The Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve covers around 100 000 hectares – an area larger than Singapore. The Kogelberg Mountains, which run along the mountainous coast on the eastern edge of Cape Town, protect a significant portion of the Kogelberg Sandstone Fynbos. It has the highest floral diversity per unit area in the world and is considered the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, one of the world’s six plant kingdoms.
The reserve is situated in the Hottentots-Holland mountain range’s southernmost region. Mountain fynbos dominates the vegetation, with a few isolated patches of indigenous forest including some of the Overberg’s last remaining yellowwood, stinkwood, and boekenhout trees. It is home to more than 1 880 plant species and boasts the richest, most complex biodiversity on the planet. Seventy-seven of these are only found here and nowhere else. Additionally noteworthy are the seascapes, where more than 3 500 marine species are found exclusively.
The Cape clawless otter, small antelopes, baboons, dassies, and hares live in Kogelberg. Birdwatchers should keep an eye out for fish eagles, black eagles, and peregrine falcons as they hunt and nest in and around the Reserve. If you're fortunate, you might even see a few leopards. A herd of wild horses that were left behind by a British garrison after the Anglo-Boer War roam the flats of the Bot River estuary for history buffs.
The Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve is open all year round. However, some activities are reserved for certain times of the year. The best time of the year for whale watching is between June to December, while the Kogelberg Kayak Trails are open from June to September.
Numerous activities are available at Kogelberg, including biking, hiking, and bird viewing. There are many hiking paths, but the best four leave from Oudebosch and range from short, easy hikes to longer, more difficult treks. Two mountain biking routes are also available on the reserve. The Kogelberg route, which is 39 km long and can be difficult to ride for up to five hours, is the most challenging of the two.
One of the most well-liked activities in the reserve is white water rafting on the Palmiet River. This river, which flows through the Fynbos-covered mountains of the Kogelberg Nature Reserve, is both a calm stream in the summer and a raging rapid in the winter. The Palmiet River is ideal for thrilling white water rafting in the winter when water levels are medium to high. This can be done in two or four-person rafts.
In the heart of the reserve, Kogelberg Reserve provides self-catering accommodation in the form of wooden cabins. Otherwise, the self-catering wooden hut on the banks of the Palmiet River is an adventurer's dream; however, all activities must be reserved in advance.