Specatular views, fauna & flora on La Motte’s Guided Mountainside Hike

The La Motte Hiking Trail alongside the Wemmershoek mountain on the estate is popular during the summer months as visitors enjoy the opportunity to explore some of our greatest assets – the abundant bird life, a protea garden, sustainably farmed vineyards, a wealth of flora, resident mammals and reptiles and the breathtaking vistas of the Franschhoek Valley.

And those really interested in more information on the fauna, flora and surroundings can now join a guided version of the hike on Monday mornings when a well-informed and passionate guide will share the finer nuances of the beautiful natural environment. The circular route, which starts at the La Motte Tasting Room, stretches over five kilometers, with the mountainside section covering two kilometers. Hikers receive a hiking trail map and bottle of water and will be treated to some light refreshments when stopping for a breather at the Lapa overlooking the valley.

Testimony to La Motte’s commitment to the highest conservation and biodiversity standards and the protection of precious indigenous flora and fauna, the hiking trail and now also the guided hike, offers visitors to Franschhoek a unique way to relax in nature.

Majestic mountains

A detailed hiking route map shares information on the surrounding mountains, animal and plant life.

The mountains that surround the Franschhoek Valley are part of the larger Cape Fold Belt, a mountain range originally formed about 250 million years ago. The landscape, the valleys and the majestic mountain peaks – towering 1 200 to 1 600 meters above sea level – date back to the break-up of Gondwana some 140 million years ago!

Animal life

While generally shy and not easily spotted, the mammals in the mountainous area include Cape Clawless otters, Porcupines, Baboons, Steenbok, the Cape Fox, Wild boar as well as the Small Spotted Genet, Lynx and yes – the Cape Mountain Leopard! – to name but a few.

Bird life

Bird-watchers will have a wonderful time at La Motte where an extensive variety of birds can be spotted – from the African Black Duck to the Yellow Billed Kite, including birds of prey such as the African Fish Eagle and Verreauxs’ Eagle. Download the list of close to 80 bird species to be seen along Trail. (As jy Afrikaanssprekend is, let gerus op die pragtige beskrywende name: Kaapse Bosbontrokkie, Mikstertbyvanger, Grysrugtintinkie, Oranjeborssuikerbekkie en Jangroentjie is maar net ‘n paar hiervan!)

Plant life

La Motte Senior Farm Manager, Pietie le Roux, with one of the flat leaf aloes on the mountain marked with GPS Coordinates.

A voluntary Cape Nature Conservation site, the mountain offers a spectacular variety of indigenous fauna. Expect to see a variety of aloes such as the krantz aloe (kransaalwyn / Aloe mitriformis (A. perfoliata) Asphodelaceae) and the fan leave aloe or aloe plicatilis (they have their own GPS coordinates!),fynbos such as Cape Snow Bush (Eriocephalus Asteraceae) and the treasured Blushing Bride (Serruria florida Proteaceae). An extensive list is available as part of the hiking route map.

More information and reservation details:

The Guided Hike (R100 per person) takes place on Monday mornings at 08:00. Prior reservation is essential. Please book with the La Motte Tasting Room, T +27 (0)21 876 8000 or tasting@la-motte.co.za

Self-guided hikes (R50 per person) can be experiences from Monday to Saturday. The route opens at 09:00 with the last entry at 14:00. Reservation can be made with the La Motte Tasting Room, T +27 (0)21 876 8000 or tasting@la-motte.co.za

With a Grade 1B rating, the hiking trail requires a fair degree of fitness and it is therefore not recommended for children under the age of 10. Prospective hikers are reminded that dogs and mountain bikes are not permitted. Safe convenient parking is available.

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