Nature

Walking and Hiking: Every form of conceivable hiking and walking trail can be found along the Hangklip coastline; mountain, beach, river, forest and rocky shore. For amblers there are a variety of easier walks which though shorter are still spectacular. For beach lovers, seemingly endless walks along the pristine beaches. Numerous hiking trails are available in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, varying up to 22km in length. To keep the core area pristine, hiking numbers are limited and permits are required. The Harold Porter Botanical Gardens offers 2 beautiful kloof walks, crossing streams and waterfalls surrounded by 27 species of indigenous trees. Guided walks an also be arranged.

Bird watching in Pringle Bay and its surrounds: There are many beautiful quiet places in the Hangklip area, where a variety of birdlife is to be found. Hangklip is part of the Kogelberg Biosphere, a World Heritage Site, which encompasses seashore, coastlands, mountains covered in fynbos and wetlands, and is home to many birds, both large and small, some of which are endangered species. Access is easy, only an hours drive from Cape Town for lovers of nature. In various areas in the Overberg the following species can be spotted: raptors; Black and Martial Eagles; Jackal Buzzards; migrant Steppe Buzzards; Black Shouldered Kites; Black Sparrow Hawks; Gulls and Cormorants; Egyptian Geese, Little Egrets, Cape Wagtails and a variety of Swallows and Swifts are often seen around rock pools; Seedeaters such as the Cape Bulbul, Rameron Pigeon, Speckled Mouse bird and Grass bird; Black Oyster Catchers, White Fronted Plovers; Roseate & Caspian Terns; Blue Mantled Flycatcher and Fish Eagles.

Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens: Tel (028) 272-9311 / Fax (028) 272-9333: This Garden is one of eight National Botanical Gardens within the National Botanical Institute, an autonomous, Parastatal institution, in terms of the Forestry Act No.122 of 1984. The primary function of this Botanical Garden is to grow and display plants of the coastal fynbos and strandveld. The purpose is research, conservation, and education. The hope is to promote an understanding, love and appreciation of the diversity found here. Visitors are to please keep to the rules that ensure everybody may enjoy the Garden, its flora and fauna in these peaceful surroundings. The Botanical Garden is situated in the heart of the unique Floral biome known as the Fynbos”. In this beautiful and pristine section of the South Western Cape coastline, the number of plant species per square kilometer is greater than anywhere else in the whole of Southern Africa.

Geologically the whole area comprises of Table Mountain Sandstone which weathers into shallow, coarse, sandy soils with outcrops of shale in some areas. Plantings in the Garden reflect the different types of vegetation in the different areas: Beach and dunes, Coastal plains and vlei’s; Restio’s and reeds; Mountains and slopes and forested gorges. The birds are a special joy in the Garden. More than 60 species have been recorded, including the Cape Sugarbird; and the Orange Breasted Sunbird which is endemic to the Fynbos. A bird list is available at the entrance. Mongooses and baboons are often seen but there are also other small mammals, e.g. otters and dassies. Leopards are very rare and are nocturnal as are porcupines and genets. Sometimes a number of reptile species can be seen, including the puffadder and tortoises. Remember these are all wild animals and can be dangerous, especially the baboons. Please do not feed or harm any animals.

The Penguins of Stony Point: This bird colony is one of the most beautiful and interesting seascapes along the African coast, and is the only area where mountains are found in such close proximity to the sea. Several sea birds breed in this colony, almost all of which are in decline. Up until 1982, all Penguin colonies were on islands along the Cape and Namibian coasts. Since then these birds have established themselves at the Boulders in Simonstown on the Cape Peninsula, and here at Stony Point. Although small by comparison, these relatively new breeding sites far apart from the more established ones, are vital for the protection of this species mainly from the many oil spills, which are an on-going threat, due to the illegal flushing out of emptied oil tankers at sea.

Penguins nests in burrows or small depressions that they dig out, usually under vegetation or rocks, they mate for life and both parents share the brooding and feeding duties. Penguins are easily disturbed by noise and sudden movements, but readily accept people who do not pose a threat. Three species of cormorant nest here; the Whitebreasted Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), the Cape Cormorant ( P Capensis), and the Bank Cormorant (P neglectus). All cormorants are endangered due to oil spills, the lack of food, and disturbance by Cape Seals and humans in certain areas. The Bank Cormorant is listed as vulnerable in the Red Data book as its numbers have fallen by 25,5% over the past three years. Other birds that are frequently seen are Kelp Gulls, Hartlaubs Gull (L.novaehollandiae hartleubui ) and the African Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus moquini), which attempts to breed on our beaches, but as the season coincides with the summer holidays here when human disturbance is at it’s peak, they have not been very successful. This Penguin colony has recently been declared a Nature Reserve and monitoring and data gathering is being done on a continual basis.

The Wild Horses of Kleinmond: There are many different stories regarding the origin of these wild horses. But whether truth or myth, these horses now roam free in the wetlands between Kleinmond and the Botriver lagoon. Mostly found near the Rooisands Nature Reserve, they remain illusive and mystical. To catch sight of them as they graze in the shallow waters or see them canter across the dunes, will lift the spirit of even the most hardened skeptic. They are unique to this area and are South Africa’s only herd of wild horses to be found in a wetland habitat. They are legends in the region with many speculations as to how they got there.

To catch a glimpse of these mystical creatures, you can walk along the beach in Kleinmond for about an hour in the direction of Fisherhaven. Occasionally climb the dunes until you find the vlei where they roam. Alternatively drive on the R44 towards Arabella and Botriver. A few kilometers outside of Kleinmond you will see Lamloch Farm on your left hand side. Just after you pass the farm, take the first road, which does not have a gate, to your right, and drive down to the Rooisand Nature Reserve. Park your car and follow the path to the dunes. You will see the horses’ droppings, and you may be fortunate enough to also catch sight of them in the shallow waters or near the dunes.

Moonstruck on Pringle Bay is a contemporary beach house retreat overlooking Pringle Bay main beach, a 90 minutes drive from Cape Town on the Cape Whale Coast Route. Moonstruck offers private luxury accommodation with beach and mountain views. The beach is a 3 minutes stroll accessed via a greenbelt in front of the property. Operating on a bed and breakfast (B&B) basis with good restaurants within easy strolling distance.

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