Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve

Stretching all the way from Diep River in Milnerton, to the Berg River close to Velddrif on the West Coast, the West Coast Biosphere Reserve was designated by UNESCO in 2000

Western Cape Game and Nature ReservesThe Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve

Stretching all the way from Diep River in Milnerton, to the Berg River close to Velddrif on the West Coast, Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve (CWCBR) was designated as such by UNESCO in 2000.

The beautiful area of the Cape Floristic Region is deemed worthy of protecting internationally, particularly as Cape Town expands in the only direction it can, northwards up the West Coast.

For this reason the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve has three aims: to foster ecologically sustainable human development, to conserve the landscapes, vegetation and species of the West Coast, and to lend support for research, monitoring, education and information exchange related to the issues of conservation and development.

The Biosphere Reserve includes essential areas like the Langebaan Lagoon, also a designated Ramsar wetland, and its major ecosystems are coastal plains, marine-influenced fynbos areas, rocky islets, marine areas and wetlands. If you consider that at least 132 000 people live in the biosphere alone, and a further 160 000 make their presence felt during holiday seasons and weekends, the CWCBR, a non-profit organisation, has its work cut out for them.

The devastatingly beautiful landscapes that lie within the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve, including an abundance of vegetation and animal life, has an alternative beyond seeking only economical progress at all coast, to the detriment of natural resources. That this region is a biosphere means, in theory, that development is still allowed, but done in a sustainable and more controlled way, and in a manner that allows for a better balance of society with less distinction between rich and poor.

The balance is accepting that development and the environment are interrelated. Part of this development includes training communities and local farmers about the alternatives for their environment, encouraging the planting of local indigenous vegetation, fining those who contaminate water, and encouraging safer and cleaner production methods, whilst trying to slowly erode the model of excessive consumption.

Popular Activities in or near Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve

Cape West Coast Biosphere Trails


The slackpacker trails are guided and catered for, comfortable and safe. Hikers need carry only a small daypack. All lifts and luggage are organised, with meals prepared locally in West Coast style. Groups are no larger than 12 people with...

More info and contact details: Cape West Coast Biosphere Trails

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The Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve has three aims: to foster ecologically sustainable human development, to conserve the landscapes, vegetation and species of the West Coast, and to lend support for research, monitoring, education and information exchange related to the issues of conservation and development.

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