Rocherpan BLOG 02
Rocherpan Nature Reserve

Map of Reserve area

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

Where to Stay

What to Do

Follow Rocherpan’s jeep track for an adventurous tour of the nature reserve. Please bring your own bike, as none are available for hire from the reserve.
Rocherpan has two picnic areas where you can relax and enjoy the area’s natural beauty. You can either picnic at the new braai area behind the bird hides or at the lookout point near the beach. Entry into the reserve is R50 per adult and R30 per child.
Only shore angling is allowed within the Rocherpan marine protected area.  The reserve does not issue permits for angling. Please buy your permit at the closest post office. The angling permit must be shown at reception.

Rocherpan is perfect for birders. The combination of land, vlei and sea provides ample breeding and feeding habitats for a variety of birds. A total of 183 species have been recorded, of which about 70 are water birds. White pelicans and greater and lesser flamingos, all of which are endangered, are often seen at Rocherpan. Ostriches also live on the flats surrounding the vlei.

Rocherpan is one of the Cape shoveller’s most important breeding and moulting sites. The reserve provides a sanctuary for Southern Africa’s second-rarest coastal bird, the African black oystercatcher.

Rocherpan has three bird hides. Two are located on the South-western side of the vlei, and one is on the North-western side. Fetch a bird list and map from the reserve main office or download the bird list here.

Walking and Hiking

Rocherpan has two short hiking trails, one along the beach and one along the vlei. Both offer stunning views and the chance to see the area’s rich birdlife. There are two well-laid hiking paths through the reserve. Both are relatively easy walks  taking no longer than four hours each.

Easy to use trail maps for these hiking trails created by Forge can be downloaded here.

Permits

Permits may be purchased for R50 per adult and R30 per child at the reserve office or  through CapeNature Central Reservations.

Trail preparation

  • Wear comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat.
  • Do not hike alone.
  • Carry enough food and water with you.
  • Make sure you know what the weather conditions are before you depart.
  • Take a warm jacket/raincoat in winter.
  • Make sure you have a relevant map of the area.
  • Take a field medical kit with you for emergencies.
  • Obey all signage.
  • Stay in a group and on the trails.

Rocherpan Trail

Trail distance: 9km

Estimated time: 3–4 hours return

This is a gentle walk along the pan. The soils harden as you make your way across the reserve. Start early in summer, as the day heats up quickly.

Beach Trail

Trail distance: 7km

Estimated time: 3 hours return

This is a lovely walk to the lookout point and back along the beach. We recommend you take a picnic basket to enjoy at the point. In summer, it is best to hike early in the morning to  avoid the midday heat.

Swimming is permitted in the ocean. No swimming in the vlei. There is a swimming pool next to the eco-cabins which is available to overnight guests. The surrounding area has benches and tables to relax at, while there is a children's play area adjacent.
Southern right whales are often seen in the marine reserve and along the coast between June and November. These majestic creatures enjoy the warm water after migrating from icy Antarctica. Dolphins are also spotted from the beach.

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 waterbirds, 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.


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

Please Note: Bird spotting on the reserve is highly dependent on the water in the pans. Thus, not guaranteed.

General information

Office hours: 08:00–16:30

Tel: +27 (0)87 087 4177

Emergency number: +27 (0)67 412 9922

Accommodation and permit bookings Tel: 087 087 8250

What Our Guests Say

Rocherpan is the most amazing getaway. Your staff are exceptional there, and the welcome we received from Josh and Janine was outstanding. We love the fact that the reserve is almost completely self-sustaining, and the design and build of the accommodation is such that in the height of summer you don't feel the heat and in the depth of winter the units are warm. Kudos to the team who designed and did this work.
James King 24 Aug 2023
We loved our stay at Rocherpan and would love to come back.
Elsabe Birkenmayer 3 Sep 2023
Very clean, wonderful staff. Excellent accommodation.
Egbert van der Straaten 1 Sep 2023
Had a great experience, thank you!
14 Jun 2023
Wonderful experience. Very neat and clean. The hot tub was amazing. The unit is very well equipped. We had a wonderful time. Thank you!
14 Jun 2023
Hike around the pan is very nice and well marked. Amazing sunsets.
Joy van Biljon 13 Jul 2023
The friendliness of all staff made it that much more pleasant.
Noel Carr 13 Jul 2023
Tariffs

Self-catering accommodation starting from R970.

See Tariffs
Conservation Fees

Adults

Day Access = R50; Overnight fee = R40

Children

Day Access = R30; Overnight fee = R20

Book Now
What our guests say
Rocherpan Review 7, 24 Aug 2023
Rocherpan is the most amazing getaway. Your staff are exceptional there, and the welcome we received from Josh and Janine was outstanding. We love the fact that the reserve is almost completely self-sustaining, and the design and build of the accommodation is such that in the height of summer you don't feel the heat and in the depth of winter the units are warm. Kudos to the team who designed and did this work.
Rocherpan Review 6, 03 Sep 2023
We loved our stay at Rocherpan and would love to come back.
Rocherpan Review 5, 01 Sep 2023
Very clean, wonderful staff. Excellent accommodation.
Rocherpan Review 4, 14 Jun 2023
Had a great experience, thank you!
Rocherpan Review 3, 14 Jun 2023
Wonderful experience. Very neat and clean. The hot tub was amazing. The unit is very well equipped. We had a wonderful time. Thank you!
Rocherpan Review 2, 13 Jul 2023
Hike around the pan is very nice and well marked. Amazing sunsets.
Rocherpan Review 1, 13 Jul 2023
The friendliness of all staff made it that much more pleasant.
Send us your review
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World Wetlands Day 2024
23 Sep 2023
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