Friday, September 09, 2005

A weekend at Kleinmond




A few weeks ago we needed to getaway and ended up at the Beach House in Kleinmond about an hour up the east coast from Cape Town on the way to Hermanus. What a wonderful location.

Kleinmond lies at a small lagoon on the narrow coastal belt between fynbos-covered mountains and the Atlantic sea and forms part of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, the first and only Biosphere in South Africa to be proclaimed by United Nations' Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). This means that the whole Hangklip - Kleinmond area is to be managed according to international principles which aim to combine conservation, sustainable use of natural resources and wise development.

Kleinmond has been a favourite summer-holiday destination for many farmers since 1860. Farmers from Caledon and nearby areas began making this annual pilgrimage to camp near the Palmiet lagoon and the Klein Botriver mouth, near to where the Hotel stands today. Church services were held near the Kleinmond lagoon from as early as 1902. The tree which stands there has earned the name of 'die Preek Boom' (the sermon tree). Church services are still performed there during the festive season.

Of special interest are the wild horses, roaming free in the marshlands surrounding Kleinmond. Believed to be South Africa's only herd of wild horses in a wetland habitat, they roam the Bot River Lagoon area, next to Rooisands Nature Reserve.

Then there is the rare Strawberry Frog, the endangered Cape Plantanna and the micro frog. Whales are easily visible from May to December along the magnificent Hangklip - Kleinmond coast. Any inlet or small sheltered bay allows some of the best views.

The sea was a bit rough when we went, so not too many whales in sight. Below are some photos we took.


The coastal road to Kleinmond


The Beach House Hotel


Our room


View from the room


The Whale Crier blows a horn when whales are in sight


The lagoon


Leaden skies

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