Summer Concert Series

We’re delighted to announce the line-up for the Summer Concerts, 2016 / 2017! We have 7 concerts planned, starting in December.

4 Dec 2016 The Jesse Jordan Band Mostly original Rock, Funk rock and Pop
18 Dec 2016 Afro Fiesta World Music, Latino, Reggae, Afro-Jazz
8 Jan 2017 Shiraz Popular Covers 60’s to present day and from musicals
22 Jan 2017 Robin Auld (3-piece) Blues, Calypso, African Folk, light Rock
5 Feb 2017 The Hanepoot Big Band Jazz
19 Feb 2017 Valiant Swart ( solo) Afrikaans Folk   singer/songwriter many original
26 Feb 2017 Stellenbosch University Symphonic Wind Ensemble with Windworx Wind band music

Prices remain the same as last year:

– R60 Adults

– R30 Scholars (5 – 18)

– Children under 5: Free

All concerts start at 5.30pm, finishing at 7pm. Gates open from 3.30 onwards.

Tickets can be purchased from Computicket or cash at the gate.

Enquiries: 021 8514060



Interpretative Walks and Hikes at the Helderberg Nature Reserve


The beginning of 2016 saw some very exciting and popular day and night interpretative walks at the Helderberg Nature Reserve. The Friends of the Helderberg arranged five interpretative day walks, specifically looking at fynbos, indigenous trees, protea and birds. The Night walks proved to be enormously popular, selling out very quickly. Andreas Groenewald entertained and educated us for most of the walks, with Jill Mortimer leading the bird walks. The star-gazing event in March was also a great success.

Due to the success of these various walks, we are very pleased to announce the new dates for the day and night walks for the end of 2016. Once again, Andreas Groenewald will lead all the walks (except the bird walk, which will be led by a member of the Somerset West Bird Club.) We’re also very excited to introduce the new Sunset Supper Walks.

Upcoming Day Walks

Walks are on the last Sunday of the month, with the exception of December.

  • 25 September: Birds (starts 07:30 meet at the entrance)
  • 30 October: Fynbos (starts 08:00 meet at the Oak Café)
  • 27 November: Indigenous Trees (starts 08:00 meet at the Oak Café)
  • 18 December: Birds (starts 07:00 meet at the entrance)

Walks last about 2 hours, are in the lower area of the reserve and therefore not strenuous. Wear comfortable shoes, bring a sun hat and something to drink.


Upcoming Night Walks

Held on the Saturday closest to the new/full moon. Cars may be parked inside.

  • 01 October: New Moon (meet at the entrance at 19:00)
  • 12 November: Full Moon (meet at the entrance at 19:15)
  • December: Full Moon (meet at the entrance at 19:45)

Walks last approximately around 2 hours. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a torch.


Sunset Supper Walks

There will be a gradual climb to the bench at the top of Leopard’s Loop, so a moderate level of fitness is required.

  • 15 October: Sunset walk (meet at the entrance at 17:30)
  • 19 November: Sunset walk (meet at the entrance at 18:00)

Wear comfortable shoes; bring a supper snack and torch. Back in the parking area by 21:00 at the latest.


If you would like to join us for one of these walks, please book at the Visitor Centre in the reserve: R20 per adult, R10 per scholar.

If you are not a member of the Friends, you are also required to pay the normal entry fee to the reserve when booking – R20 for adults, R10 for seniors and R10 for children aged 3 to 17 years.

Payment in cash please. Regret no telephone or on line bookings.

Should a walk have to be cancelled, due to weather conditions or for any other reason, participants will be advised and the booking fee will be refunded.

The Visitor Centre is open daily from 10:00 to 16:00

Telephone: 021 851 4060




walks for 2016

WESSA Talks for 2016


WESSA, Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (Hottentots Holland Branch) have some really interesting talks coming up in the next few months!

Sunday 14 August 2016
Join WESSA HH and Horticulturist Richard Arm for an inspirational walk through Vergelegen’s acclaimed International Camellia Garden of Excellence.Tour departs from the Stables restaurant at 10h00.
Normal gate fees applicable.

