Apart from the breathtaking views, hiking trails in the Franschhoek valley provide a great diversity of flora and fauna (many endemic to the area) This great variety of Franschhoek wildlife will most certainly be of interest to animal and plant-lovers.
Whilst highly unlikely that one would ever come across them, there are still Cape Leopards in the Franschhoek mountains! Excitement ripples throughout the valley after rare sightings of leopards. In recent years, one was spotted on the Franschhoek Pass, as well as at the Boekenhoutskloof Wine Estate. The owners of the winery had set up the cameras with the intention of photographing a variety of Franschhoek wildlife like the elusive nocturnal Porcupine as a way to promote their famous wine label “Porcupine Ridge™”, but instead the cameras captured an image of this beautiful cat very close to the manor house! Other animals one might come across in the Franschhoek area include: The Klipspringer (a small breed of antelope), Dassies, Baboons, Caracal (another species of wild cat) as well as a wide variety of birds. Sightings of some endemic species like the Cape Rockjumper, Cape Sugarbird and the Protea Canary may be expected on the hiking trails. Black Eagles and other birds of prey are also found in the area. Endemic species of fish are also found in the Berg and Breede river systems, although these are threatened, probably due to the presence of the exotic species of trout which were introduced to the rivers and streams prior to the establishment of the reserve. Vegetation in the Franschhoek region is predominantly mountain fynbos with remnants of indigenous forest in some of the wetter kloofs. Alien trees, including black wattle, hakea and pine have invaded sections of the reserve which in turn poses a challenge to conservation the efforts to preserve Franschhoek wildlife.