Koeberg Nature Reserve mountain bike trails

Posted on 26 June 2013

A nuclear power plant is the last place you’d expect to find herds of eland, springbok and zebra, and a thriving bird life. But Koeberg Nature Reserve, the 3 000 hectares of West Coast strand- and duneveld surrounding the namesake power station is just such a place. Some 30-odd kilometres from Cape Town city centre, it’s the ideal Saturday morning outing.

(Please note: As of 16 October 2014 the Koeberg Nature Reserve has been closed to the public ‘until further notice.’ Please call ahead on 021 550 4021 before making the trip. The reserve was unable to confirm when the trails would again be open to riders).

The ride at Koeberg Nature Reserve

The area is pretty flat, with less than 50 metres of climbing. Riding is a beginner and family affair with well-marked trails ranging from seven to 26 kilometres on graded 4×4 tracks.

The boundary loop in Koeberg Nature Reserve

A favourite among those in the know is the boundary loop. Start at the car park and follow the tar back towards Melkbosstrand. At the Melkbos entrance turn left (east) and trace the fence up towards the N7. Follow it all along the N7, past the Atlantis turnoff until it curves back towards the coast. Pack a picnic lunch in your hydration pack and stop at the bird hide. Spend some time here and you’re likely to spot great white pelican, greater flamingo, African fish-eagle as well as various gulls, herons and egrets.

From here, cruise back to the parking via the middle road. If you are up for a few extra kilometres (and a little bit of sand riding), the right turn down to the beach is well worth it. It’s my favourite stretch of road in the reserve.

What to look out for at Koeberg Nature Reserve

Aside from the various buck you’re just about guaranteed to see, you might spot a caracal or African wildcat.

While scanning ahead and into the scrub along the road, don’t forget to look down! There are a lot of snakes in the reserve and it’s not uncommon to come across the dangerous puffadder, Cape cobra or the nonvenomous mole snake on your ride.

If you’re taking a camera, be warned not to shoot any photographs of the actual power station.

On foot in Koeberg Nature Reserve

If tackling it on a bike isn’t your thing, walk one of the two hiking trails. The Dikkop Trail is a 13-kilometre loop of which two kilometres are on the beach. The Grysbok Trail is much less strenuous and at just under six kilometres, shouldn’t take longer than two hours.

Koeberg Nature Reserve contact details

Koeberg Visitor Centre, tel 021 550 4021, www.eskom.co.za.

 
Words by Tim Brink, editor of Ride magazine.

 






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