Only an hour’s drive from Cape Town, the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve offers spectacular views of the Franschhoek Valley, as well as a wonderfully diverse plant life where fynbos thrives. Perdekop and DuToitskop, two of the highest peaks, can be reached by hiking trails; hikes range from 2km (one hour, easy) to 13km (6 – 7 hours, moderate), so choose walks that suit your fitness level.
During winter, mountain streams might be in full flow, but in summer and autumn, most are dry except for some pools that get their water from perennial springs. The reserve is not affiliated to SANParks (nor its Wild Card Programme), so you will need to buy a permit from the Franschhoek Tourism Bureau or the Huguenot Museum, who will provide a map and information leaflet.
There is ample and safe parking at the entrance, as well as a public toilet and drinking water. But once you’re in the reserve, there are no facilities, so pack food, water, sunblock and a hat.