The R44, a mountain drive from Gordon’s Bay to the Bot River mouth, is one of the most scenic coastal routes in the world, and skirts the large Kogelberg Nature Reserve. The Kogelberg itself is often referred to as the heart of the fynbos. With 1 600 plant species it boasts a floral diversity per unit area higher than anywhere else in the world. The primary vegetation type is Kogelberg Sandstone Fynbos, comprising a low, closed shrubland, scattered with tall shrubs. There are many protea species and their relatives, hundreds of erica species, and a host of endemic species and families. There are numerous seeps and seasonally saturated wetlands, dominated by brunias and restios.
The majestic Verreaux’s eagle (Aquila verreauxii), klipspringer (Oreotragus oreotragus) and baboons (Papio ursinus) are common sightings in the reserve, and whales and dolphins can be viewed from the road verges. The mountain slopes are strictly controlled and closed to the public, except for the hike along the Steenbras River Gorge, taking visitors past crystal clear mountain pools and cascading waterfalls, to the Steenbras Dam.
ADDRESS: Gordon’s Bay – 8 km along the R44 (Clarence Drive)
OPENING HOURS: 07:30-16:00
SIZE: Approximately 3 000 ha
ENTRANCE FEE: R15.00 per person for hiking permit to enter Steenbras River Gorge (for updates, visit www.capetown.gov.za/environment)
PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Taxi
ACTIVITIES AND FACILITIES: Hiking trail, abseiling, kloof jumping (run by external company), whale watching, scenic drive and fishing (permit required)
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION: None
ACCOMMODATION: The Kogel Bay Resort offers camping and caravanning facilities on the beachfront (reservations: 021 856 1286)
CONTACT: Tel 021 856 5605; fax 021 851 2148
Source: City of Cape Town (2010) City of Cape Town nature reserves: A network of amazing biodiversity. City of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.