Jonkershoek Nature Reserve boasts an excellent location in the Jonkershoek Valley just above Stellenbosch in the Western Cape. Surrounded by the impressive Jonkershoek Mountains — part of the Boland Mountain range, this nature reserve offers a fantastic outdoor experience for hikers and nature enthusiasts. The reserve covers approximately 9 800 hectares, while Assegaaibosch Nature Reserve, located in Jonkershoek, covers approximately 204 hectares. Both reserves are World Heritage Sites, and the smaller reserve is home to the historical Assegaaibosch farmstead, a national monument built in 1792. The area is also abundant in animal and plant life, with over one thousand plant species and a wide range of small mammals, birds, and reptiles.
The reserve can be accessed via Jonkershoek Road and is only 10 kilometres from Stellenbosch.
Jonkershoek Nature Reserve is home to an abundance of wildlife, bird species and plant life. There are over 1,100 plant species and a variety of small mammals, birds, and reptiles for visitors to watch out for. Wildlife species include leopards, caracals, klipspringers, honey badgers, and mongoose — all of which can be quite elusive. Baboons, however, make a constant appearance in the reserve. For bird lovers, species include kingfishers, black eagles, fish eagles, spotted eagle-owls, sugarbirds, orange-breasted sunbirds, and protea seedeaters are among the bird species.
Jonkershoek is hot in the summer and cold and rainy in the winter. During the colder months, visitors may see snow on the higher mountain peaks. Hikers and other visitors should keep in mind that weather conditions can change quickly.
Jonkershoek Nature Reserve offers a variety of outdoor recreation for visitors with a sense of adventure. For the intrepid at heart, the hiking and biking trails are excellent. The reserve has two waterfall trails, the most popular of which is the Tweede Waterval trail. The journey takes 2 hours and covers approximately 6.4 kilometres. It's a moderate trail with a few steep sections near the end. Additionally, one of the hiking trails leads to a picnic table perched atop a mountain. The views are breathtaking, and it's an ideal spot for an early morning picnic.
There are plenty of accommodation options near Jonkershoek Nature Reserve. Those wanting to enjoy a weekend of exploration can opt for a hotel, lodge, guest house or Airbnb in Stellenbosch — just 10 kilometres away.