Anysberg Nature Reserve May 16th, 2013
Anysberg Nature Reserve lies in the Klein Karoo between Ladismith, Laingsburg, Touwsrivier and Montagu, and is approximately four hours drive from Cape Town. The reserve offers the visitor some of the most striking scenery in the Karoo as well as fascinating animals and plants and various recreational activities.
Anysberg Nature Reserve was established in 1988 in order to conserve the local veldtype and to eventually re-introduce game species which historically occurred in this region. Various properties, between 1996 and 2001 were purchased by Leslie Hill Succulent Trust or donated to WWF, and the reserve now comprises an area of 62 500 ha. The landscape alternates from gently undulating terrain and Karoo plains to rugged mountains with steep gorges. The Anys, Touws and Prins Rivers, tributaries of the Gouritz river system, flow through the reserve.
Anysberg lies within the Cape fold mountains and the vegetation is transitional between mountain fynbos and typical Klein Karoo veld. The plant life ranges from eye-catching succulents to impressive stands of proteas which occur at higher altitudes.
Mammals include steenbok, duiker, gemsbok, red hartebeest, the endangered Cape mountain zebra and numerous other small, shy species. Leopard roam the mountains. Other notable carnivores include black-backed jackal and caracal. Bird-watchers will find this an interesting locality, with approximately 180 bird species having been recorded. Reptiles are represented by five species of tortoise, boomslang, Cape cobra, puff adder and various other snakes and lizards.
Numerous archaeological sites are dotted over the reserve. Bushman paintings depicting scenes from the past and ruins dating from the late 1700s are reminders of the early hunters, farmers and herders who inhabited the area.
Anysberg offers the visitor a choice of several recreational activities. Hikers are most welcome to explore the reserve, although at present no formal trails exist. A two-day guided horse trail with a comfortable overnight stop is an ideal way to see the remote areas of the reserve. Mountain bikers may use the jeep tracks which traverse the reserve. Mountain bikes can be rented from the office.
Visitors can also go Kayaking on the dam on Anysberg - Kayaks can be rented at the office.
Environmental education programmes are available for organised groups, either as a day visit or as a weekend camp. A maximum of 20 pupils accompanied by two teachers may be accommodated.
Five small cottages are available for hire, accommodating 21 people in total. There is no electricity (Solar Lighting), but the cottages are fully equipped with cutlery, crockery, towels and bedding and the units are provided with candles, gas fridges and cooking facilities. Visitors should bring their towels. Cottages must be vacated by 10am on the day of departure. Campers and caravanners may camp on the lawn near the office complex at Vrede. Ablution and braai facilities are provided for the cottages and campers. Firewood may be purchased on the reserve.