Area Info

Area Info

Directions from Cape Town: Take N2, pass through Somerset West and Strand and just before you start climbing Sir Lowry’s Pass you will see a turnoff to Gordon’s Bay and Kleinmond, turn right at Kleinmond turn off (R44). Turn left at T-junction onto Clarence Drive to Rooiels (R44). Pringle Bay, Betty’s Bay & Rooi Els are all approximately 25km along this very scenic drive.
Directions from Garden Route: From N2, after Caledon take Hermanus turn off (R43). Left & left again then drive approximately 10km, turn right at Kleinmond turn off (R44). Pringle Bay, Betty’s Bay & Rooi Els are all approximately 15km from Kleinmond.

Map © Peter Slingsby: www.slingsbymaps.com

One of the World’s Richest Sites of Plant Diversity
Pringle Bay and immediate surroundings (Rooi Els, Betty’s Bay and also Kleinmond) are located in a Biosphere reserve. It is a specific type of landscape designated by UNESCO and benefits and accommodates both the natural environment and communities. The Kogelberg Biosphere reserve compasses the entire area from Gordon’s Bay to the Bot River Statuary and inland to Grabouw and the Groenland Mountain. The Kogelberg is also known as the ‘heart of the fynbos’ and is home to an incredible 1712 different plant species, making it one of the world’s richest sites of plant diversity. There are also an incredible amount of animal species like leopard, caracal, baboon (Pringle Bay has its own friendly troop that visits and destroys), a small variety of antelope and a large variety of birds. The area aims to support the conservation of all plants and natural features in the biosphere reserve and the Kogelberg Biospheres Reserve Company was established here to enhance opportunities for employment, tourism and any developments that are to the advantage of local communities. They also support indigenous gardens and environmentally friendly homes for a healthy and sound environment of residents For more information please visit www.capenature.co.za/

Bird Life

The area seashore, wetlands and mountains are home to a great variety of birds. You will find Black Oyster Catchers on the rocks and beach of Pringle Bay, Black Eagles nesting high up the Hangklip Mountain , a variety of swallows , swifts, Egyptian Geese and King Fishers near the Palmiet River by Kleinmond. The Harold Porter National Botanical Garden near Betty’s Bay is home to a variety of birds including the famous Cape Sugarbird.
The African black oystercatcher is southern Africa’s second rarest coastal breeding bird. The total population is less than 5000 birds. The oystercatcher’s glossy black plumage, bright red eyes, beak and legs, and plaintive piping call make them a distinctive and very appealing species. These birds occur along the coast and off-shore islands from Namibia to the Easter Cape. They are usually found on sandy or rocky shores and often seen on the rocky shores of Rooi Els and the sandy beach of Pringle Bay. They almost always occur in pairs or small groups. The breeding season is from September to March. Usually two eggs are laid, of a greenish or buff stony colour with dark brown spots, which provides an effective camouflage against predators. The name oystercatcher is misleading as they feed mainly on mussels, limpets, whelks, crustaceans and various worms, rarely if ever taking oysters!

Oystercatchers are very sensitive to disturbance by beach goers, fishermen, dogs and vehicles. They are also threatened by coastal developments with destroys their habitat. Breeding adults are easily stressed and they may even desert their nests if they are disturbed to often. Disturbance may create an opportunity for kelp gulls to pray on eggs or chicks. Try not to step on the well-camouflaged nests, eggs and chicks.

Harold Porter National Botanical Garden
Only 12km away the Harold Porter Botanical Garden is home to a wide variety of Fynbos such as the King Protea and Disa and the nearby town of Betty’s Bay hosts the Jackass Penguin Colony. A one hour drive from Cape Town with Hermanus, Stellenbosch and the Wineroute 45 minutes away – Pringle Bay is an ideal destination for nature lovers and a perfect base from which to explore the rich and diverse landscape of the Western Cape.
Tel: 028 272 9311
Fax: 028 272 9333
email: haroldporter@sambi.org

