The four coastal villages of the Overberg (Rooiels, Pringle Bay, Betty’s Bay and Kleinmond) and the area that surrounds it represents one of only 25 hotspots of biodiversity in the world and forms part of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve – here we live in harmony with nature with areas allocated for human use in a sustainable manner and areas where no human may enter and the wildlife is protected.
Biosphere reserves are ‘living experiments’ in sustainability, tasked with the role of showing the world how to survive. The Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve was the first biosphere reserve to be declared in southern Africa and forms part of UNESCO’s world-wide network of Biosphere Reserves.
Betty’s Bay is located in the ‘heart’ of the Cape Floral Kingdom – the smallest yet richest of the six Floral Kingdoms in the world. Here you will find over 1,300 plant species per 10,000 square kilometers. It is believed that this amazing biodiversity is the result of the southern tip of Africa having escaped the last ice age that destroyed numerous plant species around the world. Many of the plant species found in the Cape Floral Kingdom are literally ‘living fossils’.
The Cape Floral Kingdom also has more endemic species for its area than anywhere else in the world – some 5,800 species. To put this in perspective, the whole of the United Kingdom only has 20 endemics.
The natural landscape is home to a variety of bird and animal life. Stony Point in Betty’s Bay is home to one of only two African Penguin colonies on the African continent where thousands of breeding pairs can be seen living in harmony with other sea birds.
In the village, beaches and surrounding areas wild animals are often encountered such as mongooses, porcupines, small buck, baboons and sea otters. Cape Leopards, Caracals and other wild cats are spotted less often but are often captured on camera in the wild or sometimes in peoples gardens.
There are no street lights in Betty’s Bay and only the main road is tarred. Just being here allows you to completely immerse yourself in nature and appreciate Africa’s heartbeat.