Kogelberg Nature Reserve

Kogelberg Nature Reserve is considered by many to be the most beautiful of CapeNature’s protected areas. Its exceptional diversity and quality of fynbos means it is also considered the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom.

Considered by many to be the most beautiful of CapeNature’s protected areas, Kogelberg Nature Reserve earns that reputation largely to the fact that it occupies an area with minimal human interference. Its exceptional diversity and quality of fynbos means it is considered the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom. The reserve presents perhaps the finest example of mountain fynbos in the Western Cape and is a world-renowned World Heritage Site.

At Kogelberg, a sensitive core of 18 000ha of the reserve has been kept pristine and wild. Here there is much biological diversity and conservation is the priority. Only activities which do not adversely affect natural processes and wildlife are allowed.

If you have driven along the R44 between Rooiels and Kleinmond, you would have marveled at the beauty of the Kogelberg. The reserve’s pristine beauty abounds all year round – during the blazing heat of summer when green is not what you expect, or in rains and mists of winter when torrents of water cascade down rock faces that were bone dry only weeks before.

The whole area is inspirational and one of more than 400 biosphere reserves worldwide. Kogelberg was South Africa’s first registered biosphere reserve and it encompasses the entire coastal area from Gordon’s Bay to the Bot River vlei, and inland to Grabouw and the Groenland Mountain. To find out more, download the Kogelberg Nature Reserve complex brochure and map.

Kogelberg Nature Reserve has been awarded ECO Certification by Ecotourism Australia.

Ecotourism-Certified-logo

How to get there

From Cape Town, take the N2 north. Just before Sir Lowry’s Pass, turn right on to Sir Lowry’s Pass Road. At the T-junction in Gordon’s Bay, turn left on to the R44, following the road along the coast, past Pringle Bay and Betty’s Bay. Just before you reach Kleinmond you will see the sign for Kogelberg, taking the dirt road to the left.

Kogelberg Nature Reserve contact information

Reserve office hours: 07h30 – 16h00
Reserve office phone number: Temporary number during office move -087 288 0499
Emergency number: 082 783 8585
Accommodation and permit bookings Tel: +27 (0)21 483 0190

Cellphone reception: No reception, last reception point is at the turn from the tar road onto the gravel road.

Download the Kogelberg Nature Reserve complex brochure and map.

GPS: 34 19 21.0 S 18 57 58.2 E

Accommodation

Self-catering

  • Oudebosch Eco Cabins

    The glass fronted eco-cabins afford occupants breath-taking views of the reserve, which is a World Heritage Site. Each of the five Oudebosch eco-cabins at Kogelberg Nature Reserve sleeps four people and consists of two bedrooms, one bathroom, one en-suite, and a spacious kitchen, lounge and dining area.

    The five Oudebosch eco-cabins are named Erica, Marsh Rose, Fire Lily, Iris and Everlasting Daisy.

    Everlasting Daisy and Iris are the only two with wheelchair access.

    Bedding provided: Yes
    Towels provided: Yes
    Electricity: Eskom, solar and gas
    Kitchen equipped: Eskom power points for all appliances including fridge/freezer, microwave and toaster. Electric oven and gas hob with four burners
    Braai facilities: Outdoor braai with grid
    Bathroom equipped: Shower only. Geyser heated by electricity and solar.

    Kogelberg Nature Reserve - Oudebosch Layout

Activities

  • SA Forest Adventures

    White water kayaking is allowed each year on the Palmiet River. Bookings for white water kayaking can be made through outside operators.

    SA Forest Adventures is a certified river operator, permitted to take members of the public on the river.

    The scenery is breathtaking as the mountains tower over you, and the lush green nature reserve stretches as far as the eye can see. The smell of fynbos surrounds the river, as insects buzz and the sound of wildlife echoes off the gorges.

    Tubing is provided during the summer months, while rafting is done during winter. Professional guides lead you on this adventurous ride of a life time, but bookings are essential. Relax and for a few hours forget about the hustle and bustle of the city.

    The trip is 2 -3 hours long, depending on the flow of the river. SA Forest does a 4km stretch which consists of 10 rapids.
    The Palmiet river is a very high Intensity river compare to other rivers in SA, as there is very little flat water to paddle but lots of white water and long rolling rapids. If you are an adrenaline junkie, this is definitely the activity for you.

