Reasons to Visit Oorlogskloof

Explore Nature

More than 1,350 plant species can be found here along the Bokkeveld Plateau, and many of them are of the bulb variety as this helps them survive both the arid climate and the extreme temperatures. At least 80 species are endemic to the area. The trick to visiting a town such as Nieuwoudtville, though, is to go there during the ‘secret season’. 

©Jacques Marais
Wide open spaces of Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve.

From August through to October the flowers are in full bloom, so every dude and his dog will be heading this way. Plan your trip during any other time of the year, however, and you will practically have this little corner of the Hantam region to yourself.

Space, fresh air, outstanding accommodation in the nearby dorps, interesting (the good, the bad, and the ugly!) restaurants, waterfalls, accordion players on stone stoeps, a butchery with chops cut three fingers thick while you wait, and even a secret forest… it’s all waiting for you.

Losing yourself in the natural playground that is Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve will open a window on an extraordinary botanical paradise. Along the trails, you will discover remnant stands of ancient indigenous forest, pockets of wild clivias, giant kiepersol (cabbage trees) and Bushman’s candles growing in wild profusion. It goes without saying that it is a paradise for hikers, trail runners, bird-watchers and wannabe botanists.

Birders Paradise

©Karl Svendsen
Martial Eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus).
©Shem Compion
Southern black korhaan (Afrotis afra).

Lots of people trek here in spring to revel in the seasonal floral abandon, but few realise this area is way more than just another Bloom Town. The uninitiated are missing out on an outdoor paradise brimming with a gobsmacking range of botanical rarities, unlimited breathing space and the full gamut of outdoor adventure options.

The reserve and surrounding area is also a paradise for birders, with at least 145 species encountered at various times of the year. Cape Sugarbirds abound in the fynbos area, while larks and sandgrouse are found in the Karoo Scrub. You can also find Martial eagle, Verreaux’s eagle, Common kestrel, Southern black korhaan and Cape clapper lark.

By Jacques Marais