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Kogelberg Nature Reserve

Map of Reserve area

Kogelberg Nature Reserve is considered to be the most beautiful of CapeNature’s protected areas.

Where to Stay

Mbali Collection
Kogelberg Nature Reserve
Oudebosch Eco Cabins
Kogelberg Nature Reserve

What to Do

Limited parking at the start of trails is available on a first come, first served, basis.

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 R50 per adult and R30 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 Contact Centre on 087 087 8250. 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. Hikers on this trail are asked to make their own booking arrangement for overnight accommodation. 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

* Please note that this trail is closed until further notice.

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.

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

Rooisand Nature Reserve is about 12 kilometers drive from Kogelberg Nature Reserve on the R44 towards Arabella Estate.

View Bird list: 

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.


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.


Swimming is permitted on the Palmiet River Walk at the demarcated swimming spots. We ask politely that hikers, for their own safety, only swim at these designated swimming spots and refrain from going off trail to swim.

Permits may be purchased at the reserve office or bookings can be made via CapeNature Central Reservations office.

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. Gravity supplies you with wetsuits and all safety equipment for the trip. Please bring towels, dry clothes and closed shoes or booties.

To book, please contact Gravity adventures, click here.


There is limited parking for day visitors at Kogelberg Nature Reserve - availability is strictly on a first come first serve basis.

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 Gordon's Bay 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 estuary, and inland to Grabouw and the Groenland Mountain. 

To find out more, download the Kogelberg Nature Reserve complex brochure and map below.

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

Gate Times:

07:30 – 18:00 April – August

07:30 – 19:00 September - March

Reserve office phone number: 087 288 0499

Emergency number: 082 783 8585

Accommodation and permit bookings Tel: 087 087 8250

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

What our guests say

Tariffs

Eco-cabins for 2 persons from R1 180 per night, for up to 4 persons from R1 250 per night and for up to 6 persons for R2 570 per night.

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Conservation Fees

Adults

Day Access = R50; Overnight fee = R40

Children

Day Access = R30; Overnight fee = R20

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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.

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