Kogelberg biosphere

Steenbras River, Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, photo courtesy Damien du Toit

a nature-lover's dream

Home to one-fifth of all fynbos species, the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve is recognised as one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots.

The first UNESCO-recognised biosphere in South Africa, Kogelberg Biosphere Nature Reserve covers over 100 000ha (247 100 acres) and is situated in the Kleinmond area, just an hour outside Cape Town.

The reserve is set on the eastern side of False Bay in rugged mountainous terrain with glorious views of the ocean. There are 1 880 plant species in the biosphere – and 77 of these species occur nowhere else on Earth.

what to do 

The biosphere consists of magnificent beaches, rocky shores, vineyards and orchards and rugged mountains. Because of the beauty of the area and the richness of the animal and plant life, the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve attracts nature-lovers and those who love the great outdoors.

There are lots of activities and attractions on offer:

Adventure sports: The Kogelberg Biosphere is home to a number of adventure options, including: sandboarding, paragliding, river-rafting, quad trails, scuba diving and cage-diving with sharks.

Birding: A host of rare and endemic birds attract birders from around the world. Over 200 bird species can be sighted in the area. Stony Point African penguin colony is situated in this biosphere.

Botanical: The Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens in Betty’s Bay showcases over 700 species of indigenous South African plants and 88 species of birds.

Beaches: Although the coastline is wild and rocky, there are beautiful beaches that are safe for swimming. The beaches of Pringle’s Bay, Betty’s Bay and Kleinmond are some of the most popular beaches along this stretch of coastline.

Hiking:  There are many mountainside and seaside trails around Kleinmond and Betty’s Bay. There are easy walks along the seafront from the beach to the Palmiet river mouth.

Horse riding: Superb sea and mountain scenery and the chance of seeing the Botvlei wild horses make riding here a unique experience.

Whale watching: The Kogelberg coast provides a host of opportunities for whale watching during the season, from June to December. During whale season, this is the place to be.

Cango Caves

29km from Oudtshoorn, at the head of the picturesque Cango Valley, lies the spectacular underground wonder of the Klein Karoo - the Cango Caves. Situated in a limestone ridge parallel to the well-known Swartberg Mountains, you will find the finest dripstone caverns, with their vast halls and towering formations.

Southern Suburbs

The Southern Suburbs are a tourist’s delight. The area, which stretches from the slopes of the Table Mountain range to the False Bay coast, offers natural attractions and a vibrant nightlife.

St James

Just a little further on from Cape Town’s well-known Muizenberg beach is St James. Home to a cluster of well-known and oft-photographed bathing boxes on the beach, St James is a picturesque area that offers beachgoers respite from the westerly wind.

Llandudno and Sandy Bay

Only 18km from the Cape Town city centre, an arc of fine white sand gives away the secluded location of one of Cape Town’s most beautiful beaches, Llandudno.


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