Nature for Life


Nature for Life


Nature for Life


Nature for Life


Nature for Life

A short trip to the south of Cape Town in South Africa, you’ll find yourself surrounded by nature that is globally so valuable, that it has been declared a biosphere. The Kogelberg Biosphere aims to protect this vast natural wonder.

"We do this in a way that brings people closer to our planet, so that people of the Kogelberg thrive, while living in harmony with our rich biodiversity."

It’s our 25th anniversary

The Kogelberg Biosphere was registered with UNESCO in 1998.

We’re South Africa’s oldest biosphere

Our motto is:

Nature for Life.

As a Biosphere, we look to reconcile nature and people

– to benefit all.

Our nature is important

– we’re known as the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom.

The Kogelberg Biosphere is home to many pristine wetlands.

Our wildlife is spectacular

including threatened species such as African penguin.

Nearly a third of our Biosphere includes the ocean and its animals

such as Southern Right whales.


The Kogelberg Biosphere, designated by UNESCO, is South Africa’s oldest biosphere.


The Kogelberg Biosphere starts on the mountains above Gordon’s Bay, and includes land, sea and towns along the coast to just above Hermanus. It stretches inland past the town of Botriver and encompasses the growing economic hub of Grabouw. The Kogelberg Biosphere covers around 100 000 hectares – an area larger than Singapore. MORE

The heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom




What makes the Kogelberg Biosphere so valuable?

There are many reasons to visit our area.

The Kogelberg Biosphere is considered to be the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom – one of just six plant kingdoms in the world.

It has the richest, most complex biodiversity on earth, home to more than 1 880 plant species. Of these, 77 are found just here, and nowhere else. The seascapes here are also significant: more than 3 500 marine species occur only here. MORE

What do we do?

The Kogelberg Biosphere finds local solutions to global problems – by bringing our members together.  Across the world, humankind has been using natural resources unsustainably, to our own detriment. The result is a loss of biodiversity and cultural heritage, risks to water and food security, increased poverty and a changing climate.

In the Kogelberg we seek to address this, reconciling conservation with sustainable development – to benefit all. Through our own activities and the actions of our members, we build towards sustainable and just economies here, while allowing nature to provide the services she offers us sustainably. 

To achieve this, the Kogelberg Biosphere plays a central coordinating role: by working together across the biosphere, we can break down the silos in which we traditionally work, empower each other through knowledge and achieve our biosphere goals through collective action.

We work according to 6 project themes








Over the past number of years, we’ve experienced the most devastating wildfires here. The impacts on people and livelihoods have been devastating. The Kogelberg Biosphere therefore wants to take action to help now – before the next disaster strikes. And we need YOUR support. We’re bringing together a team of volunteers, and we’re getting the necessary equipment in place now, so that we’re prepared.

Become a Kogelberg Biosphere member

Sign up as a member, and you can access resources, networking opportunities, connections and capacity to help you and/or your business. As a member, you also enjoy the power of the collective voice to bring about positive change. MORE HERE


Dos & Don’ts: Building in the Biosphere

Dos & Don’ts: Building in the Biosphere

It’s important to know that there are specific building plan approval processes for homeowners. On a municipal and national level, there are different building regulations that apply to specific properties, depending on how the erf is classified.

Wetlands and strategic water sources

Wetlands and strategic water sources

Our Kogelberg Biosphere water systems are a delicate web of wetlands, rivers, dams and aquifers. These components are constantly in flux, and interact with one another in complicated ways. If the 2018 drought taught us anything, it’s that fresh and clean water

White Cape snapdragon (Nemesia diffusa)

The White Cape snapdragon is perhaps best described in Afrikaans: ‘witleeubekkie’ (or white lion’s little mouth).

Nemesia diffusa usually flowers in spring to midsummer – but has still been flaunting its pretty patterns in April in the Kogelberg Biosphere. 

The name Nemesia is derived from the word nemesion, which is the Greek name for a similar plant. Diffusa means ‘diffuse’ and refers to its open or straggling growth, given that its stems spread widely.

Image: @magrietb on @inaturalist

Biosphere Living

Become a Kogelberg Biosphere member – and enjoy benefits specially designed to assist you and/or your business.


You can take the next step, to become even more involved in the Kogelberg Biosphere.

And remember to include us in your social media posts, by using the hashtag: #BiosphereLiving.