    Maximum people is 20. SA Forest use 2-man rafts called Crocs. In high water they use 5-man rafts called Niles. SA Forest supplies you with 7mm wet suits and all safety equipment for the trip. Please bring towels, dry clothes and closed shoes or booties.

    To make a booking, please contact SA Forest Adventures by clicking here.

  • Gravity Adventures

    White water kayaking is allowed each year on the Palmiet River. Bookings for white water kayaking can be made through outside operators.

    Gravity Adventures, a certified river operator, is permitted to take members of the public on the river.

    Their trips are designed so that they can offer clients an exciting experience in both seasons and enables them to run all year round.

    At medium and high water levels Gravity offers thrilling white-water rafting in two-person inflatable ‘crocodiles’ or four person rafts, and at low levels they offer tubing trips on inflatable ‘gekos’.

    This innovative inflatable craft has been specially developed for the Palmiet. If used in a reclining position, it provides a comfortable way to drift lazily along the pools and channels of the river and if used facing forward, an exciting way of tackling the small rapids.

    The Palmiet River Experience is suitable for all ages and skill levels – Gravity provides qualified and registered guides with an intimate knowledge of the river and its environment and instruction on how to steer your craft.

    To book, please contact Gravity adventures, click here.

  • Swimming

    Swimming is permitted on the Palmiet River Walk. Permits may be purchased at the reserve office or bookings can be made via CapeNature Central Reservations office.

  • Wildlife Watching

    Small game can be viewed in the reserve. Wild horses can also be spotted on the Rooisand Ramble route. Permits may be purchased at the reserve office or bookings can be made via CapeNature Central Reservations office. Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve is part of the Cape Floristic Region and is a World Heritage Site.

  • Mountain Biking

    A moderate 22km ride along the jeep track through the Kogelberg Valley starts at the reserve office. The route should take between 2-4 hours. Please use sunscreen, protected riding gear and make sure you have plenty of water on the trail. Permits can be purchased from the reserve office.

    Please note mountain bikers must be wearing helmets at all times.

  • Bird Watching

    Kogelberg is a bird haven for numerous species and a bird list can be requested at the reserve office. A boardwalk and bird hide is available on Rooisand Ramble. There is one small step at start of the boardwalk. Visit Stony Point, part of the Marine Protected Area, where you can see the African penguin colony. Entrance to the Stony Point area is R20 per adult and R10 per child over the age of 3 years, payable at the gate.

  • Whale Watching

    Take a scenic self-drive along the coast in Kogelberg Nature Reserve, and you’ll be able to enjoy a little whale watching. 

  • Hiking and Walking

    In Kogelberg Nature Reserve, visitor numbers are limited and low-impact activities which are compatible with the wilderness atmosphere is encouraged. Hikers have several options, and should be prepared for fairly rough terrain and unpredictable weather. It is essential that hikers wear closed shoes while hiking in the Kogelberg. For more hiker safety tips click here.

    Day Walks

    Various day hikes are available at R40 per adult and R20 per child. Permits may be purchased at the reserve office or bookings can be made via CapeNature Central Reservations office.

    Multi-Day Hikes: The Highlands Trail is a moderate two-day overnight hike begins at the farm Iona. Accommodation is arranged with the owners. Bookings can be made via CapeNature Central Reservations office. The trail takes approximately 6-7 hours on day and 8 hours on day two. The maximum group size is limited to 12 people. The Highlands trail leads through private municipal and conservation land. Please take care when walking the trail and consider all parties involved.

    Hiking Trails:

    Palmiet River Walk

    The Palmiet River Walk is an easy venture along the Palmiet River

    Trail distance:  10 km
    Estimated time: 3 hours

    Trail Preparation: Wear comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat. Make sure to carry sufficient water and take along your swimwear and binoculars. In winter, a raincoat/pancho is advised. It’s recommended that the route is started no later than 14h00.

    Oudebosch-Harold Porter

    This is a moderate hike up Oudebosch gorge into Harold Porter Botanical Garden.

    Trail distance:  6 km
    Estimated time: 3 – 4 hours

    Trail Preparation: Wear comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat. Make sure to carry sufficient water and take along your binoculars. In winter, a raincoat/pancho is advised.

