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Phillipskop Mountain Reserve
Conservation Area
Habitat Reserve
7km east of Stanford, Overberg, Western Cape, South Africa
-34.40843, 19.52498



Phillipskop lies on the southern slopes of the Klein River Mountains, just outside Stanford in the Overberg. It conserves 246 ha of fynbos in the florally rich Cape Floristic Region. Over 900 species of plant have been recorded on the reserve, as well as numerous animals including Black Harrier, Cape Leopard and Montane Marsh frog.

The reserve is predominantly on the quartzitic rocks of the Table Mountain Series, reaching an altitude of 575m at the highest point. The main vegetation is Overberg Sandstone Fynbos, classified as Critically Endangered. The reserve is also home to Phillipskop Cave, a heritage site of high local significance due to the presence of rock art, which is very rare in the Overberg.

A variety of trails have been laid out on the reserve to help residents in the self-catering accommodation and day visitors to explore. A longer route over the mountains connects the towns of Stanford and Tesselaarsdal via the Haarkapper Hiking Trail.

The reserve is run by Phillipskop Discovery Trails, a Christian company. Its role is to encourage people to grow in their understanding of and interaction with the flora and fauna that is unique to the Cape region of South Africa. While the company has a Christian foundation, the accommodation and activities welcome all individuals regardless of race, creed or gender.


Conservation & Community Highlights:

  1. Over 900 species of native plants have been recorded on the reserve, of which over 50 are of conservation concern (listed on Red List of South African Plants)
  2. A range of fauna has also been recorded: 117 birds, 24 mammals, 23 reptiles, 10 amphibians. Highlights include Black Harrier, Cape Leopard, Cape-rock Elephant Shrew, and Montane Marsh Frog
  3. Phillipskop Cave is a gazetted heritage site (Grade IIIA, High Local Significance)
  4. Provides access for locals and tourists to the eastern Klein River Mountains. A number of hiking trails are available on the reserve, as well as being the starting point for the longer Haarkapper Hiking Trail over to Tesselaarsdal. Self-catering accommodation is available for booking.
  5. Working with A Rocha SA and CCSA to promote conservation from a Christian perspective.


Future Aims:

  1. Collaboration with neighbouring landowners as part of a floristic survey of the whole Klein River Mountain range
  2. Ongoing alien clearing on our own land
  3. Explore collaboration with neighbouring properties regarding access and conservation
  4. Engagement with other Christian organisations to promote environmental conservation as part of their work
  5. Botanical survey work and conservation advice in the area


Images provided.