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.
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
David Brammage, Nov 24, 2016 - Gamkaberg Nature Reserve
Congratulations to the team at Gamkaberg Nature Reserve. We recently had a wonderful stay in the luxury tented Soetdoring Camp, where every detail was catered for. A great deal of thought and effort has obviously gone into ensuring a comfortable, eco-friendly, off the grid experience. The staff were very friendly and attentive without being at all intrusive. A walk up the gorge was recommended, and was certainly a highlight of our stay; we spent over an hour just watching and being watched by a large troop of baboons, not to mention the prolific bird and other wild life.
Well done to a dedicated team.
Thank you for this experience, we strongly recommend a stay there, and will be back ourselves.
Ken McKenzie, Aug 28, 2016 - Gamkaberg Nature Reserve
I write to say thank you to Tom Barry (Manager), Tom Horne (Duty Officer) and the staff for a beautiful and well-maintained Reserve which provided me with the three days of solitude I was looking for. Ou Kraal on top of the mountain was a treat. I had the place entirely to myself. Facilities were simple yet perfectly adequate. I had gone up fully equipped and was surprised to find pots, kettle, braai grid, water and decent work surfaces in the lapa area (which also proved rain-proof when the rain set in on my second night). I will certainly return, this time with my wife, and try out one of the Eco-Lodges for a touch of luxury.
Cees Kramer, London, Mar 28, 2015 - Gamkaberg Nature Reserve
We were very impressed by Gamkaberg. A beautiful park, friendly and well informed staff, clean facilities, plus hardly anybody there. Which is both a blessing, and a bit of a shame as the park offers lovely walks which are very well signed and maintained. We were looking for a good place to walk whilst staying in Oudtshoorn, and found Gamkaberg almost by chance on the internet. It is ca 30 km away from Oudtshoorn and well worth the drive.
Barbara Ikin, Feb 4, 2015 - Gamkaberg Nature Reserve
We have visited Gamkaberg about 15 times in the last six years. This time we were a large group staying at Tierkloof, Soetdoring and the Stables. As usual it was comfortable, exciting, clean, spectacular - Gamkaberg truly remains one of the gems of Cape Nature. Congratulations to Tom and every one of his team.
12 remote camps and cottages around South Africa - Getaway Magazine, Nov 6, 2014 - Gamkaberg Nature Reserve
[…] restio reeds and delicate pink proteas line the road into the heights of Gamkaberg Nature Reserve. A steep ascent at the beginning of the hour-and-a-half drive from the gate sets the tone from the […]
jackie anderson, Oct 27, 2014 - Gamkaberg Nature Reserve
Spending the weekend in Gamkaberg was so amazing. The facilities are the cleanest I have ever experienced. The staff must be commended for their high standard of service. Gamkaberg is the feather in CapeNature's cap and a secret gem of the Karoo.
Kobus en Lizet van der Merwe, Oct 3, 2014 - Gamkaberg Nature Reserve
This is a beautiful tented camp. Very well planned and laid out for maximum privacy and soaking in the wonderful vegetation and golden hills. Very comfortable and environmentally friendly. Stay a few days to relax and to enjoy utter peace. Staff very helpful and ample opportunities for hiking and bird watching. Thanks Cape Nature!
Rod Taverner, Aug 6, 2014 - Gamkaberg Nature Reserve
We found the Tierkloof to be excellent in all ways, it was a treat to experience outstanding facilities with helpful staff.
we were only able to do the down/return hike due to some difficulties on our part however it lived up to our expectations.
We will return to do the full two day as soon as possible.
Morton Hubbe, May 7, 2014 - Gamkaberg Nature Reserve
Camping at Gamkaberg is the best experience we had in a long time. Friendly and very enthusiastic personnel welcomed us and even showed us our camping place and the facilities available. accommodating our every need was a pleasure for them. The facilities was kept clean and the reserve in its totality was a pleasure to hike and stroll around in.
Thank you to Gamkaberg personnel for a great weakened. Please keep this excellent service up.