    A vehicle should be left at Harold Porter Botanical Gardens as this is a one-way route. Guests also have the option to backtrack on the trail after reaching the waterfall at the top of Oudebosch gorge. It is recommended that the route is started no later than 14h00 as the gate at Harold Porter Botanical Garden is locked at 18h00 if hikers choose to do the full hike.

    Kogelberg Trail

    This is a moderate to long walk along Oudebosch gorge passing through Oudebosch montane forest patch and passing in close proximity to the Platbos and Louw’s bos montane forest patches.

    Trail distance:  24 km
    Estimated time: 8 hours

    Trail Preparation: Wear comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat. Make sure to carry sufficient water and take along your binoculars. In winter, a raincoat/pancho is advised. It is recommended that the trail is started no later than 10h00 in summer and 08h00 in winter.

    Perdeberg Trail

    This is a moderate to long walk starting from the Iona Wine Estate to Perdeberg peak lookout point.

    Trail distance: 22km
    Estimated time: 7 – 8 hours

    Trail Preparation: Wear comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat. Make sure to carry sufficient water and take along your binoculars. In winter, a raincoat/pancho is advised. It is recommended that the trail is started no later than 10h00 in summer and 08h00 in winter.

    Three Sisters Trail

    This is a moderate walk starting from the Kleinmond Golf course.

    Trail distance:  8km
    Estimated time: 4 hours

    Trail Preparation: Wear comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat. Make sure to carry sufficient water and take along your binoculars. In winter, a raincoat/pancho is advised. It is recommended that the trail is started no later than 13h00.

    Houwhoek Trail

    This is a moderate walk starting from the Houwhoek Inn

    Trail distance: 8km
    Estimated time:  3 hours

    Trail Preparation: Wear comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat. Make sure to carry sufficient water and take along your binoculars. Permits are to be purchased via CapeNature Central Reservations, Houwhoek Inn or the reserve office prior to hike. In winter, a raincoat/pancho is advised. It is recommended that the trail is started no later than 14h00.

    Rooisand Ramble 

    This is an easy walk along the Rooisand boardwalk at the Botriver Estuary.

    Trail distance: 5km
    Estimated time: 2 hours

    Trail Preparation: Wear comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat. Make sure to carry sufficient water and take along your binoculars. Permits are to be purchased via CapeNature Central Reservations or reserve office. In winter, a raincoat/pancho is advised. It is recommended that the trail is started no later than 15h00.

    Hangklip/Brodie Link Trail

    This is an easy walk in the Hangklip/Pringlebay area.

    Trail distance: 3km
    Estimated time: 1 – 2 hours

    Trail Preparation: Wear comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat. Make sure to carry sufficient food, water and take along your binoculars. Permits are to be purchased via CapeNature Central Reservations or reserve office. In winter, a raincoat/pancho is advised. It is recommended that the trail is started no later than 15h00.

    Highlands Trail

    Moderate two-day overnight hike

    Trail distance: 16km on day one & 21km on day two
    Estimated time: 6 -7 hours on day one & 8 hours on day two
    Distance: Day 1 – 16km (Moderate) and Day 2 – 21km (Difficult)
    Duration: Day 1 – 6-7 hours and Day 2 – 8 hours

    Entrance requirements: Permit holders only, maximum group size is limited to twelve.

    Day One
    The Highlands Trail starts on the farm Iona (When parking please park opposite the Iona entrance and not at the Iona farm house. You will see a CapeNature board indicating the area you may park) and runs through the farmland (please do not pick any fruit) and along a dam wall. Hereafter it joins up with a jeep track which runs through the plantations. The trail is clearly marked with wooden footprint signs at every intersection to prevent confusion. The path then winds through Fynbos and skirts pine plantations. It overlooks the Bot River Vlei, wetlands and coastline.

    The trail leads then leads down the mountain toward the tar road and takes you through some private farmland and towards the Bot Rivier Vlei which you will need to cross (during winter the water can be waist deep) and head towards Kleinmond. The Kleinmond Caravan Park is where the overnight accommodation, the Frank Robb Hut, is situated.

    Day Two
    The second day starts from the overnight hut and painted footprints, on the road surface, can be followed. The hike traverses around the Three Sisters peaks and up to Perdeberg before leading back through private conservation land.

    Please take care when walking the trail and consider all parties involved. The maintenance of this natural area is a shared responsibility of management and users.

