Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat in the Cederberg has received the 2015 CapeNature Biodiversity Stewardship Award for excellence in the field of conservation. The award highlighted Bushmans Kloof’s commitment to saving the endemic Clanwilliam Cedar tree, which is categorised as endangered on the Red Data List. Bushmans Kloof has been driving a project for the last 13 years, in conjunction with CapeNature and the local community, to present the annual Clanwilliam Cedar tree planting event in the rural village of Heuningvlei. More than 1000 young cedar trees have been planted to date.
The CapeNature Biodiversity Stewardship Programme was initiated in 2003 and facilitates conservation on privately-owned land by setting up agreements between CapeNature and landowners. CapeNature undertakes to support this management by providing advice, management plans and assistance in planning invasive alien species clearing and fire management schedules. CapeNature is a public institution with the statutory responsibility for biodiversity conservation in the Western Cape. Governed by the Western Cape Nature Conservation Board Act 15 of 1998, its mandate is to promote and ensure nature conservation and to render services and provide facilities for research and training.
South Africa’s biodiversity is of the highest in the world with a wide range of soils and climates, constituting a variety of habitats which support a high number of plant and animal species. The Western Cape’s biodiversity is in a constant state of flux as it responds to natural forces and human activity.
A celebrated conservation success story as a South African Natural Heritage site, Bushmans Kloof is home to over 150 kinds of birds, 755 plant species and over 35 species of mammals, including the endangered cape Mountain zebra and many other rare species. Enriching and exhilarating outdoor experiences include nature drives, botanical walks, mountain biking, archery and fly fishing. Guided walks to some of the 130 ancient Bushman rock art sites in the reserve – some over 10 000 years old – provide deeper insight into the Bushmen in the Cederberg wilderness area.