A bit of Paarl history!
Centuries ago, these rocks served as landmarks for nomadic Khoikhoi who knew them as Skilpadberg or Tortoise Mountain – Today we know it as Paarl mountain, ‘Peerleberg’ (Pearl Mountain) was the name given by Dutch settler Abraham Gabbema in 1657. The mountain is known for its three enormous granite rocks known as Paarl Rock – (front of mountain), Bretagne(kettingklip) and Gordon Rocks(towards the back), and is the second-largest granite outcrop in the world (after Uluru in Australia). There are 3 dams on the mountain too – The Victoria, Nantes and Bethel, augmenting the Paarl water supply, are situated in the reserve.
What about the canon on Paarl Rock? – This old ship’s canon which was one of several that used to signal the arrival of ships in Table Bay harbour, and to summon men to defend the area. This particular canon was stationed on a lookout point on the western side of Paarl Mountain, but was later positioned at its current spot.
Paarl Mountain was declared a national monument in 1963, and in 1977 it was also declared a Nature Reserve.
The Mountain Nature Reserve, includes recreational areas like, “The Meulwater”, “Krismis Camp” and “Oukraal”. There is also a very cool indigenous forest between Bretagne and Gordon rocks, something definitely worth checking out!