Hermanus Flower Festival celebrated Fernkloof Nature Reserve's 60th birthday

Hermanus Flower Festival celebrated 60th  Birthday of Fernkloof Nature Reserve


The Fernkloof Nature Reserve is celebrated its 60th anniversary during the Hermanus Flower Festival from 22 to 25 September 2017.

This was a special event with a book being launched to showcase Fernkloof and what it has to offer. This handy A5 soft cover book offers lots of information and photographs about the local fauna and flora and also acts as a handy hiking trail guide to lead nature lovers through a 60 kilometers network to waterfalls and breathtaking views high up on the Kleinriver Mountains overlooking Hermanus, a popular tourist town in the Western Cape. It is 1,800 hectares in area and its altitude ranges from sea level to 842 metres. The reserve harbours more than 1 250 species of indigenous Fynbos species.

The Fernkloof Nature Reserve forms part of the Cape Floristic Region near the southern tip of South Africa. Although it is the smallest of the six recognised floral kingdoms of the world, it boasts the highest concentration of indigenous plants per square meter and extraordinarily high Fynbos diversity.

The economical worth based on harvests of fynbos products (e.g. wildflowers) and eco-tourism, is estimated to be in the region of R77 million a year.Thus the Cape Floristic Region has both economic and intrinsic biological value as a biodiversity hotspot, and a major tourist attraction.

Visitors were welcome to attend the diverse programme during the celebrations, including Citizen Science Walks to explore and find rare endangered species of fauna in the area, like the Drewes’ Moss Frog and Cape Dwarf Chameleon. Other creatures include Grey rhebok, Cape grysbok, klipspringer, baboon, mongoose and dassie are present in small numbers. More tyan 100 bird species have been recorded, including the Black eagle and Jackal buzzard, Cape Sugar bird, Sunbirds, Rock thrush and Rock Jumper.

Family fun activities were also held over the four days to entertain all ages. Gorgeous floral displays, environmental exhibits and labelled specimens of up to 400 fynbos species indigenous to the area.  Enticing products were for sale in the marquee, all with a botanical or nature theme, including books, cards, needlework and other products with a botanical theme, including gardening pots & stepping stones made by Wheel Chair entrepreneurs. Bunches of fresh blooms were available and the nursery offered a wide variety of stunning indigenous plants. 

Other activities included:

  • Back by popular request: 10 Mini Demonstration Gardens to give you ideas for your own garden;
  • A Land Art Workshop where you can design your own Land Art Sculpture from nature has to offer;
  • Exhibits by Environmental organisations such as Cape Nature and Whale Coast Conservation;
  • The Botanical Society’s Stand in the Marquee will offer precious treasures and souvenirs;
  • Slithering Snake Fynbos Demonstration – one of the most popular features;
  • Special schools programmes for children from all communities;
  • Citizen Science Exploration Walks – keep your eyes peeled;
  • Bugz Train through the gardens – for children;
  • Student Art Competition exhibition;
  • Alpacas and their products;
  • Design a Fairy Garden;
  • Raffle with great prizes.

The custodians of Fernkloof Nature Reserve include the Overstrand Municipality, the Fernkloof Advisory Board and the Hermanus Botanical Society, which has a mandate to protect the flora and fauna and is heavily involved in educating people on the need for conservation of the Reserve.

For more information:

Website: www.fernkloof.org.za,   See Directions and maps.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/hermanusbotanicalsociety

E-mail:  botsochermanus@telkomsa.net , or altapretoriushermanus@gmail.com

01 Aug 2017

By Alta Pretorius