Hiking Trails in the Military Nature Reserve

 

HIKING TRIALS

Opening of hiking trials 24 August 1990

The SAS SALDANHA Provincial Nature Reserve Hiking Trails was open by Dr Heydorn and the Officer Commanding of SAS SALDANHA, Captain Crathorne on 24 August 1990.

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Visitors can either walk or use their bicycles to go through the reserve. No cars are allowed in the reserve. Special authority can however be obtained for elderly people to go through the reserve with a guide by vehicle.

Different Routes

Red Route (14.5 km)

This route is the longest and will take a hiker past interesting historical World War 2 buildings, which includes the first military base, bunkers, outlook posts etc. On this route you will also see the natural beauty of the nature reserve which also includes, flowers, birds of prey, small buck, etc. The trail starts at Bomsgat which is significant from a geological point of view. The route will take you past the Levine’s Cottage. This was the holiday cottage of Steven Levine, the writer of the book “The Saldanha Bay Story”. Today the cottage belongs to the SA Navy. On the beach in front of this cottage you will find targets which washed ashore towards the end of the war.  These targets were used to practise the shooting of the canons on Malgaskop and Baviaansberg during the war. When entering the North Bay area you will find many historical buildings. This was the first military base. These buildings were renovated after the war and are used today as military housing.  This route moves away from the sea and cuts between Baviaansberg and Malgaskop after which is goes around the natural saltpans to Long Point.  From Long Point the trail moves past Camp Klossie and then behind the dunes of Danger Bay towards the Shooting Range. You will find many varieties of flower species on this piece of trail during flower season. The trail then proceeds over the top of Moresonkop from where one can get a good perspective of the whole area. The trail then carries on to end at West Gate.

Yellow Route (11km)

This trail starts at the Northbay gate. This is in the area where you will find the first military base, bunkers, outlook posts ect. This route moves away from the sea and cuts between Baviaansberg and Malgaskop after which it goes around the natural saltpans to Long Point. From Long Point the trail moves past Camp Klossie and then behind the dunes of Danger Bay towards the front of the Shooting Range. You will find many varieties of flower species on this piece of trail during flower season. The trail then proceeds to the Shooting Range gate where the trial turns towards the Malgaskop. On this piece of trail one can see the Farm House which was built between 1870 and 1880 as well as many flower species during the flower season. At the foot of Malgaskop the trail turns sharp left towards the West Gate where it ends.

Green Route (9.6 km)

This trail starts at the Northbay gate. This route goes around both Malgaskop and Baviaansberg. The route will take you past WW2 bunkers and outlook posts towards the North Head Light House. The ruins of the first Light House built in 1939, can also be seen.  One can leave the road and keep to the foot paths which leads to the top of Baviaanskop to the World War II buildings.  From this vantage point one can get a good view of the whole area especially the sea entrance to Saldanha Bay.  The trail then goes around the Salt pans to Long Point back past the old farm house to West Gate where its ends. Many flower species can be seen during the flower season.

Blue Route (4 km)

 This is the shortest trail which also starts at Northbay Gate. This cuts between Baviaansberg and Malgaskop after which it goes around Malgaskop to end at West Gate. On this trail one captures the historical World War II buildings and bunkers etc. One can also see flowers in season as well as a number of small buck and birds of prey in the area.

Optional Route

The above-mentioned routes give an indication of the distances involved.  One can however switch from one route to another at any of the intersection points.  Where roads lead past the coastline, a route closer to the sea can be selected following the game paths that skirt the rocky shore.

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Parking

Parking is only allowed in the North Gate area as this is the most suitable for all trails.  Parking is at owner’s risk.

 Trails signs

The trails are marked with coloured route indicator arrows.

SAS SALDANHA and the SANDF neither shall nor be responsible or liable for any loss, damage or personal injury you may suffer by virtue of your presence in any part of SAS SALDANHA Military area.

It is requested only to use the existing trails as it is a sensitive Fauna and Flora area.  Please do not pick any flowers or damage the area.

Gates Closed

The gates close every day at sunset and no one is allowed in the area when the red flag are hoisted at the different gates. This means that military training takes place in the area or shooting takes place at the shooting range. 

Historical places to see

Many historical places in the military area can be seen ie. Block houses, Out look points, First Defence force Base (Sleeping quarters and messes), Two canons during World War 2, Farm house and graves from the 1800’s ect  

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 Compiled by

Edwin Dwyer

Website:               Saldanha Nature and History.co.za

Facebook Page:    Saldanha Nature & History

E-mail address:   saldanhanature@gmail.com

 Contact information

Land line: (022) 714 4821

Cell no:  082 320 0549

 

 

 

 

 

 

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