FLOWER VALLEY FARM – PROTECTING OUR FYNBOS AND FYNBOS ANIMALS
Flower Valley Farm, based just outside Gansbaai and Hermanus in the Western Cape of South Africa, is a showcase for flourishing fynbos and well-functioning ecosystems. The 540-hectare farm is home to many critically endangered lowland fynbos species. It has been cleared of all invasive alien plants, which is followed up regularly.
But fynbos is more than a vegetation type: it is also the hiding place of many animals who’s existence depends on fynbos. Some of those endangered or rare species found on Flower Valley Farm – and that we actively work to protect through care for our farm, include:
Leopards have been photographed living in the fynbos-covered mountains on Flower Valley Farm. But they have been labeled critically endangered in the Cape by conservation groups studying them. Crucially, leopards need a well-functioning ecosystem to survive, as well as ‘corridors’ of the right habitat to travel through to reach other leopards, in order to breed. Flower Valley’s work includes securing and conserving this natural habitat across the Agulhas Plain, to facilitate the survival of the endangered Cape Leopard.
This small tortoise (usually no bigger than 10cm) has certainly become an increasingly rare sight over the years. The padloper (translated as ‘the road walker’) lives in the Fynbos Biome, but is particularly susceptible to wildfires, from which it has no escape. Walk through a fynbos area that has been ravaged by wildfire, and you’ll no doubt find numerous burnt tortoise shells. That’s why Flower Valley’s work to conserve the fynbos includes protection against wildfire – and the survival of this small defenceless tortoise.
This endangered toad lives on Flower Valley Farm. It’s endemic to the Western Cape, particularly the Agulhas Plain. The Western Leopard Toad breeds only for a short period in the year – but as it migrates to ponds to breed, it becomes vulnerable to predators and passing vehicles. On Flower Valley Farm, however, we work to protect the habitat for this toad, to allow it to breed safely.
WHAT YOU CAN DO ON FLOWER VALLEY FARM
When you get to Flower Valley Farm, firstly please check in at our reception, or at the Farm Manager’s house. There you’ll meet Flower Valley’s Marianna Afrikaner and other Flower Valley staff. Marianna can tell you about our offering on the farm. These include:
Hiking: Five hiking trails spread over the Farm – taking you through our often-threatened fynbos, and to our Stinkhoutsbos Forest (R50 per person).
Mountain biking: We have five trails to ride – and although they’re quite short, they’re technical and tough. We challenge you to conquer all five peaks in one day (R50 per person).
Plant: You can plant a tree at our Stinkhoutsbos Forest, as part of our restoration project – and leave your legacy here (R150 per tree; please book a day prior to your visit).
Adventure: Take a tractor ride through our fynbos – it’s loads of fun and a real thrill for the family (R70 per person; please book a day prior to your visit).
Picnic: We offer picnic hampers, with biscuits, cheese and other fresh goodies – you can enjoy this in our wonderful country setting (R175 per person (R100 for the picnic hamper; R75 to the Trust); please book this five days prior to your visit).
Please note: Flower Valley Farm is open between 9am and 4pm daily. However, we’re closed on: 25 & 26 December, and 1 January.
To chat to our Farm Manager, email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or Tel. 028 388 0713.