Gamkaberg: where the lion retreated, so humanity might prosper

We are fortunate in the Western Cape. The land forever heightens our sense of exploration with its expanses and its wilderness. And with the Gamkaberg Nature Reserve in the Little Karoo, we need not go far to find a place with such space and detachment.

The brooding Gamkaberg, together with the equally mysterious Rooiberg, appear to have been laid down as one over the lowlands of the Little Karoo. The Gamka is therefore a range in isolation and its name is derived from the Khoisan, gami, meaning lion, where the Cape Lion – now extinct – once so successfully wondered here.

As the humans approached, so the lions withdrew so humanity could prosper. The Gamkaberg Nature Reserve, now a World Heritage Site, was established in 1974 to conserve a small, remnant herd of endangered Cape mountain zebra. They numbered just five in 1976 but, fortunately, focused conservation initiatives, involving resettling of animals into private and national nature reserves, helped their numbers increase.

The reserve is open daily from 7h30 to 16h00. Day visitors can browse the information centre, enjoy finding their way through the labyrinth, take short hikes and use the picnic or braai facilities. The reserve is ideally suited to those seeking some peace and tranquility.

Video by The Good Holiday

How to get there
From Cape Town: take the N1 from Cape Town north towards Worcester for 110km. Turn right on to the R60 at Worcester, continuing on the road as it becomes the R62. Follow this road until you see the sign to turn right for the Gamkaberg Nature Reserve. Your entire trip will be about 400km. Please note that the directions given on Google Maps are incorrect. The main entrance to Gamkaberg Nature Reserve and the Info Centre is at the northern entrance at GPS co-ordinates: 33 40 17.51 S,   21 53 18.37 E

Download directions to Gamkaberg Nature Reserve here

Download the Gamkaberg map and brochure here.

Download: The Klein Karoo Birdlist

Reserve office hours: 07h30 – 16h00
Reserve office phone number: +27 (0)44 213 3367
Accommodation and permit bookings Tel: +27 (0)21 483 0190