Bontebok National Park Travel Guide

Located just outside Swellendam on the N2, the Bontebok National Park is South Africa's smallest nature reserves and is recognised as contributing to the conservation of the Bontebok. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery and the freedom to walk or hike through the park safely.

The Smallest Nature Reserve in South Africa


The Bontebok National Park is located just 6 kilometres (3.72 miles) outside of Swellendam on the N2. Getting there is an easy 2.5 hour drive from Cape Town.

By air visitors can fly in to Cape Town international airport and the catch a light aircraft to the Swellengrebel Airfield.

The entrance to the reserve is located 5 kilometres (3 miles) off of the N2. The gates open at 7am and close at 7pm in summer and 6pm in winter.


The rugged Langeberg Mountains rise to the north of the reserve forming a spectacular mountain backdrop and providing beautiful scenery and abundant photographic opportunities. There are a number of walking trails that visitors can explore at their own free will as there are no dangerous game animals in the nature park. The reserve is considered the best location for viewing Bontebok, Grey Rhebok and Cape Grysbok.


There is a 25 kilometre (15.5 mile) gravel game viewing road network for guests to explore as well as 3 nature trails for hiking and mountain biking. Visitors to the reserve might also enjoy a visit to the historical town of Swellendam nearby. The reserve has more than 200 bird species in it which provide excellent bird watching opportunities.

The Breede River forms the 6 kilometre (3.72 mile) southern border and guests can enjoy a leisurely swim in the cool waters or some canoeing or kayaking (equipment is not supplied). Angling is also allowed with a valid angling permit which can be purchased from the Park Reception. There are a number of picnic and braai areas within the reserve where visitors can relax and enjoy a meal while taking in the beauty of their natural surroundings.


Visitors to the nature reserve can choose to camp at the caravan and camping site located at Lang Elsie. Alternatively Lang Elsie's Kraal Rest Camp offers 10 self-catering chalets. See our Bontebok National Park accommodation options.

The Experience

The Bontebok National Park is small and quaint. Visitors should not go with the expectation of seeing large herds of game and a wide variety of animals. Go instead to soak up the fresh air and the peaceful tranquillity that this park has to offer in the bucket loads. The Bontebok National Park is a great location for a family get-away where children can play freely while parents relax and forget about the stresses and strains of everyday life. Stopping in for an hour or two for a picnic or just for a walk around is also a fantastic way to simply break the monotony of the drive up the N2 to other destinations.


Though this is a winter rainfall area, rain occurs throughout the year. A majority of the rain falls between April and September and the driest months are December and January. The hottest month is January with the temperature reaching an average of 28°C (82.4°F) while in winter the temperature drops to around 5°C (41°F) in June - July and occasionally lower if there is snow on the nearby mountains.

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South Africa Nature Reserves : Game Reserves and National Parks