There is always something new and different to see at Phillipskop. Over 700 species of plant have now been recorded on the reserve. The flowers in bloom constantly change through the year so that the fynbos never gets dull. In winter the Proteas take centre stage, while spring sees the bulbous plants emerge from their dormancy. The heat of summer is a peak time for many of the 40 plus species of Erica that are found at Phillipskop. Autumn produces a range of unusual plants, such as the Mosquito Lily or Toothbrush Fern, which people often miss. Meanwhile a good variety of animal and bird life is present throughout the year, from the resident Klipspringers, Cape Grysbok, Rock Hyrax and beautiful Orange-breasted Sunbirds, to the endangered Black Harrier or magnificent Verreaux’s Eagle. The shyer animals on the reserve are harder to spot, but visitors can often see spoor left by nocturnal wildlife, including Porcupines, Large-spotted Genets and Caracal. The observant will also see scratch marks on trees, left by one of the Cape Leopards that are known to traverse the mountains.
We would like to invite you to become a Friend of Phillipskop. This new scheme encourages visitors, especially locals, to explore the reserve more frequently and to get a taste of all seasons. For an annual conservation fee of just R150 per adult, Friends will be able to gain access to the reserve and hiking trails throughout the year during opening hours (8am-5pm daily). This is less than the cost of 4 visits, so even if you plan to visit only once per season, it will save you money. As a Friend, you will also be supporting the conservation work of the reserve: maintaining footpaths, clearing the invasive aliens (a never-ending task), and recording, monitoring and protecting the plant and animal life. Some of the key conservation findings on the reserve include: the discovery of the rare Montane Marsh Frog, thereby extending its known range; recording the Cape Rock Elephant Shrew in the Klein River Mountains for the first time; and finding an endangered species of Erica, last seen in the Hermanus area 80 years ago. Phillipskop is also the home of the important heritage site, Phillipskop Cave, which has the only recorded rock art on the Cape Whale Coast.
We hope that by becoming a Friend of Phillipskop, you will be able to enjoy more of what Phillipskop has to offer. In addition, we will keep you informed of any conservation news, activities or special offers that come up during the year. Forms to become a Friend of Phillipskop are obtainable at Reception on your next visit to Phillipskop. Alternatively, you can download a form here and bring it along with you.