Coastal weather in the Western Cape has been wild. Yesterday it was 90-degree beach weather, 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 in the Overberg Region. Today I visited Kleinmond, a small town situated inside the UNESCO Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve 50 miles east of Cape Town, between Betty’s Bay and Hermanus.
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 one side of Kleinmond, with the Atlantic Ocean on the other.
“Wild horses roam free in the estuary flats and marshlands at Botrivier Lagoon near Rooisand Nature Reserve.”
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” . The Khoikhoi word means ferns. The forests provide 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 frogs, even the rare Strawberry Rain Frog. The biosphere boasts proteas, clawless otters, exotic birds, and even illusive leopards.” Baboons frequent the area, and I saw a nervous grey spotted mongoose scurrying through the thick fynbos.
From June to November, whales are visible along Kleinmond’s coastline as they migrate to mate and raise their calves. Several locals had seen whales during the past week. So far, they’ve eluded me, but chances of seeing them increases 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, clawless otters, wild horses, exotic birds, or if you’re really lucky maybe even a leopard.”
Harold Porter Botanical Gardens – another nearby point of interest – is a secluded 25-acre garden down the coast in Betty’s Bay. The flourishing garden represents coastal vegetation, including fynbos, indigenous wetlands, and forests.