Kogelberg

©Wikimedia Commons/A3alb
Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve

Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve is the first South African biosphere reserve, and is situated in the Western Cape Province about 40 km from Cape Town. It covers 103,629 hectares, more than 80% of which consists of mountainous landscape ranging from high mountain peaks and deep valleys to gentle hills and lower mountain slopes. The remaining area comprises a gently rolling coastal plain and a marine area, which covers about 24,500 hectares. The coastline is mostly rocky with sandy beaches and estuaries.

The main economic activities in the area are apple farming and commercial pine plantations. Tourism, specifically eco-tourism, has the potential to become a major economic activity with some 60,000 people visiting the area during the holiday season.

Designation date:
1998
Administrative authorities: Cape Nature Conservation
Surface area (terrestrial and marine): 103,629 ha
Core area(s): 31,629 ha (terrestrial: 30,000 ha; marine: 1,629 ha)
Buffer zone(s): 40,000 ha (terrestrial: 17,000 ha; marine: 23,000 ha)
Transition area(s): 32,000 ha

Location
Latitude:
34°04’S – 34°24’S
Longitude: 18°48’E – 19°12’E
Midpoint: 34°14’01”S – 18°59’59”E

Ecological Characteristics

©Wikimedia Commons/Andrew Massyn
Jackass penguins (Spheniscus demersus)

Over 80% of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve can be described as a mountainous landscape. It varies from rugged terrain mainly in the core area, with high mountain peaks and deep valleys, to gentle hills and lower mountain slopes. The marine environment forms part of the warm temperate south coast, and is subject to nutrient-upwelling events that support a highly productive and diverse marine community.

The area constitutes the floristic heart of the Cape floral kingdom – the smallest of the world’s floral kingdoms – and provides habitats for approximately 1,600 plant species of which an estimated 150 taxa are endemic to the area and characteristic of the Fynbos biome. Fynbos is the predominant vegetation type and includes both montane and coastal forms. Characteristic Cape flora include Proteaceae, Ericaceae, Restionaceae and Bruniaceae.

An area on the coast near Betty’s Bay provides a habitat for a small colony of Jackass Penguins (Spheniscus demersus). This species is listed in both the South African Red Data Book and the World Checklist of Threatened Birds. Other animals include the leopard (Panthera pardus), greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) and the endangered Cape platanna (Xenopus gilli).

Socio-Economic Characteristics

©Wikimedia Commons/Abu Shawka
Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve

The major towns within the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve are Kleinmond and Grabouw. The population in the region varies considerably as many landowners are not permanent residents and occupy properties during weekends and holiday seasons.

The main economic activities in the area are apple farming and commercial pine plantations. Tourism, specifically eco-tourism, has the potential to become a major economic activity in the region with some 60,000 people visiting the area during the holiday season.


 

 

> Back to Biosphere Reserves in South Africa

Last updated in May 2016

Back to top