Friends of Stellenbosch Mountain

Regular hacks

We hold our regular hacks once a month, normally on the third Saturday of the month, with exceptions. The next hacks are scheduled for:


25 June 2022 13:30
Postponed by a week from 18 June due to cold front.
FSM supplies loppers and poppers. Bring along if you have: gloves, weeding tools (eg large screwdriver, hand fork), garden fork, garden clipper, plastic bag for seeds. Tea and snacks afterwards as usual. Also see "What to bring" below
16 July 2022 8:00 or 13:30
Possible time change
20 August 2022 13:30

We usually meet at the main gate to the Paradyskloof nature area, also known as Eden Forest. Here is a street map to the meet-up location. The hack itself typically takes two hours; together with getting organised, reaching the hack site and the social afterwards, the entire hack event usually takes 3.5 hours.

The reason for the early times is threefold: Hacking can be hard work, and especially in summer, the hard physical work is best carried out in the coolness of the morning. It also allows hackers to do their Saturday shopping. And early mornings with sun flooding the dewy valley, the Cape Flats and Table Mountain in the distance are spectacular.

What to bring

Conditions change, but in general you want to bring along: For more information email heggers AT pm DOT me

What to expect

Hacks are our core activity. We drive in convoy from the gate to some corner of the fynbos or renosterveld nature area of Stellenbosch Mountain, hike the last part of the way, and then saw, cut or pull the alien invasive plant species which occur. Afterwards, we have a social with tea, cool drink, cookies, whatever is brought along.

The terrain varies widely. Sometimes we work in low-lying territory close to the cars; at other times a bit of walking is needed. Special hacks can imply going up onto the higher mountain slopes. The vegetation can vary from small shrubs on open terrain to dense river thicket. You can expect to have need of all your muscles and even your brain. This is much better than gym training, and it's free.

You can expect to meet good people: professionals, retirees, students, parents, children, all sorts. Ages vary from 6 to 84. They all care deeply about our nature heritage and its future and about Stellenbosch. They don't brag or build brand, but they are worth their weight in gold.

Last but not least: the Cape fynbos is unique, and it is beautiful. Expect to be surprised by the large variety of shapes, sizes, colours and the sheer diversity and inventiveness of the fynbos ecosystem. There is always something in flower, but August, September and October are the best. If you are lucky, you may find yourself on a tour of the morning's discoveries led by an attending botanist.

Attendance register and indemnity

If you want to participate in a hack, you are required to sign the attendance register and indemnity form at the start of the hack. No exceptions can be made.