Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area – Serenity in Nature
No nature lover should go past the Breede River Valley without stopping to enjoy the Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area. Situated in the midst of the Groot Winterhoek mountain range, between Tulbagh and Porterville, this stunning natural area features beautiful rock formations and great hiking trails. Roughly 120 kilometers north of Cape Town, it is the perfect spot for a day's outing.
The Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area covers approximately 19,200 hectares which, when combined with the greater Groot Winterhoek conservation area, amounts to 30,608 hectares of protected landscape. Its main role in the ecology of the area is the conservation of mountain fynbos and wildlife. It also provides a clean source of water for surrounding areas and serves as a great outdoor recreation area for the public. One of the main features of the area is the soft sandstone from which much of the rock is formed. This sandstone is easily weathered by the elements and as a result a number of fascinating rock formations are found in the area – so be sure to bring your camera along.
Another great aspect of the area is that is has a number of rock paintings done by the San and Khoi people who once lived in the area. When you combine the rugged beauty of the mountains with the stunning rock formations, beautiful rock paintings and lush vegetation of the area with the abundance of wildlife, you will soon find that the Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area is a truly special recreational destination.
Hikers are given the freedom to leave the well marked trails to explore nearby rock formations and caves. Primitive, low-environmental impact shelters are provided for those who do not wish to carry tents. Of course, respect for the environment and its resident wildlife is crucial, but most visitors are already well aware of this and enjoy their stay immensely. So visit the Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area and make the most of your stay in the Breede River Valley.