A beach town less than an hour from Cape Town, Hermanus is a popular tourist destination for local and international tourists. Hermanus, also known as “the heart of the Whale Coast,” is recognized by World Wildlife Fund as the best area for land-based whale watching in the world. Whale watching is best between September and November when the giant Southern Right Whales calve in Hermanus bays. The excellent whale watching opportunities attract visitors to Fernkloof Nature Reserve and the surrounding mountains. The bustling seaside resort is renowned for its beautiful beaches, beautiful restaurants, and boat trips.
Fernkloof’s Floral Kingdom
Although the Cape floral kingdom is one of the smaller six domains worldwide, it has the highest biodiversity. Fernkloof Nature Reserve, locates in the mountains above Hermanus, covers 1 800 hectares, and it is compose of pristine mountain and coastal forest fynbos. The name derives from various evergreen shrub-like plants and woody plants with tough leathery leaves. This reserve, which protects coastal plants and Fynbos, has over 1100 species of Fynbos.
Fernkloof Nature Reserve houses the largest carnivorous plants in the world. Many people visit the reserve to see this amazing giant of carnivory. Roridula, or videos known in Afrikaans, can reach up to 2m in height and has leaves covered in sticky droplets. These use to catch prey. They are native to the Western Cape and are an excellent attraction for eco-travellers and botany enthusiasts. Roridula dictate one variety of this carnivorous plant, capturing small birds. These plants are so interesting because once they catch their prey, they don’t have any way to digest it. Unlike other predatory species, they lack the enzymes required for digestion. Pameridea Miridae is tiny bugs that live on Roridula. They eat the prey of Roridula and then defecate on its leaves. Roridula can absorb nitrogen through its leaves from the nitrogen-rich faeces.
This unique symbiotic relationship has allowed the two species to survive.
Although not considered a hotspot for birdwatching, Fernkloof Nature Reserve hosts a record number of 92 species. The Cape Sugar Bird, Sunbirds and Rock Thrush are the most common species. Some Raptors include the Jackal Buzzard, Rock Thrush and Rock Jumper. They primarily feed on Dassies (Rock Hyrax), but other species are. Many insect-eating species here, including the Cameron Pigeon and Canaries, Flycatchers, White-eyes, and Canaries. The annual return of the Cuckoos and Swallows to the reserve in summer marks their yearly return. The South African national bird is perhaps the most impressive bird you’ll see as you walk through this reserve. The graceful Blue Crane, a species worldwide, prefers the Overberg region (of Which Hermanus is part) for breeding and feeding. This area is known to be the last refuge for them. In winter, large flocks of Blue Cranes are common. They can also find in pairs breeding in spring and summer. Fernkloof’s birds can eat fynbos species like Erica and Protea, which allows them to play an essential role as pollinators. Know everything about DELTA CANCELLATION POLICY before booking a flight to Hermanus.
Although the reserve does not have a lot of animals, many species have made Fernkloof home. Baboons, Klipspringer and Mongoose, are the most common mammals to be seen, and they are all day-feeders. Visitors can only see their tracks and their effect on the vegetation to confirm their presence. Many rodent species roam this reserve. The most prominent Cape Spiny Mouse is a common species in Fernkloof but rare in the Red Data Book.
Fernkloof Events and Attractions
Fernkloof Nature Reserve has become a popular destination for nature lovers and explorers. You can take many walks to enjoy the stunning sights and sounds of this reserve. There are more than 50 kms of marked paths that allow visitors to see the whales breaching in Walker Bay as well as the fantastic Fynbos. It includes endemic species like the “Pride of Hermanus Erica.”
Fernkloof Nursery has a lot of indigenous plants that can be taken home by visitors who wish to take a piece of the reserve with them. The funds have a variety of exhibitions, including the highly-popular miniature indigenous gardens’. After you’ve enjoyed the beautiful sights and sounds of the reserve, the homemade teas or lunches available will be the perfect way to end a great day. The Fernkloof Reserve hosts the Hermanus Wildflower Festival, coinciding with the September Hermanus whale festival.
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