Western Cape DestinationsKleinmond, Cape Overberg
Kleinmond lies on a lagoon at the small mouth - hence the name - of the Botriver on a narrow strip of land hugged on the one side by the Palmiet Mountain range and on the other by the Atlantic Ocean.
Kleinmond is within easy driving distance from Cape Town, along the scenic coastal road known as R44 or Clarence Drive, Kleinmond is a peaceful little village endowed with some of the coast’s most natural beauty. It lies within the UNESCO declared Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, which supports over 1600 species of fynbos, of which 150 are endemic.
The biosphere also has three areas of relic indigenous forest; similar to the celebrated Knysna forests, and provides nature lovers with numerous hikes offering solitude and remarkably unspoilt stretches of wilderness with rugged kloofs, valleys and several mountain peaks. One might catch sight of the rare Strawberry Rain Frog, March Rose proteas, exotic birds - particularly in the wetlands of the lagoon - otters or even a leopard, if one is lucky.
Despite its beauty and relative peacefulness, Kleinmond is the largest of the four coastal towns that fall within the biosphere and as such, serves as a commercial centre for the Hangklip-Kleinmond area. Traditionally a retirement village, the town comes alive during holiday season and is renowned for large numbers of lobster in summer and whale watching in winter.
Kleinmond is reputed to be home to the country’s only herd of wild horses that live in the wetland close to the mouth of the Bot River. They are said to have been abandoned by a British garrison after World War II and roam the flats and river estuary as they please. A little further along the coast, in Bettys Bay, is the Harold Porter Botanical Garden - a beautiful and secluded garden of some 10 hectares that represent the local environment by including elements of wetland, fynbos, forest and coastal vegetation and is really worth a visit.
Hermanus, where some of the world’s best land-based whale watching is possible, is only 20 minutes’ drive from Kleinmond. Adventure, in the form of abseiling, climbing, dune surfing or river rafting is all part of the enjoyment of staying in this delightful little town.