Tucked up in the rugged mountains of the southern Hottentot Holland range closeby Cape Town, lies the Kogelberg Nature Reserve. It has a rather exceptional rating as a ‘biosphere’, which means it’s 18,000 ha of pristine vegetation is intact and protected as essentially wild and undisturbed. It’s also considered the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom due to the exceptional quality of it’s fynbos and high biological diversity as well as being recognised as a World Heritage site.
Cape Nature manages the reserve and keeps it low key; there are just five chalets which are sensitively designed with a low-impact footprint, using solar-power and compasting loos. The grey water is also collected and recycled so that the wetlands are preserved from any effluent.
It’s a “Stop-the-world-I-want-to-get-off” kindof place. Here you can disappear from the hurly-burly of city life – hiking trails lead up mountain tracks or along the pristine rivers, where the spoor is of buck, baboon, otters and mongoose. At this time of year winter’s breath is clear with a crisp champagne air and raptors soar on the high thermals: black eagles, peregrine falcons, fish eagles …. My hope is that the scenic photos might convey a sense of this awesome realm?