7:30pm, Somerset West Library Hall
All Welcome

Entrance Fee R10
Includes Raffle & Refreshments

Wed 17 Aug 2016
An Illustrated talk by Hayley-May Wittridge
Abundant regrowth of the Fynbos in the Helderberg Nature
Reserve after the removal of the Pines

Wed 21 Sep 2016
An Illustrated talk by Patrick Dowling
WESSA Celebrating 90 Years of Caring for the Earth

Wed 19 Oct 2016
An Illustrated talk by Roger Smith
Excavating dinosaur breeding grounds in Southern Patagonia.

Wed 16 Nov 2016
An Illustrated talk by David Davidson
South Africa wins its 34th Gold Medal at the Chelsea Flower Show

For more information, contact Freya Brett:
082 708 1016 or 021 851 6951

Julie Nuusblad 2016 (Afrikaans)

Hoogtepunte, Uitdagings en Vooruitsigte

Nuusbrief Julie 2016 email

Newsletter July 2016 email


July Newsletter 2016 (English)

Highlights, Challenges and the Way Forward

For a great read, click here! Newsletter July 2016 email

Newsletter July 2016 email

The Aliens in Retreat: ‘The sunny chill of winter’


‘A Chronicle of Helderberg Hackery’

It was a beautiful Western Cape winter’s day. The sun was shining in blue skies, but the cold breeze kept things just on the wrong side of comfortable. Continuing our attack above the reservoir in the burnt pine plantation, we targeted mostly Port Jackson……


hack newsletter image



The Aliens in Retreat!

Seventeen Honours students from Stellenbosch University’s Department of Botany ad Zoology joined us for this hack. Along with professor Sophie von der Heyden and her daughter Helene, they made fantastic inroads into the alien vegetation.

Regular hackers were Erika Dau, Lisa Figenschou, Ryan Verrezen, Margie Humphris, Megan Lane, Jenny Lawrence, John McNaughtDavis, Dora Wolhuter and James Silberbauer.

From Stellenbosch were Brian Du Preez, Celeste de Kock, Anni Basson, Richelle Brink, Hendre van Rensburg, Melissa Schulze, Nicolene Hellstroom, Sian Seymour, Tilly Randle, Reece Bolus, JC Bothma, Mizpah Hoffman, Kyle Kulenkampff, Stefaan Di Leva, Michelle Fourie, Kayla Killina, Megan Dreyer, professor Sophie von der Heyden and Helene von der Heyden.

For more Hacking news, click on the link below!


hack newsletter


Thank you!

A big shout out to the Stellenbosch University honours students from the Biology department, who joined The Friends of the Helderberg for the hack on Saturday (14 May).
17 students plus Prof Sophie von der Heyden (and her daughter) joined the regular hack team.

The focus of the hacks at the moment is the removal of new alien vegetation growing where the controlled burn was carried out last year at the Helderberg Nature Reserve. The area was scattered with protea seeds and these plants, as well as others from the existing seed bank are slowly getting established. The alien seedlings are however racing ahead to take over the area.

Our regular hacks attempt to control the alien plants, giving the fynbos the time and space to settle in. If you are interested in joining these monthly Saturday morning hacks, keep an eye on our website or facebook page for details, or contact James Silberbauer at for more information. You don’t need any special skills – just a willingness to help protect our beautiful Reserve.

Honours students from the University of Stellenbosch Biology Department.

Honours students from the University of Stellenbosch Biology Department.

April Hack News

For more information about the April hack, click here!



Weekend Hack – 14 May 2016

Please join us at this weekend’s hack. We’re going to tackle seedlings, so if you have a weeding implement or an old
screwdriver, please bring it along.

On Saturday 14 May at 8:00am.
Meet behind the Mike Woods Environmental Education Centre.
Dress for scratchy bush – tough clothing with long sleeves and long trousers are recommended.

We supply saws, loppers, tree poppers and herbicide. You’re welcome to bring your own equipment if you like.
We have several pairs of sturdy gloves, but bring your own if you prefer.

The hack usually lasts about two and a half hours.
We will have a break during the hack and refreshments will be provided.