One of the last remaining pieces of Atlantis Sandveld (sand-plain) fynbos is
to be found on Nirvana Farm.
In 2009 we became the first ever private landowners to lobby the City of Cape Town
to form an Environmental Management Partnership or Conservation Stewardship Agreement
with the aim of protecting this rare flora in perpetuity. We try hard to remain
true to our role as custodians of the last remaining example of naturally-occurring
Atlantis Sandveld fynbos in the world – a product of 71 million years of evolution.
Fynbos is famous not only for the diversity of its plant species but also the sheer
beauty of its wildflowers which burst forth in Spring (September – October). It
has one of the richest floras of the six floral kingdoms of the world – more than
9000 species in an area of 42 000 km2 – which are found nowhere else on Earth. It
is also one of the most critical biological hotspots in the world. Cape fynbos is
also characterized by exceptionally high numbers of highly localized species – including
some that are restricted to areas as little as 1 km2.
Worldwide, more than a tenth of plant species are endangered, on a relatively small
landmass. In the Cape, more than one-third of the species are endangered.
Sandveld fynbos was once found along the West Coast almost up to the Namibian border.
Only about 1% of the original habitat of Atlantis Sandveld Fynbos remains conserved.
“At least 84 Red Data Book Plant species occur in this vegetation type within the boundaries of the metropolis and are in danger of extinction… The area between Milnerton and Malmesbury must rank as one of the world's hottest spots for the loss of plant biodiversity.” Tony Rebelo, in Vegetation of South Africa.
The greatest threats to Sandveld fynbos are unsustainable land-use and the encroachment
of introduced alien vegetation, notably Port Jackson, Australian Myrtle, Wattle
(and hakea, rooikrans, bluegum and pine). As we continue to rehabilitate the
conservation area, we are constantly discovering more rare and beautiful species
on the brink of extinction.
To date more then 180 species have been identified with
more than 30 appearing on the red-data list, which makes this site internationally
significant for conservation.