KOGELBERG biosphere reserve

The Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve (KBR) was registered in 1998 with UNESCO as South Africa’s first biosphere reserve. The reserve covers an area of more than 103 000 hectares, which is larger than the Republic of Singapore. The core of this reserve 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 reserve 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 reserve not only contains core conservation areas, but also adjacent buffer zones and outer transition areas. For the people of the KBR region, this includes farming and fishing, and other trades such as tourism and manufacturing.

Our Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve 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 Reserve in the Western Cape.

the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve

In 2002, the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve Company (KBRC) was established in terms of section 21 of the Companies Act.

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

The KBRC is 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 KBR 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 KBR.
  • To enhance the conservation of biodiversity and cultural heritage in the KBR.
  • To establish and maintain the effective governance of the KBR 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 Reserve plays a central coordinating role.  We bring KBR 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 Reserve 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.


KBR Framework plan

KBR Planning domain

KBR Protected areas



Contour Enviro Group

The Contour Enviro Group (CEG) has been appointed to provide coordination support to the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve – with Contour’s Corlie Hugo taking a lead in driving the Biosphere Reserve’s activities. The CEG is an environmental management specialist company – providing support to plan, implement and assess environmental programmes and activities. Contour Enviro Group is driven by high-quality standards and is ISO 9001: 2015 QMS certified. Through their training division, Contour Training Academy, also known as the Cape Wilderness School, they can focus on environmental education programmes, introducing young and old to their vision: To develop and inspire a love for nature.

Corlie brings a wealth of experience to the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. She has more than 20 years experience in conservation, having worked at CapeNature prior to joining the Contour Group. She has operational and scientific experience in various aspects of conservation. Corlie holds a B-Tech Degree in Nature Conservation and has a Master’s degree in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology. Her experience also includes invasive alien vegetation, fire management, marine ecology, compilation & implementation of operational plans as well as data collection, processing and analysis. She is also trained in Logistics and ICS.

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


Michael du Toit

KBRC Chairperson

Michael du Toit is a third-generation farmer who has been farming fruit for the local and export market in the Elgin Valley since 1986. He was appointed to the board of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve Company in 2016 and has been the Chairperson since 2017.

Jan Briers


Ian Milne


Ian completed an initial BSc (Zoology) degree at UNISA, followed by an Honours Degree at Pretoria University and an M.Ed Degree in Environmental Education at Rhodes University. He then worked in the Kruger National Park, leading walking trails and training tourist guides, before starting his own business training guides in the Lowveld for 20 years. After selling his guesthouse/retreat /training centre that he ran with his wife near Nelspruit, the couple retired and moved to Rooiels. Ian is now an active Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve Director and also serves on the committee of the Rooiels Conservancy.

Tim Attwell 

Conservation & Biodiversity

Hilgard Müller


Hilgard Müller was born in Mossel Bay, and completed a BA Honours Degree (Development Studies) at Stellenbosch University. He currently lives in Rooiels, where he is the Rooiels Ratepayers Association Chairperson. He has also been a Ward Committee member for 4 years. Hilgard is actively involved in various conservation initiatives, promoting sustainable development and biodiversity, thereby ensuring sustainable land use – to bring about a fair and balanced distribution of land, water, biodiversity and other environmental resources between the competing claims, in order to secure human needs now and in the future.

Jackie Jakobs

Youth programmes 

Edward Molteno

Agriculture & Conservation

Edward is a semi-retired farmer in Elgin. He has served on a number of fruit industry bodies during his career as a farmer. For example, while chairperson he represented the Elgin, Grabouw, Vyeboom & Villiersdorp (EGV&V) Farmer’s Association as councillor in the Grabouw Transitional Local Council, and served as a committee member on the Palmiet River Catchment Management Plan Steering Committee. He later became the chairperson, helping to drive the process until completion in 2005. Edward has also represented the farmers on the Kogelberg Biosphere Association (KOBIO), and during his tenure encouraged the farmers to also fund this organisation. He has also chaired Arabella 2 and his been an instrumental part of the Grabouw Quarry Environmental Committee, the Development Bank of South Africa’s Elgin-Grabouw Sustainable Development Initiative, and the Cape Implementation Committee, also representing the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve Company. 

His vision is that all inhabitants of the region become involved in and take ownership of the KBR, ensuring that existing and new developments are made to blend and merge into the magnificent Kogelberg landscapes, and that stunning seascapes are protected, with superbly managed sustainable marine components that first benefit inhabitants and tourism in the KBR.


Biosphere Living

If you live in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve region, you’re already enjoying Biosphere Life. That means you can already enjoy all that Mother Nature offers you here, in this incredibly special part of the world. MORE


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

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