    Trail Preparation: Wear comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat. Make sure to carry sufficient food and water for the overnight trip. Permits are to be purchased via CapeNature Central Reservations. In winter, a raincoat/pancho and warm clothing is strongly advised.

Location

Conservation

Kogelberg Nature Reserve Conservation

Kogelberg Nature Reserve is often considered the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom because of the exceptional quality of its fynbos.

Kogelberg Nature Reserve is often considered the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom because of the exceptional quality of its fynbos. The reserve lies within the southern stretch of the rugged Hottentots Holland mountain range and has remained relatively isolated and remarkably unspoilt. Its high mountain peaks, steep kloofs, valleys and several tributaries of the pristine Palmiet River create a sense of remote wilderness.
The maintenance of this natural area is a shared responsibility of reserve management and users. Please ‘tread lightly’ and ‘leave no-trace’.

Filming

Kogelberg Nature Reserve Filming

The Western Cape is world renowned as being able to offer almost every possible cinematic location imaginable. CapeNature offers film producers a wide selection of the most breathtaking landscapes including mountains, dams, waterfalls, rivers and roads.

The combination of fantastic weather and amazing light has resulted in the Western Cape becoming a major venue for local and international film, video and stills productions.

In addition to this The Cape Floral Region, the Western Cape is an evolutionary treasure chest, which, as a result of relatively stable conditions over millions of years, has managed to retain the gems of natural selection. In 2004, the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas was added to the prestigious list of World Heritage Sites.

See the video below for Kogelberg’s Filming Options.


 

 

20 Reviews

KBR Beckons from the Other Side with Otherside Tours, Nov 3, 2017 - Kogelberg Nature Reserve

[…] Stony Point penguin colony and Harold Porter Botanical Garden as main attractions. Of course the Kogelberg Nature Reserve is not to be missed – with the possible option of staying over in the delightful eco-cabins. […]

Reply

Highlands Trail - Hiking South Africa, Sep 14, 2017 - Kogelberg Nature Reserve

[…] permits can be obtained through Cape Nature Website: http://www.capenature.co.za/reserves/kogelberg-nature-reserve/ Tel: +27 21 483 0000 Email: […]

Reply

Comfort and nature

Donovan Seymour, Aug 1, 2017 - Kogelberg Nature Reserve

July 21-23 2017
Cottage 1: 2 Adults, 2 Children
Cottage 2: 4 Adults.

The drive from Cape Town - Left work at 3pm and has a 2 hr drive to the Nature reserve. Google Maps took us right to the spot. The stretch from Gordons Bay to the reserve is absolutely breath taking! You dont find many a road like this in the world. Driving between the mountain and the ocean.

Arrived at Kogelberg offices to be met by a friendly staff member. She was all to eager to assist. We had our own designated parking for our cottage we were staying. The cottage was about a 15m walk from the car (not a 4x4).

We stayed in the Iris cottage. What a stunning place. It had all the necessary facilities we needed. The indoor fire was great for the cold mornings and evenings. The wood build makes you feel warm and cozy. With huge glass doors to absorb the natural beauty surrounding the cottage. The cottage was a nice size for 4 adults. One room having an on suite and the other next to the main bathroom.

There are a few hikes to choose from. We were fortunate enough to have an amazing day for a hike. No wind and about 20C. We hiked to a waterfall. I think it was about 7km. As our group comprised of children and a photographer, the hike took about 4hrs. What a great day out.

There is a natural swimming pool. As we were in the heart of winter, there was definitely no swimming to be done. The birds were super friendly and with the doors wide open in the cottage, they would come inside for a little visit. There was a little duiker that came to forage in front of our cottage

Reply

Oudebosch to Leopard’s Gorge Hike, Kogelberg Betty's Bay, Jul 20, 2017 - Kogelberg Nature Reserve

[…] The Kogelberg Nature reserve is known to be the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom and from our visit we can understand why. The vegetation is rich with a wide variety of fynbos that is truly unique to the area. Kogelberg is run by Cape Nature and they have done an excellent job maintaining this unique and fundamental biosphere. The area is also a world heritage site and stretches 18000Ha between Gordon’s Bay and the Bot River lagoon. […]

Reply

Eco Living in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve – ambergisele.com, Jul 10, 2017 - Kogelberg Nature Reserve

[…] http://www.capenature.co.za/reserves/kogelberg-nature-reserve/ […]

Reply
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