Rocherpan Nature Reserve: the perfect escape for nature lovers

Posted on 2 January 2019

Located 25 kilometres north of Velddrif on the Cape West Coast, the accommodation at Rocherpan overlooks a large natural pan and makes a brilliant weekend escape for nature lovers. Birders, in particular, will love the array of waterfowl and I was quite content to spend mornings glued to my binoculars in the well-located hides. In total, 183 species of birds have been recorded in the reserve, but it’s possibly best known as home to one of the largest populations of Cape shovellers (a kind of duck).

Aside from birding, visitors to the reserve have access to miles of beach – part of a marine protected area that extends 500 metres out to sea along the length of the reserve – and you’d be missing out if you didn’t pack a picnic and head out for a long meander across the sand.

There are four one-room units, with room dividers separating the bedroom from the lounge area. The lounge has a sleeper couch, but realistically these units are best suited to couples or families with very young kids. The best units are Oystercatcher and Flamingo, which face the pan, and I’d ask if they’re available when booking. The cottages are fully equipped for self-catering, but there are no shops in the reserve so you’ll need to drive south to Velddrif if you’ve forgotten anything; pack carefully.

Why we like Rocherpan Nature Reserve

What’s not to like? The new cottages are environmentally friendly as well as stylish and comfortable. The beach is deserted and the environment is overflowing with life – look out for the beautiful boomslang (a poisonous snake, so be cautious) that lives in the fig tree outside the reception office.

Need to know about Rocherpan Nature Reserve

The eco-friendly units have interior long-drop, composting toilets. These don’t smell at all and have minimal impact on the environment, but some visitors may take a while to get used to the idea of not flushing. CapeNature is planning to construct a number of two-room family units during 2013.

What it costs to stay at Rocherpan Nature Reserve

R1190 a unit a night during peak season and R850 out of season (one to two people), children under 12 are R170 extra. There are also larger units that cost R1770 during peak season and R990 off-peak (one and two people) and R195 peradditional person  (max 6). There is a R40 conservation fee for non-Wild Card holders (

Contact details for Rocherpan Nature Reserve

Tel 021-483-0190, email [email protected],

Looking for more places to stay in the Cape West Coast? Check out Getaway Accomodation.

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