KOGELBERG biosphere

The Kogelberg Biosphere was registered in 1998 with UNESCO as South Africa’s first biosphere. The biosphere covers an area of more than 103 000 hectares, which is larger than the Republic of Singapore. The core of this biosphere is pristine and untouched. 

It hosts 1 880 species of fynbos – and that’s why the area is regarded as the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom.


The seascapes here are also significant: our biosphere includes a marine component of 24 500 hectares, with more than 3 500 endemic marine species. This coastal belt and Marine Protected Area is home to the highly threatened abalone and is a breeding place for many fish and other marine life.



Buffer zones and outer transition areas


Our biosphere not only contains core conservation areas, but also adjacent buffer zones and outer transition areas. For the people of the region, this includes farming and fishing, and other trades such as tourism and manufacturing.

Our Kogelberg Biosphere objectives are:


To execute the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme, which focuses on conserving biodiversity and cultural biodiversity;


To foster economic development which is socio-culturally and environmentally sustainable;


To provide logistic support, underpinning development through research, monitoring, education and training for the Kogelberg Biosphere in the Western Cape.

the Kogelberg BiospherE

In 2002, the Kogelberg Biosphere Not-for-Profit Company was established in terms of section 21 of the Companies Act.

This not-for-profit company manages the biosphere as per the requirements of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme. In 2014, the company also registered as a non-profit organisation (NPO) with the Department of Social Development.

And we also registered as a Public Benefit Organisation with SARS and can issue section 18A tax exemption certificates to donors.

We are engaged in these 4 broad areas:

  • To raise general awareness of the Kogelberg Biosphere in order to build understanding of the Man and the Biosphere Programme.
  • To foster environmentally sustainable and just use of natural resources through socio-economic initiatives in the Kogelberg Biosphere.
  • To enhance the conservation of biodiversity and cultural heritage in the Kogelberg Biosphere.
  • To establish and maintain the effective governance of the Kogelberg Biosphere and secure sufficient finance for its continued functioning.


In order for our region to support thriving societies in harmony within the biosphere:

We need to ensure cooperation between all role players here, including government institutions, NGOs, farming, fishing and other commercial interests. To achieve this, the Kogelberg Biosphere plays a central coordinating role.  We bring Kogelberg biosphere members and residents together, to strengthen our collective action. Through coordination, we can break down silos, and ensure partners are working towards the same objectives.


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.


Framework plan

Planning domain

 Protected areas



Coordinator | Corlie Hugo

Corlie Hugo is the Executive Coordinator for the Kogelberg Biosphere. Her role is to plan, manage, implement and report on the projects that the Biosphere is involved with.  Corlie has a BTech degree in Conservation and a Master’s degree in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology. She has been working in the conservation sector for 25 years with operational and scientific experience in various aspects of conservation. Corlie has lived in the Biosphere for almost 20 years, and loves the area. She wants to make a difference – both for people and the environment. 

To contact Corlie, please email: admin@kogelbergbiosphere.org.za or phone: 082 380 9071.


Board of Directors

Chairperson Mike du Toit
Vicechair and treasurer Hilgard Müller
Economic growth Pieter Silberbauer
Education and youth development Jackie Jakobs
Awareness raising and communication Joan Isham
Water security Brian van Wilgen
Protecting nature Tim Atwell & Jan Briers
Nature-based Solutions Liezel Bohdanowicz


Meet the fearless guardians of Grabouw’s forests

Meet the fearless guardians of Grabouw’s forests

The Kogelberg Biosphere appointed four Forest Rangers in August 2023. They monitor and patrol in the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) Forestry Areas between Steenbras and Eikenhof Dam, outside the …  

Five unfamiliar fynbos facts you ought to know

Five unfamiliar fynbos facts you ought to know

Many Kogelberg Biosphere residents will know and value fynbos, the largest component of the Cape Floral Kingdom. And many have likely walked through and enjoyed the incredible colours, sizes and patterns you’ll see in a fynbos landscape.

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.