Kogelberg Nature Reserve, Western Cape
Lying within the southern extension of the Hottentots Holland Mountain range about 90 kilometres south-east of Cape Town and 8 kilometres from Kleinmond, the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve has managed to remain largely unspoilt, in no small part due to its ability to remain relatively isolated in its position along Route 44.
This isolation has helped protect it's floral wealth and keep it clear of alien vegetation. The Kogelberg Nature Reserve is filled with generous mountain peaks, craggy kloofs and valleys along which several tributaries of the Palmiet River run. Kogelberg Nature Reserve, often touted as the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, has exceptional quality fynbos held within its 100 000 hectare expanse that runs along the coastal area from Gordons Bay to Kleinmond, and incorporates inland farms of the Elgin Basin through to Grabouw.
The Kogelberg Nature Reserve is run according to internationally accepted principles of a biosphere reserve, a concept which translates into a core sensitive area of 18 000 hectares remaining basically wild and pristine and maintaining a high level of biological diversity. This wilderness is, in turn, buffered by a more resilient area, and beyond the borders of the reserve, commercial pine plantations and agriculture form a transitional zone.
Hiking in the Kogelberg provides several options, although the weather is unpredictable and the terrain fairly rough unless you choose to stick to the less sensitive areas. During winter white water kayaking is permitted on the Palmiet; and mountain biking and walking, near Sir Lowrys Pass Village are popular pastimes.
If you are planning a visit to the Kogelberg Nature Reserve you may find this article interesting: Kogelberg Nature Reserve worlds greatest biodiversity hot-spot?