Lying just off the N2 highway on the outskirts of Swellendam, the scenically beautiful Bontebok National Park comprises of open landscapes of pristine fynbos that are ringed by the distant Langeberg Mountains and the tranquilly flowing Breede River.
Bontebok National Park may be the smallest national park in South Africa, but it plays an important role in the conservation of threatened coastal Renosterveld and in protecting the endemic Bontebok whose global population now numbers around 3000. Endangered Cape Mountain Zebra also occur in good numbers on the reserve. Over 200 bird species have been recorded including Secretary Birds, Black Harriers, Denham’s Bustards and the Cape Clapper Lark. Birding is best undertaken close to dawn and particularly along the banks of the Breede River. Waterbirds fly up and down the length of the waterway and the riparian thicket vegetation reveals birding parties in search of food.
Walking the various short hiking trails or riding the mountain-bike trail are the best options for exploring the reserve and allow you close-up views of the aloes, proteas, ericas and numerous flowering bulbous plants. There is also a good network of gravel roads and the opportunity for canoeing or swimming in the Breede River. Accommodation comprises of self-catering chalets at the “Lang Elsies” camp, where caravan and camping facilities are also available.
- Riparian Thicket
- Boulder-strewn short grasslands
- Denham’s Bustard
- Blue Crane
- Black Harrier
- Cape Clapper Lark
Bontebok National Park lies just on the outskirts of the historic town of Swellendam on the N2 national road. Signboards to the reserve are easily seen near the weigh-bridge on the N2 on the western side of Swellendam.
South African National Parks central reservations
Phone: 012 343 1991
First published: 11/05/15