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 2018 may be done from 23 March 2018

Early Riser Key applications for 2018 may be done from end April 2018

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 2018 to 31 March 2019

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 Keys

Period of usage: 1 May 2018 to 30 April 2019

The City of Cape Town has agreed to allow the continued use of the ‘early riser key’ system, which 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.

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 the overall security in the reserve and avoiding incidents of trespassing and the misuse of the keys.

General information

  • Each key is marked with a unique serial number.
  • Serial numbers are recorded on the key holder register against the name of the person purchasing the key, along with his/her membership and ID or Passport numbers.
  • Entry to the reserve is via the pedestrian gate.
  • Access is allowed daily from 05:00.
  • Under no circumstances may the key be used after the official closing time in the evening, either to enter or to exit the reserve.
  • The current lock on the gate will be replaced on 1 May 2018 and the new keys issued will be valid until
    30 April 2019.
  • Keys are not Any key holder or member allowing access to persons, other than those listed on the key register, will be penalised (see Appication Form for details).
  • Applicants may nominate the following to accompany them, provided each is a paid-up member of the Friends and his/her name, membership and ID/Passport numbers are listed on the application form:
  • his/her spouse/partner
  • children aged 4–18 years, who are part of his/her Friends family membership unit
  • a walking associate (one only).
  • 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 as well as the administrative costs incurred by the Friends. Payment can be by cash or credit card.
  • Current registered users receive a R50 discount on the return of their numbered key, only if applying for a new one.
  • If the key is lost, key holders are asked to report this immediately. Replacement keys will be issued at the normal fee.
  • Key usage expires on 30 April 2018, after which key holders are requested to return their keys.

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 – cash or credit card only, no EFT.
  • Early Riser Key application forms may also be downloaded here for printing and completion:

2018-19 Early Riser Key Form

  • All applicants should bring their Friends membership cards and ID/Passport numbers with them, together with those of their nominated family members and/or walking associate. No key will be issued without this information.
  • Application for keys may be made from 28 April 2018 onwards, not before.