Dangerous snakes of the Western Cape
Various snakes are found in the area. Below are just a few dangerous ones.
Geelslang: Very poisonous. Their poison attacks the nerve system and can lead to breathing difficulty. If bitten the victim can die within two to three hours.
Pofadder: Poisonous. The poison attacks your skin tissue and when bitten you can loose the limb you are bitten on. Victim can die within six to twelve hours.
Bergadder: Very poisonous. The poison attacks your skin tissue, breathing and blood circulation. Victim can die within two to three hours.
Boomslang: Very poisonous. The poison attacks your blood thickening ability. Victim can die within three hours.
Black Spitting Cobra: Poisonous. The poison attacks your skin tissue. Victim can die within six to twelve hours

Baboons
Baboons are a familiar sight along the scenic routes of the Cape Peninsula. However, these animals are in danger of extinction unless the public, tourists and conservationists co-operate to protect them. Baboons are not endangered elsewhere in southern Africa, but in the Cape Peninsula increasing urban development has caused a dramatic decrease in their numbers. While baboons once ranged freely across Table Mountain, the few remaining troops are geographically isolated from other baboon populations, which also threatens their existance.
In the Cape Peninsula, especially Rooi Els and Pringle Bay, baboons are a major attraction, amusing tourists with their road side antics. Unfortunately, because people feed them, these baboons have lost their fear of humans and mkay become aggressive in pursuit of food offered (or not) by visitors. In the interest of puclic safety, aggresive individual baboons are culled, which in turn disturbs the social structure and behaviour of the troop. Rooi Els and Pringle Bay has their own troops that live in the area and have become very accustomed to home owner’s rubbish bins as an easy target to find food. These animals are very intelligent and many residents can tell you stories of how they just walk into your house to get a bunch of grapes that they could see through the window. Most homes in the are are ‘baboon proofed’ by special bars of electric fencing that keep even the smallest baby baboon out. Although these baboons look very tame, it is always advisable not to approach or feed them. They are wild animals and we are living in their territory not the other way around.
Baboons are wild animals and should be treated with caution. Please follow the guidelines for your own safety and to help protect the future of baboons:
* View the baboons from the safety of your car
* Keep windows and doors closed
* Do not feed baboons
*Do not entice baboons into your car
*Do not approach troops of baboons on foot
More information available at – Baboon Matters Trust

Penguins
The Stony Point area near Betty’s Bay has been for some years the best viewing point to see a whole colony of Jackass Penguins. They breed here and can be viewed from a cleverly designed decking area that runs through their home. The Jackass Penguin is unique in the sense that is the only species of its kind that breed along the African Coast. More of this breed can be seen at the Boulders near Kalk bay but it is not a breeding ground.
The Jackass Penguin became endangered because of commercial egg and guano collection, and because anchovies and pilchards, there preferred prey, were severely depleted by fishing. Seals, which also used to feed on these fish, increasingly prey on penguins. African penguins have also been subject to numerous oil spills over the past 30 years.
During the 1994 Apollo sea disaster about 10 000 penguins were oiled. Several thousand died, further endangering the species. Cape Nature Conservation and SANCCOB managed to rescue, clean, ring and release approximately 4,500 penguins. Cape Nature Conservation manages and assists with the conservation of the penguin colonies at Boulders Beach, Betty’s Bay and Robben Island.

Whale Watching
June to September is Whale watching time in the area. Do not be surprised to see lots of cars suddenly stopping near a viewing point of Clarence Drive to watch a Southern Right Whale that just has given birth to her calf. This is an experience that people pay thousands for, yet it is right on our doorstep. The whole coastline up to Hermanus has proven to be an ideal spotting area for this experience during these months.

Walking Trails and Other Activities
An abundance of activities and hiking trails in the area gives the nature lover a great day out. Swim, surfing and kite boarding can be done at the numerous safe swimming beaches.
Hiking
Visit www.greenmountain.co.za
Guided tours: Klem Dunstan on 083 298 0654 or 028 271 366

Mountain Biking
Permits available at Kogelberg Nature Reserve at the Oudebosch office tel: 028 271 5138 or visitwww.capenature.co.za

Kayaking, kloofing and white Water Rafting on Palmiet River
Visit www.gravity.co.za

Golf
a 9 hole golf course at Kleinmond
18 hole golf course at Arabella Country Estate outside Kleinmond.