Salmonsdam Protected AreaAdministered by Cape Nature, it is a small natural area not far from Stanford in the Western Cape in South Africa. Three trails are available.
The longest mountain route is at the foot of the Perdberg Mountain, and at the top it is said that there is a view of Walker Bay (of course, as you can see Walker Bay from almost anywhere in the protected area) and the rural towns of Caledon and Bradasdorp The second route is the 4 km Rhine Valley via Keeromskloof and small pieces of native forest. The final route is the waterfall route, about 3 km through the thick fins to the waterfalls and back. All three routes have short links so experienced and suitable climbers can complete all three routes in one day.
As a 62-year-old with a very intense diet that includes at least one hour of walking or biokinetics a day, it made sense to do a little walking after 10 weeks of dieting, so we started a beautiful Saturday. Morning to Salmonsdam
We did part of the valley route but returned to where it joins the mountain route. The piece we did was relatively easy, but the next step seemed relatively difficult, although probably not difficult for experienced climbers. The fact that Salmonsdam’s trails are not strongly represented in hiking and related places confirms this assumption. I think if I had a cane I would go further. So we have to go back in some steps.
There are many natural facilities for night camping in the Salonsdam Nature Camp, including several small huts. There is an ablution block and 10 camping sites.
Around the southeastern edge of the reserve there is a “mountain drive”: which leads far to the perimeter and collides with the mountain path. I was expecting to be able to get to the top with a regular vehicle (Mercedes C-Class), but it seems that only 4X4 or maybe 4X2 LUV vehicles can reach the summit easily.
Plants and animals are diverse and this area is a good example of a mountain catchment. We spent a whole morning booking and fully enjoyed the experience. It is often used as an educational site for school children because the catchment area is easily visible. Baboons and other small mammals are often seen in stock. We observed signs of baboons eating freshly opened protea flowers as well as flowers of proteins that bloom just below the surface.
Salmonsdam was named after Captain Robert Salmond of HMS Birkenhead, who sank on February 26, 1852, a few miles from Salmonsdam, killing about 450 sailors and soldiers. From that tragic event came the famous “Women and Children First” and “Birkenhead Drill”.
From Cape Town go to Hermanos at N2 and R43 and then to Stanford at R43. When you enter Stanford, turn left onto Caledon Road (R326). Take the 4.4 km intersection to reach the return lane “Papiesvlei, Elim” on your right. From here, the roads are sand. The condition of the road is not good and caution should be exercised. Travel about 6 km on this pebble road and then turn left on the way back to Salmonsdam. Travel approximately 3.5 km. It passes through the entrance to a property called Beloftebos, 1.5 km from the Salmonsdam Nature Reserve.