Marloth Nature Reserve lies in the majestic Swellendam mountains between the towns of Swellendam, Ashton, Barrydale, and Suurbrak in the Western Cape. The 14,123 hectare reserve is managed with another 16,532 hectare of privately owned mountain catchment land. The reserve's office is approximately 1,5 km from Swellendam and next to the Swellendam State Forest.
Marloth Nature Reserve supports numerous animal species although most are relatively small and not easily observed. Mammals include grey rhebuck, klipspringer, common duiker, baboon, leopard, caracal, mongoose, porcupine, dassie, and hare. The area is rich in birdlife with 114 species having been recorded, such as the African fish eagle, black eagle, wood owl, redwinged francolin, tambourine dove, 4 different species of woodpecker,Cape vulture, and narina trogon. Puff adder, Cape cobra, and mountain adder are found here and hikers should be on the alert!
The vegetation in the nature reserve is predominantly mountain fynbos with patches of afro-montane forest. The fynbos includes several species of protea and more than 25 species of erica, most of which flower in November. The original forests covered a much larger area but over the years exploitation for timber for the local furniture and wagon industries, and fires, reduced them to isolated patches in the damper kloofs. Typical forest species include yellowwood, stinkwood, Cape beech, wild olive, assegaaibos, cherrywood, and hard pear.