What to Do
This nature reserve is home to the majestic Jonkershoek Mountains and parts of the Jonkershoek valley. The reserve, which includes the smaller Assegaaibosch Nature Reserve, lies near the town of Stellenbosch in the south-western Cape. Visitors may choose to explore one or both reserves, as they are in easy reach of each other. The reserves are about 9km from Stellenbosch, on the Jonkershoek valley road.
The rugged Jonkershoek Mountains, which form part of the Boland Mountains, are ideal for hiking enthusiasts. The Eerste, Berg, Lourens and Riviersonderend rivers all start high in these mountains, although only the Eerste River actually flows through the Jonkershoek valley. The area is also rich in animal and plant life, with over 1 100 plant species and a variety of small mammals, birds and reptiles. Hikers should be on the lookout for berg adders, puff adders, boomslang and Cape cobras.
The reserve is about 9 800 hectares, while Assegaaibosch is about 204 hectares. The smaller reserve is home to the historical Assegaaibosch farmstead, a national monument built in 1792, while both reserves are World Heritage Sites.
Jonkershoek is hot in summer, and cold and wet in winter. Visitors in the colder months may even see snow dusting the higher mountain peaks. Hikers should note that weather conditions can change rapidly.
To find out more, download the Jonkershoek Map & Brochure below.
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 57 48.70 S 18 55 31.98 E
Winter: (1 May – 31 August) Includes May, Jun, Jul, Aug:
08:00 – 16:00.
Summer: (1 September - 30 April) Includes Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr:
07:00 – 16:00
18:00 (everyone is expected to have exited by then).
Hiking trails have daily cut-off times to ensure that clients can access, safely hike and exit on time.
- Waterval 1 and 2: No access after 14:00
- Swartboskloof and Panorama: No access after 10:00
- Sosyskloof: No access after 12:00
- Exit: 18:00
Please note that we have limited parking space in the reserve. We can only accommodate 20 cars at a time, first come first serve principle is practised at the entrance gate.
Office number: 087 087 4118
Permits can be pre-purchased for the Jonkershoek hiking trails via the MTO website or at the MTO gate on the day. Trail capacities are still in place, and we urge visitors to pre-book.
Picnicking and hiking from R50 per day. A maximum of 60 people are allowed per day for picnicking.
Jonkershoek Nature Reserve Filming
There are various filming options in the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, including:
- 10 km circular gravel road to the valley
- Assegaaibosch River
- Picnic Area