Rocherpan is a coastal nature reserve teeming with birds and colourful wildflowers.

Please note the pan is currently empty due to the dry conditions in the Western Cape

Rocherpan is a coastal nature reserve teeming with birds and colourful wildflowers. The reserve, which lies 25km north of Velddrif on the Cape West Coast, consists largely of a seasonal vlei that is usually dry between March and June. Rocherpan was established as a nature reserve (930 hectares in size) in 1966, and the adjacent section of the Atlantic Ocean was declared a marine reserve in 1988 (150 hectares in size).

Rocherpan had a fortuitous start, when farmer Pierre Rocher arrived in this area in 1839 looking for improved summer grazing for his livestock. Rocher and his workers closed off the mouth of Papkuils River, forcing it to flow behind the dunes that separate the sandveld from the sea. This inadvertently created a perfect habitat for water birds, and the local species have thrived ever since. Along the coast you’ll see the rare and endangered black oystercatcher, the kelp gull and the Cape shoveller.

Rocherpan currently has eight eco-cabins available to be booked for accommodation, with the four newest cabins having just opened. Click here to download a map of the reserve to see where the cabins, pan, beach, and hiking trails are. Please call our reservations office to make your booking.

Video by The Good Holiday

How to get there

Rocherpan lies 25 km north of Velddrif on the coastal road. Velddrif can be reached on the West Coast Road (R27), that starts in Cape Town and takes you through Milnerton before running along the coast through Bloubergstrand, Melkbosstrand and Langebaan.

GPS: 32 36 53.47 S 18 18 6.73 E

General information

Office hours: 08:00–16:30

Tel: +27 (0)79 203 1092
Emergency number: +27 (0)82 070 1873
Accommodation and permit bookings Tel: +27 (0)21 483 0190