Kleinmond is in the middle of an area known as the “Heart of the Cape fynbos floral kingdom” that is included in the world-renowned Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. Its historical background is rich with stories of shipwrecks, pirates, runaway slaves, cattle-thieves and strandlopers and the area from the Bot River Vlei to Gordon’s Bay, and inland to the Groenlandberg is considered of such ecological significance, that in November 1998 it became the first UNESCO-declared Biosphere Reserve in Southern Africa. This means that the whole area is to be managed according to international principles that aim to combine conservation, sustainable use of natural resources, and wise development.
The coastline is an absolute paradise for the outdoor enthusiast with hiking trails, scuba diving, snorkeling, river-rafting, sand and surf sports as well as many mountain orientated activities. The Kleinmond Nature Reserve is criss-crossed by a network of trails for hikers that eventually leads into the beautiful Kogelberg Nature Reserve. Look out for the rare Strawberry Rain Frog, the endangered Cape Platanna or even the micro frog in the estuaries and marshlands around town.
Crayfishing is strictly seasonal and with permits only that can be obtained from the local postal office.
The coast offers every sort of walking and hiking trails and to keep the Kogelberg Reserve core area prisitine, numbers are limited and permits are required for certain trails. An excellent map, Kleinmond Walks, covering approximately 25 trails is on sale at the local Tourism office. Snakes, including the Berg Adder, Puffadder and Cape Cobra, inhabit the area and it is best to keep to the footpaths and not to turn over rocks and stones, the hiding places of certain snakes.
If you want to find a real treasure, you have to be on the beach at first light during winter. There you’ll find the Paper Nautilus (Argonauta argo) shell, a shy female octopus that uses the unique shell as a “carry case” for eggs. Unable to secrete his own shell, the male isn’t so mobile as the female. If he wants to get anywhere he is forced to hitch a ride with the female by squeezing into her mantle.
Things not to miss!
- Go white water rafting on the Palmiet River in winter when the water is flowing strongly after winter rains or wait until summer to go tubing when the water levels are low.
- Take a walk on Kleinmond’s perfect beach and along the coastal paths over majestic rocks to the mouth of the Palmiet River.
- Visit Harbour Road with its variety of businesses from craft shops and galleries to pubs and restaurants.
- Follow one of numerous walking trails in search for the elusive marsh rose.
- Hire canoes from Kleinmond Pleasure Boats for an afternoon of fun rowing on the Kleinmond lagoon.