Coastal weather in the Western Cape has been wild the past few days. Yesterday it was 90-degree beach weather, but today it’s back to a normal winter temperature in the 60s with dramatic skies and intense wind. A storm is brewing!
Western Cape Biosphere
There are many nature reserves and coastal areas to explore, and today I visited Kleinmond, a small town in the Overberg Region. It’s situated inside the UNESCO Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve 50 miles east of Cape Town, between Betty’s Bay and Hermanus Bay.
The name Kleinmond – “small mouth” in Afrikaans – refers to the town’s location at the mouth of the Botrivier lagoon. The Palmiet River and Mountain Range hug Kleinmond on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other.
“Wild horses roam free in the estuary flats and marshlands at the Botrivier lagoon….”
Forests, Wild Horses, Frogs, Baboons, Otters, Whales, and the Rare Leopard
“The Western Cape Biosphere has three areas of Platbos indigenous forest like the celebrated Knysna forests – pronounced naizna from a Khoikhoi word meaning ferns. It provides nature lovers with many hikes offering solitude and remarkably unspoiled stretches of wilderness with rugged kloofs, valleys, and mountain peaks.”
You might see various species of Cape frogs, even the rare Strawberry Rain Frog. The biosphere boasts proteas, clawless Cape otters, exotic birds, and even leopards.” Cape Baboons frequent the area, and I saw a nervous grey spotted mongoose scurrying through the fynbos.
From June to November, whales are visible from Kleinmond’s coastline as they come to mate and calf. Several locals I chatted with have seen whales during the past week. So far, they’ve eluded me, but chances should get better during August and September.
“Wild horses roam free in the estuary flats and marshlands at Botrivier Lagoon, near Rooisands Nature Reserve. Abandoned by a British garrison after World War II, they are South Africa’s only herd of wild horses in a wetland habitat.”
“You might catch sight of the rare Strawberry Rain Frog, march rose protea, otters, birds, or if you’re lucky maybe even a leopard.”
Harold Porter Botanical Garden – another major point of interest – is a secluded 25-acre garden down the coast in Betty’s Bay. The flourishing garden represents the area’s indigenous wetlands, fynbos, forests, and coastal vegetation.
Kleinmond’s beach is an internationally accredited, environmentally conscious Blue Flag Beach. I’ll be returning!