Bontebok National Park near Swellendam

The Bontebok National Park is an extraordinary conservation success story.

In the early 1800s three landowners recognised that Bontebok were about to become extinct – they could only identify 17 – and so they set aside part of their land as a reserve. In 1931 the first Bontebok National Park was established near Bredasdorp and later moved to the current location. There are now believed to be c.3,000 Bontebok in existence, and c.200 are in this park near Swellendam. The Breede River, which runs through the Park, was wide and calm on our visit.

The Breede River
The Breede River
The Breede River
The Breede River
The Bontebok National Park, looking towards the Langeberg Mountains
The Bontebok National Park, looking towards the Langeberg Mountains

We enjoy walking in the UK and Europe and visited the Park to walk The Aloe Trail. We parked in a designated car park and set off. Do not expect UK or French waymarking, or an ordnance survey map – just use your common sense when following the photocopy map (possibly illegible) which you will be given at the entrance when you buy your day ticket!

The Aloe Trail, Bontebok National Park

Bontebok National Park

The Aloe Trail, Bontebok National Park

The aloes on The Aloe Trail

The aloes on The Aloe Trail, Bontebok Park

The aloes on The Aloe Trail, Bontebok National Park

The Aloe Trail, Bontebok National Park

The Aloe Trail, Bontebok National Park

And more aloes!
And more aloes!

The trail leads to the Lang Elsie’s Kraal Rest Camp with views over the river. I would love to return and spend a few nights here – I can imagine the sound of frogs in the evening, or even silence. The trail passes the site of Lang Elsie’s Kraal and then leads up the hill with lovely views to the Langeberg Mountains from the top. There are interesting plants and flowers on top of the hill (including the paintbrush plant) before the path heads downwards again to the Breede River.

The Bontebok National Park
The Langeberg Mountains, seen from the Bontebok National Park

Aloe Trail, Bontebok National Park

Bontebok National Park

March Lilies in the Bontebok National Park (http://elephantseyegarden.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/march-lilies-amaryllis-belladonna.html)

Unknown yellow flowers in The Bontebok National Park

16-2-18 Bontebok National Park LR-9509

The Breede River in The Bontebok National Park

The Breede River in The Bontebok National Park

Down at river level at the Rest Camp comes into view again and from this point the loop around the hill is completed and we returned to the car park via the same path on which we set out.

The Lang Elsie Rest Camp in The Bontebok National Park

Bontebok National Park

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The Breede River Valley

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