Discover the secrets of the Cape Floral Region

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Unesco described the Cape Floral region as “one of the richest areas for plants in the world”. They weren’t wrong in that assessment. The Cape Floral Region stretches from the Cape Peninsular to the Easter Cape with a total of eight protected areas. This region was the sixth South African site to be declared a World Heritage site.

While the Cape Floral Region represents 0.5% of the area of Africa, it is home to nearly 20% of the continent’s flora. Its plant species diversity and density are among the highest in the world making it one of the world’s 18 biodiversity hot spots.

The Eight Protected Areas

These eight protected areas are considered to be the most important examples of the Cape Floral kingdom:

Table Mountain

De Hoop Nature Reserve

Boland mountain complex

Groot Winterhoek wilderness area

Swartberg Mountains

Boosmansbos wilderness area

Cederberg wilderness area

Baviaanskloof

Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden located on the slopes of Table Mountain is included in this site making it the first time that a botanical garden is included in one of Unesco’s world heritage sites.

Map of the Region

The Cape Floral Region follows the Cape fold belt of mountains and runs through Langeberg, Outeniquas, Swartberg and Zuurberg mountains as well as Tsitsikamma.  

Due to the diverse plant species located in the Cape Floral Region, South Africa has the third-highest level of biodiversity in the world. Just a prime example: Just Table Mountain on its own has more plant species in its 22 000 hectares than the whole of New Zealand or British Isles!

Still haven’t grasped the significance and size of this fantastic region? Well here is another fun fact: the Cape floral kingdom still only contains roughly 3% of the world’s plant species which comes down to 456 species per 1 000 square kilometres. 70% of the 9 600 plants with vessels for bearing sap found in the Cape floral region, are endemic.

A bit about the fauna located in the Cape Floral Region

This kingdom boasts:

11 000 marine animal species, 3 500 of which are endemic marine animals

560 vertebrate species

142 reptile species, of which 27 are endemic

Now one can understand why the Cape Floral Region holds such a dear place in nature lovers’ hearts across the world. However, you don’t need to be a great fan of the outdoors in order to appreciate the beauty and rarity that is the Cape Floral Region.

Book your Greyhound tickets now and let’s take you to Cape Town this holiday so that you and your family can enjoy this natural beauty in real life.

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