Cape Nature is inviting all its nature-loving, water-conserving, eco-conscious fans to ‘Return to the Source’ with it this summer.

That’s right, we’re talking about water, the revitalising source of all life, carrying nutrients, feeding our bodies and keeping plants and animals alive. In the Western Cape, we’ve been faced with the harsh realities of a two-year drought. We know what it’s like to live without water and have taken on the responsibility of preserving our most precious resource.

Thankfully, the dams are looking good and there should be enough to see the Cape through its dry season (if we all keep up with our water-saving routines). Which is cause for celebration indeed. The best way to do that? Visit the rivers, oceans, and everything water that keeps Cape Nature reserves alive.

From waves crashing onto rocky headlands at Robberg Nature Reserve to luxury glamping and splash pools at Gamkaberg, there is no end of refreshing experiences to enjoy. Cape Nature puts together a list of its Top 3 to try in the Garden Route and Klein Karoo regions.

1. Take a dip under a blanket of stars at Anysberg



The diverse region of the Klein Karoo is known to be dry, but guests at Anysberg stay in cottages that have access to a private pool right on their doorstep – perfect for star-gazing and midnight swims.

If you’re planning a day visit, you can rent a kayak and cruise down one of the Gouritz River system tributaries. This region is home to three biomes and is known as a global biodiversity hotspot – which is supported by the rivers that flow (and sometimes just trickle) through the area.

2. Discover Goukamma’s marine safehaven

Think 16.5-km of untouched coastline, with sandy shores, rocky outcrops and an abundant array of indigenous and endemic animal, bird and fish-life (because this is a protected area).

This is heaven on earth for anyone who feels nourished by the ocean and all her bounty. If you head inland, you’ll find the Groenvlei Lake, which is maintained by rain and springs – pure, fresh water. It’s also one of the very few South African lakes where the largemouth bass lives.

3. Drift down Keurbooms

Paddling down the Keurbooms river is like taking a step back in time. It’s an ancient body of water that has carved its way through to the ocean for many centuries. The views are breathtaking. If you paddle long enough (roughly four hours), you’ll find yourself at Cape Nature’s Whisky Creek cabin in the Knysna Forest.

Pop in to recharge, splash around, dive in or just float by. The conservation teams at Cape Nature’s reserves have been hard at work keeping the water pristine, just for you.

Return to the source. You won’t regret it.

Article written by

Nidha Narrandes

Nidha Narrandes is a food-obsessed travel addict with 21 years of journalism experience. Her motto - Travel. Eat. Repeat. She is happiest on a road to nowhere without a plan. A masterchef at home, she can't do without chilli - because chilli makes the world a tastier place.