A historical gem in the Jonkershoek valley
Please note the picnic area at Assegaaibosch Nature Reserve is currently undergoing a tourism upgrade and will be closed until further notice (updated 29 May 2017).
Assegaaibosch is a small nature reserve in the Jonkershoek valley. It is about 9km from Stellenbosch, and 204 hectares in size. The reserve lies next to the Eerste River, which forms the northern boundary and extends up the north-eastern slope of Stellenbosch Mountain, which forms the southern boundary. Along with Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, Assegaaibosch is a World Heritage Site.
The Jonkershoek valley was occupied by white settlers when Simon van der Stel granted a number of freeholds in 1692. The Assegaaibosch homestead was built around 1792. Over the years, the farm changed hands a number of times. The huge old oak trees were planted by Wouter Eduard Wium, who was granted the land by Lord Charles Somerset in 1817, with the special proviso that he plant oaks in the area. In 1893, the land next to Assegaaibosch was used to establish a trout hatchery.
By the early twentieth century, Assegaaibosch had become quite rundown. In 1960, the Cape Provincial Administration purchased Assegaaibosch, and the house was renovated. It is now a national monument and is used as a guest house.
The sturdy stone trout-hatching house also still stands today, although trout is no longer bred here, as it is an exotic species. CapeNature uses the property as a conservation station. The original hatching house is a national monument.
To find out more, download the Assegaaibosch and Jonkershoek Map & Brochure (2015).
How to get there
From Cape Town: Take the N2 highway out of Cape Town towards Stellenbosch. Take exit 33 for Baden Powell Drive towards the R310/Stellenbosch/Macassar. Turn right onto Polkadraai Road/R310 and follow the road. It becomes Adam Tas Street. Turn right onto Langstraat-Suid Road and continue onto Helshoogte Road. Turn right onto Simonsberg Road and at the roundabout take the first exit onto Martinson Road. Continue onto Jonkershoek Road and follow the signs until your reach the reserve entrance.
GPS: 33 96 76.62S 18 92 76.89E
Office hours: 08:00–16:30
Tel: +27 (0)21 866 1560
Emergency tel: +27 (0)82 467 0405
Accommodation and permit bookings Tel: +27 (0)21 483 0190
*Please note the Manor House is closed until further notice.
The charming Assegaaibosch Manor House is a national monument, built in traditional Cape Dutch style. Visitors will be stepping back into history, but doing it in style. The two-bedroomed house has been refurbished, with a recently renovated bathroom and kitchen area, and a comfortable dining and lounge area.
The stately self-catering guesthouse is surrounded by 180-year-old oak trees and has a thatched roof, yellowwood beams and wooden floors. The house sleeps up to six people.
Bathroom: Hot-water shower
Kitchen: Fully equipped with electric appliances
Bedding, linen and towels: Yes
Fireplace: Outside braai
Disabled access: Wheel-chair friendly
Pets welcome: No
*Please note that Assegaaibosch picnic area will be closed on 7, 8, 9 and 10 February 2017 due to a film shoot. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Assegaaibosch is a popular picnicking area, so we suggest you get there early to avoid disappointment! Visitors are allowed on a first-come-first-served basis, and numbers are limited to 60 people per day.
The Assegaaibosch Nature Reserve has varied habitats, from steep mountain ridges, cliffs, ravines and spurs, to the almost-level Jonkershoek valley floor. This allows richly diverse plant and animal species to thrive here.
Two main vegetation types, mountain fynbos and riparian forest, occur on the reserve. The forest is restricted to the banks of the Eerste River and adjoining streams. The reserve has many small mammals, such as the red-sided skink, the striped mouse and the mongoose, but visitors will struggle to spot them within the area’s dense vegetation.
Assegaaibosch is also home to many types of frogs, lizards and insects. The leopard is the largest predator in the area. Its spoor can occasionally be seen on hiking trails after rain, but it is highly unlikely that you will encounter this wary predator.
Avid birders will enjoy the 135 species in the area, including large raptors such as black eagles, as well as kingfishers, sugarbirds, orange-breasted sunbirds and protea seed-eaters.
Adjacent to Jonkershoek, the 204 hectare Assegaaibosch Nature Reserve is a stone’s throw from Cape Town.
Filming is permitted at the 10kilometre circular gravel road to the Jonkershoek valley, the Assegaaibosch river and the picnic area.
See the video below for Assegaaibosch’s filming options:
It is amazing!
How do you want to get involved?
Bookings are processed through our Call Centre during office hours Monday to Friday 07h30 to 16h30 and Saturday 08h00 until 12h00 noon (CAT).
Our friendly tourism booking officers will take you through the booking process and answer all enquiries.