Run, ride or sip wine to conserve the Bottelary Hills in October


Cape Town, are you ready to run, ride, hike or sip for conservation? If you are keen on getting into nature, read on.

The Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy (BHRC) will be hosting a stellar weekend of vineyard festivities and whatever your preference, there will be something for you.

The BHRC in the Stellenbosch area is a collective, non-profit effort by a group of private landowners to protect the very rare Renosterveld vegetation that has almost disappeared from the earth. The funds generated by annual and daily permits as well as events are mainly used to subsidize the eradication of exotic vegetation. In addition, dedicated community programs and projects address the socio-economic challenges of people living and working on CRBH farms.

“Unlike fynbos, which grows in poor soils, renosterveld grows in very rich fertile soils. As a result, most of it has been replaced by vines and other cash crops. Less than 4% of the original renosterveld remains in the Western Cape, ”says the Conservancy.

“The affected landowners, together with Cape Nature Conservation, have launched a conservation program to protect remaining vegetation, rehabilitate sensitive areas and reintroduce lost species to the area. “

Roll, walk and run to renosterveld

Cycle, hike, sip and taste your way through this off-the-beaten-track destination in the heart of Cape Town’s vineyards.

MTB magic

Mountain bikers have the incredible opportunity to choose the hike of their dreams from among seven self-guided trail routes from different starting points, varying in distance and difficulty levels. The specially marked routes will be open on Saturday 2 October and stretch from 18 km to 36 km through rolling hills, wine trails and unique tracks through the native Renosterveld. One of the brand new single tracks was developed by multiple world triathlon champion Conrad Stoltz. Even if you’ve done trails in the Bottelary area before, there are plenty of new additions to enjoy.

Registrations will be limited to between 50 and 100 runners per site, in accordance with current COVID protocols. Entrance fees are R230 to R250 and include a bottle of wine. Limited entry from Bellevue, Devonvale, Fort Simon, Jordan, Karibib, Neethlingshof and Zevenwacht. Enter www.entryninja.com. Please note that the MTB trails are only open to weekend cyclists on Saturday October 2 and will operate with the normal annual and daily permit system from Sunday October 3.

Pleasure of the trail

Runners will have special access to the new 6.2 km Polkadraai MTB Loop, normally reserved for cyclists, by entering the Smokkel Run from Karabib on Friday evening. Registrations are limited to 100 runners at R220. This is a timed race and all finishers receive a bottle of Smokkelman Red or White of their choice. The race starts at 6.30 p.m. at Somm & Co Karibib Tasting Room with food and wine available to supporters and after the race. Headlamps are mandatory. Enter www.entryninja.com.

Guided hikes

Hikers can explore the 5.6 km and 6.3 km hiking trails of the Mooiplaas and Koopmanskloof wine estates on Sunday, October 3. Both trails offer spectacular 360 degree views of Table Mountain, Cape Peninsula, Stellenbosch, Paarl, Table Bay and False Bay. The hikes will cost R 220 per person and include wine tasting and a bottle of wine. Entrances are limited to 20 from Koopmanskloof and 35 from Mooiplaas. Reserve your spot here.

Wine tours in 4X4

Get a taste of the laid-back local lifestyle as you explore the area from the comfort of a vintage, open-plan 4 × 4 truck equipped with picnic tables on a 4-hour wine adventure on Saturday, October 2. Tickets cost R300 per person and are limited to 24 guests in total.

The wine adventure will take you along wine trails and farm roads between three family estates on the northern slope of the Bottelary Hills. Immerse yourself in the beautiful surroundings and taste award-winning wines at the wineries of Goedehoop, Greenland and Kaapzicht. Trucks will depart from Greenland and Kaapzicht at 10:30 am for the first of three wine tastings before moving on to your second stop and finally meet at the Goedehoop wine estate. Here you can buy something to eat and experience the rustic atmosphere of the farmhouse before your last wine tasting. The trucks will return to the respective starting points at 2:30 p.m. Reserve your spot here.

Game drive and wine tasting

Sit back and relax on a two-hour safari through the 220 hectares of Villiera farm, followed by an informal tasting of a selection of six Cap Classique, white and red wines. The farm includes twelve dams and swampy areas, which attract a wide variety of birds. A number of mammals have been introduced to the wildlife sanctuary, including the springbok, kudu, giraffe, bontebok, elk, gemsbok, black wildebeest, bush pig, Burchell’s zebra, common duiker, steenbuck, waterbuck and grysbok.

Game drives can be booked on Sunday October 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (tasting will take place after) or from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (tasting will take place before the drive at 12:00 p.m.). Fares are R 260 for adults and R 130 for children under 15 with a maximum of six people per vehicle. Reservations via [email protected].

You can consult all CRBH members here

You can buy annual permits here

Photos: Supplied

About Michael Brafford

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