1. Typography

The CWCBR falls within a broad coastal plain and with gently undulating relief. On the east the Darling Hills rise to almost 570 metres above sea level.

2. Marine Component

The marine component comprises the continental shelf, several bays and the Langebaan lagoon. The Benguela current and associated up welling provides nutrients that support a rich marine ecosystem, the fishing and mariculture economy.

3. Soils and Minerals

The soils of the CWCBR range from calcareous sands at the coast to acidic sands further inland. Shale and granite soils are relatively fertile and form the backbone of agriculture in the region.

4. Climate

Climate has a profound effect on vegetation and habitats. The CWCBR is characterised by high winds, variable rainfall (from south to north and east to west), and a cooling and productive off shore current. Rain falls chiefly in winter. An average annual rainfall of 515 mm for Cape Town versus 278 mm for Langebaanweg illustrates the gradients in climate experienced across the Biosphere Reserve. The climate is influenced by long-term changes and short-term events such as the El NiƱo.