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Durbanville Nature Reserve

Yellow mongooseNext to the Durbanville Racecourse is a special triangle of land. This six hectare reserve is where critically endangered Swartland shale renosterveld and Cape Flats sand fynbos meet.

The area became a nature reserve in 1966, after local residents had found a rare plant, Aristea lugens, growing there and persuaded what was then the Durbanville Town Council to set aside the land for conservation purposes. Alien vegetation was cleared, an indigenous garden was planted, and an education centre was developed.

There are about 241 plant species, three endemic to Cape Town and six threatened with extinction. The site is home to several animal species, including birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Birds such as the Cape sugarbird, lesser double-collared sunbird and Cape spurfowl can be seen in the reserve. The small grey mongoose and angulate tortoise also occur here, as well as the endemic and vulnerable Cape rain frog which can be heard when it rains. The release of unwanted pet tortoises poses a threat to the resident tortoises as they bring in diseases and are genetically unsuitable to breed with the tortoises in the reserve.

The reserve offers a range of activities and facilities to the public: There are walking trails and wheelchair-friendly pathways, and picnic sites are located at the main entrance and the southern section of the reserve. Environmental education activities are available for schools, however booking with reserve management is essential. The small EE centre facility is available to hire for functions or meetings (even on weekends during the winter season when the reserve is closed).

Key information - Durbanville Nature Reserve

Address Racecourse Road, Durbanville Map directions
Opening hours 07:30-16:00 (weekdays), 09:00-18:00 (weekends from October to April only)
Size 6 hectares
Entrance fee None
Public transport Taxi or bus
Activities and facilities Picnic sites, wheelchair-friendly pathways, birdwatching, function hire
Environmental education Educational activities are available for schools (booking with reserve management is essential)
Contact Tel 021 979 0060; Fax 021 979 0093
E-mail Durbanville.NatureReserve@capetown.gov.za

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© City of Cape Town, 2014