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Rocherpan Nature Reserve

Rocherpan Nature Reserve



+27 (0) 21 483 0190



Poaching Hotline:

+27 (0) 8600 10111


Size:  914 ha / 9.14 km2

Nearest major city:  Cape Town (2h approx by car)

Big Five:  No


  • - Great for birding
  • - Excellent eco-friendly accommodation with direct access to the bird hides
  • - Good for wild flower viewing in the spring

Rocherpan Nature Reserve lies 25 kilometres north of Velddrif on the Cape west coast, and is an easy weekend getaway from Cape Town. The reserve, which was established in 1967, consists largely of a seasonal vlei which is usually dry between March and June. The adjacent section of the Atlantic Ocean was declared a marine reserve in 1988.

As farmer Pierre Rocher arrived in this area in 1839 to improve 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. Even though this was inadvertent, a perfect habitat for water birds of all descriptions was created. The Papkuils (bulrush) River rises 25km away in Piketberg. When full, the pan is less than two metres deep, covers 110 hectares and is just over six kilometres long.

In 1966, Rocherpan was established as a nature reserve and, as if by way of celebration, every spring the reserve is covered in a mass of wild flowers and all are invited. 

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