strolls around the lower gardens and fynbos, to a number of fairly strenuous mountain trails which can take most of the day to complete. You should check in with the staff before undertaking one of these.



1. A very pleasant stroll up the access road from the car park at the admin block, past the environmental centre and up the path to the waterfall will take not more than an hour and will give you all the fynbos specials, including (with luck and perseverance) Victorin's Warbler. Cape Batis and Olive Thrush inhabit the bush by the waterfall.

2. A return route via waterkloof (signposted) will take you through some higher montane scrub and fynbos to the Three Dams area. Likely species on this walk, which will add another hour and a half to the schedule, are Cape Rock-Thrush, Neddicky, Grey-backed Cisticola and Malachite Sunbird. Scan overhead for the Verreauxs' Eagle which nest in an adjoining kloof and for Black Harrier which sometimes wander across from the farmlands behind the mountain. Lucky birders may also come across the Cape Rock-jumper, but this is more likely to be found in the Droekloof – more commonly known and signposted as the "4x4 trail". In the riverine scrub below the Three Dams, look for Cape Grassbird, Brimstone Canary and small flocks of Cape Siskin.

3. There have been occasional sightings of the elusive Cape Eagle-Owl at this reserve, but be careful with your I.D. as the Spotted Eagle-Owl is far more common. As the reserve does not close its gates, Fernkloof gives the avid birder an opportunity to try for this enigmatic species at night.



The reserve is under the administration of the Cape Nature Conservation Board, and the Hermanus Botanical Society operates a small indigenous nursery at the admin block. The reserve has unlimited access and no admission fees are charged. There is no accommodation, and toilet facilities are found only at the administration centre near the entrance. The reserve is reached by driving out of central Hermanus on Main Road and turning left into Fir Avenue, which leads straight into the reserve.

Contact information: Tel: 028 312 2629 email:

Hermanus Website

Gate opening times: 07h00 - 19h00 No enterance fee.

Mike Ford 2001

Copyright © 2008 SA Birding cc