Join the Friends


Membership (and application for an Early Riser Key) can be done at the Visitor Centre in the Helderberg Nature Reserve daily between 10:00 and 16:00.

Membership renewals/applications for 2017 may be done from 20 March 2017

Early Riser Key applications for 2017 may be done from end April 2017

About Members

Members of the Friends pay an annual subscription which allows them free entry into the Reserve for the subscription period 1 April to 31 March of the following year. The subscriptions received are used primarily to:

  • promote and assist with environmental education activities and programmes
  • contribute to conservation activities that protect the flora and fauna of the Helderberg Nature Reserve
  • provide information services that will contribute to visitor experiences and understanding of the reserve
  • provide practical assistance to the City of Cape Town in the upkeep of the reserve.

As a member of the Friends you will be showing your support for nature conservation in The Helderberg and you will receive the following:

  • Membership card.
  • Free entrance to the reserve throughout the validity of your card.
  • Regular newsletters and information bulletins.
  • Option to buy an Early Riser Key for early morning access to the reserve.

Membership Renewal/Application Procedure

1. Complete and sign a membership form

Membership application forms, in English or Afrikaans, are available at the Visitor Centre in the reserve or may be downloaded here for printing and completion:

Note: ID numbers are required for all adults plus dates of birth for children 4-18 years.

2. Hand in the completed form at the Visitor Centre in the reserve and …

3. Pay the required membership fee

Payment may be cash, credit card or EFT.

If by EFT, a printed copy of proof of payment (no emails) will be required when you hand in your completed form.
Bank details FOR MEMBERSHIP FEES ONLY are provided on the downloadable forms.

What members receive

Each member renewing will receive a coloured sticker with the new ‘Valid until’ date printed on it to paste on his/her membership card.
New members: Everyone will be issued with a membership card in his/her name, each with its unique number.


All members are required to show their membership cards to the gate official on entry and carry them on their person while in the reserve as a means of identification.

For more information, contact the Visitor Centre 021 851 4060.

Subscriptions for 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018

Membership Category Subscription Conditions
Ordinary Member
(19-59 yrs)
R120 One numbered card in the name of the Member. Non-transferable.
Senior Citizen
(60+ yrs)
R70 One numbered card in the name of the Member. Non-transferable.
Family R240 One numbered card in each family member’s name comprising two adults and children 4-18 years. Non transferable.
Note: Children under 4 years – entry to the reserve is included on the responsible card holder’s membership.
ID numbers for all applicants are required and the dates of birth for children 4-18 years must be provided.
If renewing, please bring with you the membership cards of all persons listed on the form.

Early Riser Key

The City of Cape Town has agreed to allow the continued use of the ‘Early Riser Key’ system. This system allows registered key holders to enter the Helderberg Nature Reserve ahead of the normal opening time in the morning. It is a privilege available to paid up members of the Friends of Helderberg Nature Reserve only and is subject to compliance with certain terms and conditions as listed on the application form.

The process of issuing keys is administered by the Friends on behalf of the City. City authorities, for their part, carry out regular checks thus enhancing overall security in the reserve and avoiding incidents of trespassing and the misuse of the keys.

The fee for the key is R250 and may be paid in cash or by credit card.
Please note that EFT payments for Early Riser Keys is not available at present.

General information

Each key is marked with a unique serial number and has a built in security feature making it impossible to obtain duplicate keys. Serial numbers are recorded on the key holder register against the name of the key holder, along with his/her membership number and ID.

Entry to the reserve is via the pedestrian gate. With continued permission from the City of Cape Town, the lock on the gate is typically replaced annually on 1 May with the new keys issued being valid until 30 April the following year. Access is allowed from 05:00 each day of the week. Under no circumstances may the key be used after closing time in the evening.

Keys are not transferable. Any key holder or member allowing access to persons, other than those listed on the key register, will be penalised. If the key is lost, key holders are asked to report this immediately. Replacement keys will be issued at the normal fee.

Applicants may nominate family members and/or a walking associate (1 only) to accompany them, provided each is a member of the Friends and his/her name, membership and ID number are listed on the application form.

All users are required to carry their key, membership cards and IDs with them when walking in the reserve. The list of registered key holders and their family members and/or walking associate is updated regularly and forwarded to reserve management for security purposes.

The fee of R250 covers the cost of the key and administrative costs incurred by the Friends.

Obtaining a key

Members wishing to obtain an Early Riser Key should call at the Visitor Centre, open daily from 10:00 to 16:00, complete and sign an application form agreeing to the terms and conditions and pay the required fee.

Applicants should bring their Friends membership cards and ID numbers with them, together with those of their nominated family members and/or walking associate.