- Western Cape
- Swartberg Mountain Complex
Most of the Swartberg Mountains has been declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage site consisting of 180 00 hectares of land that is under the protection of the Cape Floral Region. This area if made up of 3 nature reserves namely:
- Swartberg Nature Reserve – 121 000 hectares
- Gamkapoort Nature Reserve – 8 000 hectares (Not open to the public)
- Towerkop Nature Reserve – 51 000 hectares (Not open to the public)
The conservation of the Swartberg Mountain Complex is vital to the maintenance of the catchment area and in turn the water yields supplied to the surrounding towns and communities.
The area consists mostly of fynbos that has been well preserved with very little encroachment of foreign plant and animal species. The rare protea (Protea Montana) and the endangered Protea Venusta can be found in the Swartberg protected areas. The area is home to 680 species of plants mostly around the passes. An interesting plant species endemic to this area (with even more interesting names) are so small that they can only be seen from a very close range, such as:
- Carrion Flowers
- Little Kebab Bushes
- Sausage Plants
- Snakebite Flower
The Cape Mountain Zebra is currently being re- introduced into the area and there are also many:
- Caracal Klipsringers
- Grey Rhbok
- Swartberg Pass that links Oudshoorn and Prince Albert
- Meiringspoort Pass that links De Rust to Meiringspoort
The San people lived in this area for centuries and there are many rock paintings to attest to this fact including artefacts found in the numerous caves.
A sand digging stone was found on the Western side of the area and a skeleton of a Hunter Gatherer individual near Klaarstroom in 1940.
This area has, as part of its heritage, several mountain passes, and a road and railway that were built in the 1700's by Thomas Bain and others.
Contact detailsCape Nature
Tel: +21 659 3500
From our gallery
Inside Swartberg Mountain Complex
Swartberg Nature Reserve
The Swartberg Nature Reserve falls under the protection of Swartberg Mountain Complex which, in turn is one of the 8 protected areas of the Cape Floral Region. The Cape Floral Region is also one of the 8 areas that was declared a World Heritage…More
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