Tel: +27 28 425 5020
Fax: +27 28 425 5030
How many people can honestly say that they knew that outside Hermanus is Stanford and that outside Stanford is Salmonsdam, the only reserve in Africa named after a now almost unknown British sea captain? His name was Robert Salmond, his ship, the iron-sided paddle steamer ‘Birkenhead’, which early one morning in February of 1852 struck a rock and sank, with the loss of 454 lives. The then uncharted pinnacle is situated off Danger Point, a peninsula in Walker Bay, not far from Stanford.
Bird-watchers, hikers and nature lovers have been visiting Salmonsdam since the early 1960’s, as it has always been possible to achieve a feeling of secrecy and repose here. There is nothing fancy about Salmonsdam’s three overnight cabins, situated in an amphitheatre at the base of the Perdeberg, though they are adequate. One sleeps eight in three rooms, while the other two sleep four people each in one room. Ten spacious and shady campsites, which might have to be shared with the resident bontebok, are situated below the cabins. They are well kept but have no electricity and share the same ablution block as the two small cabins.
There are three recognised day hikes to choose from – the Mountain, Ravine, and Waterfall trails – none which require any great degree of fitness or expertise, but are wonderful ways to find rock pools and waterfalls, caves and even Balancing Rock. Visitors should also bring their mountain bikes, as there are plenty of opportunities for riding on existing jeep tracks.