VISITING THE KOGELBERG NATURE RESERVE
There is so much to see and do in Franschhoek, but once you’ve explored the wine farms, tasted the incredible food and wandered through the shops and boutiques on the high street, then definitely add the Kogelberg Nature Reserve to your list of Franschhoek activities.
The San and Khoi tribes, who remained relatively undisturbed for centuries, first inhabited the area since colonialists found the mountains impenetrable and not suitable for farming at the time. Later a road was eventually built which was to bring about development of the land. In 1951 an avid fynbos protector put the idea to the Cape Tercentenary Foundation, of turning the region into a nature reserve. A decade later permission was granted and in 1987 the area was handed to Cape Nature for preservation of the 18 000ha of the reserve, which has remained largely untouched.
The reserve is breathtakingly beautiful all year round, and forms part of a core conservation area within the 1,000sq km Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, which surrounds it, encompassing farms and towns from the coast of Gordon’s Bay, right across to the Groenland Mountain. All the areas have high environmental preservation awareness, in order to ensure full and lasting protection of the reserve for centuries to come.
The mountain slopes are inaccessible to the public in order to maintain the preservation of the plants and landscape, however some areas are open to the public, where time can be spent relaxing and enjoying the spectacular scenery, or exploring. Some of these activities include:
Of all of the protected areas within the Western Cape, Kogelberg is a must-see as it is one of the most beautiful due to its feast of Fynbos species, as well as forest of indigenous trees – so it’s no wonder that Kogelberg Nature Reserve is regarded as a true gem within the Cape Floral Kingdom.