Boschendal is situated in the Cape Floral Kingdom (CFK) and boasts one of the most diverse and fascinating ecosystems on earth, with soils traceable back to the first supercontinent some 1000 million years ago.
The CFK is the smallest yet richest plant kingdom on earth with an astounding biodiversity of plant and animal life. The Western Cape is lauded as a global biodiversity hotspot and is South Africa’s latest World Heritage site, yet it is still under threat from agriculture, urban development and invasive alien plant species.
A major feature of this kingdom is the multiform low growing vegetation known as fynbos or ‘fine bush’. The visual and aromatic prevalence of the various shapes and forms of this hardy vegetation inspired the iconic flora capensis symbol in Boschendal’s logo and even South Africa’s national flower, the Protea.
Sadly it is estimated that less there is less than 9% of the Renosterveld and lowland Fynbos ecosystems left. Boschendal have set aside almost half of the total land on the Estate for conservation with a resolute commitment to the environment, and are close to becoming the 16th Biodiversity in Wine Champion in South Africa.
Striking prized indigenous trees including ironwood, yellowwood, stinkwood and wild olive are still to be found on Boschendal as well as some of the oldest Western European oak trees planted by the colonists over the centuries.
Grey poplars used for roof beams are also still plentiful around the estate, as are Camphors brought by the Dutch East India Company from South East Asia and stone and cluster pines commonly used for the masts of ancient ships. Blue gums, some now over 100 years old and over fifty meters tall, were also imported by the British and are still used to produce honey.
Invasive alien acacias, hakeas and pines brought from Australia are the target of ongoing asserted clearing projects to prevent them from choking the water supply and unsettling the natural ecosystem.
Although over the centuries many of the larger animals have been hunted out or had their pastures destroyed by agriculture, Boschendal is still populated by an abundance of indigenous creatures, including small antelope like the duiker and klipspringer that inhabit the mountainous terrain.
Porcupine, mongoose, antbear and caracal are commonly spotted. The one large predator that has resiliently remained in the fynbos regions is the leopard that habitats the secluded valley peaks and is very seldom sighted.
Besides these, our delicate fynbos eco-environment is kept alive and thriving with a host of rodents, reptiles, insects and a remarkable wealth of bird life.