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The Bounty of the Beautiful Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy

April 2024

Situated on the slopes of the Bottelary Hills in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, the Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy (BHRC) was founded in 1992 to care for, expand and sustain the large tracts of the estimated remaining 1500 hectares of critically endangered Renosterveld fynbos in its area. These include Swartland Shale Renosterveld (critically endangered), Swartland Granite Renosterveld (critically endangered) and Boland Granite Fynbos (endangered).

Less than 4% of the original Renosterveld in the Western Cape remains and only grows in very rich fertile soils, often replaced with commercial crops. The BHRC has grown its footprint and membership base to 50 private landowners including four WWF Conservation Champions and three Private Nature Reserves.  Members work together to promote conservation through sustainable farming practices, alien invasive clearing, and Renosterveld rewilding projects.   

Easily accessible for day and weekend visitors, the BHRC offers a variety of activities that cater for families, nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts as well as food and wine connoisseurs.

The 130km BHRC mountain bike trail network across working farms and conservation areas crosses farm roads, jeep tracks and numerous single tracks with various routes to cater for all skills and fitness levels.  Riders can now choose if they would like to purchase the local BHRC permit with exclusive access to the BHRC trails.  Annual permits (R900 a main member, R800 for a spouse, R700 for students and pensioners and R600 for juniors) or day permits (R100) are required to access the MTB trails.

The Bottelary Hills MTB Trails have joined the greater Wine Lands Permit which offers unparalleled access to an array of trails with a contribution going towards BHRC.  For more on the regional permit visit  

Holders of BHRC annual permit have free access to the Polkadraai Bike Park.  Spanning an area of 3.5 hectares, the Polkadraai Bike Park caters for riders of all ages and abilities – offering skills and flow trails as well as jump lines and a comprehensive technical zone that caters for all riders from beginners to professionals. The Polkadraai Bike Park is the ideal training destination and provides a great setting for children’s birthday parties. For more information or birthday party bookings, riding schools and other special events contact or follow them on @PolkadraaiBikePark.

The latest member of the BHRC is the Devonbosch Lifestyle development that is home to The GOAT – a world-class bike and trail network to be launched soon.  For more information visit

Two hiking trails through Mooiplaas and Koopmanskloof Private Nature Reserves will spoil visitors with stunning views. Fort Simon and Zevenwacht also offer scenic vineyard walks.  Permits are available from the respective tasting rooms.  Hikes for Koopmanskloof can be booked via at least 48 hours in advance.

Although not open to trail runners, the conservancy has partnered with TrailFun to host a series of trail run events in aid of community development.  The BHRC TrailFun series offers runners and outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to explore a variety of member farms in the beautiful Bottelary Hills in a safe environment.  The rolling hillsides feature vineyards, farmland and Renosterveld conservation areas. Runs are hosted early Saturday mornings with a choice between an entry level 5km or more advanced 10km run, while runners looking for longer routes can run both for 15km or loop for 21km. 

Participants can opt for group starts with prizes for the first three runners across the finish line or enjoy a relaxed start if you prefer no crowds – just solitude in nature.  All runners are timed and will receive a medal with fun lucky draw prizes up for grabs.  Upcoming runs include Vredenheim (27 April), Zevenwacht – dog-friendly run (11 May), Fort Simon (18 May) and Mooiplaas (25 May).  Entries via

The BHRC partners with various organisations to further expand its community and environmental impact.  Regular snare patrols are done in association with the Cape Leopard Trust, while Cape Nature supports the fight against illegal harvesting of critically endangered Renosterveld and Discover Renosterveld undertakes rewilding projects to increase the biodiversity of the Bottelary Hills.  WWF plays a key role in conservation on the WWF Conservation Champion Farms (Mooiplaas, De Morgenzon, Hartenberg and Neethlingshof).

Community development is an important part of the BHRC and initiatives include a youth stewardship programme, the Doen & Leer reading and literacy programme and the Bottelary Hills Mountain Bike Development Program in collaboration with Cycle2Ride that is having a marked impact on the lives of the youth.  The first BHRC development team has been selected to take part in the inter-school cycling competition.  Ongoing cycling training programmes are run at St Vincent Primary, Froggies Aftercare at Devon Valley Primary, Vlottenburg Primary and Pebbles Aftercare.

The Bottelary Hills remains a hidden gem with many generational family-owned wine farms steeped in history located off the beaten track.  Game such as caracal, grysbok, grey duiker, porcupine, bat-eared foxes, cape foxes, honey badgers and genets that still roam naturally in the Bottelary Hills. The endangered Diamondback tortoise as well as more than 110 bird species have been identified. 

For more information visit and follow us on @bottelary_hills_conservancy on Instagram and @BottelaryHillsConservancyMTB on Facebook.