Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve

Lying within the Western Cape's Cape Floral Kingdom, the 322 030 hectare Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve (CWBR) lies roughly 40 km east of Cape Town

Western Cape Game and Nature ReservesThe Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve

Lying within the Western Cape's Cape Floral Kingdom, the 322 030 hectare Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve (CWBR) lies roughly 40 km east of Cape Town. It was officially registered by UNESCO in September 2007.

The Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve is bordered in the south by the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, and extends northwards to the Cape Fold Belt Mountain Chain and the neighbouring valleys of the winelands.

As such it encompasses a broad range of ecosystems and physiographic environments, and embraces the different ways land is used and settled common to the Cape Winelands region. Consequently there are a number of historic towns, hamlets and farmsteads incorporated into the biosphere, as well as roughly 320 000 people.

The Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve:

• has seven rivers running through it – all of them threatened
• is home to many Cape Dutch homesteads
• has viticulture as the main form of agriculture
• includes 4 nature reserves:
• • the Greater Simonsberg Conservancy
• • Limietberg
• • Mont Rochelle
• • Jonkershoek

The biosphere is unique to South Africa because it focuses on both conservation and human well-being. It also focuses on heritage conservation and management, history, nature and environmental conservation, education, social upliftment, poverty alleviation, landcare and reform, water conservation and management, and recreation.

The whole point of its being affiliated with UNESCO is not to isolate it from its surroundings. It shouldn't be likened to a proclaimed nature reserve and regarded in terms of its boundaries. Rather one can see it as an integral part of its surrounds that promote sustainable development. The biosphere needs the co-operation of landowners to succeed.

Popular Attractions in the Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve

Bottelary Hills Conservancy

Where? Stellenbosch
Amongst the many wine estates in the region lies the Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy. Renosterveld is a threatened type of vegetative habitat (like fynbos) that is in very low supply. It is threatened by human beings, pollution...

More info and contact details: Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy

Berg River Dam

Where? Franschhoek
Through clever design, the Berg River Dam efficiently captures winter rainfall and stores it for supply to the Cape Town region during the drier summer months. This, the first dam in the country which was designed, built and is now operated...

More info and contact details: Berg River Dam

Popular Activities in the Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve

Krom River Hiking Trail

Where? Paarl
The initial part of the hike is accompanied by the general drone of the highway. It is not long before the white boot markers lead one up a ridge and away from the tunnel. This initial stage of the walk follows the right bank of the Molenaars...

More info and contact details: Krom River Hiking Trail

Cats Pass Trail

Where? Franschhoek
See the unrivalled splendour of Franschhoek on the Cat’s Pass Trail in the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. This trail is ranked as being moderately challenging (mainly due to a very steep ascent) and is, therefore, not recommended for children, the...

More info and contact details: Cats Pass Trail

Did you know?

"The main aims of biosphere reserves internationally are to promote biological diversity, sustainable development and logistic support, the latter including research, education and training. Every biosphere reserve has a pristine core area where no urban development is allowed" Source: Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve.

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