Salmonsdam Nature Reserve lies 20 km east of Stanford, at the foot of the Perdeberg mountains. Stanford is a small village 17 km east of Hermanus on the south-western Cape coast. Salmonsdam”s mountainous landscape is renown for its bird life, mountain fynbos and beautiful waterfalls, and attracts bird-watchers, hikers and other nature enthusiasts. According to local tradition the area was named after Captain Robert Salmon of the ill-fated HMS Birkenhead, which sank at Danger Point in 1852 with a loss of 454 lives.
The reserve was established in 1962 and comprises an area of 834 ha. It forms part of the catchment area of the Paardenberg River, which eventually joins the Uilenkraals River south of the reserve. The reserve”s topography clearly illustrates how a mountain catchment area functions, making it ideal for environmental education.
Plants and Animals
The vegetation in the area is predominantly mountain fynbos, with species such as ground proteas, disas, everlastings and waboom. Forest patches occur in many of the kloofs, with tall Cape beech and spoonwood trees. In the low-lying vlei area one finds fountain bush, reeds, water heath and various geophytes.
The reserve hosts various antelope, including bontebok, klipspringer, grey duiker and grey rhebuck, as well as baboons and numerous small mammals. More than 120 bird species have been recorded, notably various sunbirds and kingfishers, Cape rockjumper and black eagle (a bird list is available on request).