A historical gem in the Jonkershoek valley
Please note that Assegaaibosch Nature Reserve will be closed until the end of June 2021 to allow recovery time after the recent devastating fires in the area. This includes the entire Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, including the burnt CapeNature Properties behind Banhoek, Bergriverdam and surroundings, including all hiking and picnic areas.
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 Jonkershoek Nature Reserve (incorporating Assegaaibosch Nature Reserve) brochure and map.
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: 08h00–16h30
Gate times: 08h00 – 18h00
Office number: 087 087 4118
Permit bookings Tel: 087 087 8250
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:
[…] Assegaaibosch Nature Reserve […]
[…] Administrasie en as nasionale monument benoem. Dit word nou as ‘n gastehuis bedryf (lees meer). Die Jonkershoekvallei beslaan omtrent 11,000 hektaar, waarvan 204 aan Assegaaibosch behoort. In […]
It is amazing!
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