GROOTBOS PRIVATE NATURE RESERVE
WHERE IN THE WORLD
Tucked between mountains, forest & sea of South Africa’s wild coast.
It was in 1991 that the Lutzeyer family first set eyes on a small farm on the fynbos slopes overlooking Walker Bay – and they couldn’t believe the beauty they saw. Since then, through a combination of hard work, enthusiasm, vision and strong family cooperation, the Lutzeyers have turned the reserve into a world leader in progressive luxury tourism, transforming the lives of community members and preserving 2500 hectares of botanical and wildlife treasures.
Grootbos reserve is a stunning 2-hr transfer from Cape Town or along the garden route. The reserve offers you the chance to immerse yourself in the unique fynbos kingdom and ancient forest of Grootbos; featuring 800 plant species, 118 bird species, 29 mammals and 21 amphibians – some of which are under threat of extinction.
The coastal waters here are home to an array of marine life, including the infamous “shark alley” and is home to whales, seals, sharks and countless nature documentaries.
KIND TO THE ENVIRONMENT
Grootbos are constantly researching, innovating and pioneering new ways of doing things – in order to transform the lives of community members as well as preserve 2500 hectares of botanical and wildlife treasures.
Grootbos is an award-winning pioneer in progressive tourism. Not only does the region encourage tourists to lessen their impact on the environment and “leave no trace” – Grootbos actually has programmes in place to revitalise this fragile environment. The region is home to animals of conservation concern, and all who work here are committed to creating a harmonious, interconnected and symbiotic balance.
YOUR TIME THERE
Our carefully curated experiences offer you the chance to grow, learn and discover. Whether it’s spotting whales and their calves in the ocean, learning how bees pollinate flowers or meeting passionate people changing the world, you’ll have your eyes opened – as well as your heart.
Then there’s the sharks…
SHARK CAGE DIVING
*This excursion must be pre-booked. Additional charge.
Gansbaai in the Western Cape of South Africa offers the best shark cage diving in the world: attracting these awesome predators as they hunt for birds, penguins and seals. Look these hunters right in the eye and feel your adrenalin surge as you make memories you’ll keep for a lifetime.
Great white sharks are considered Vulnerable by IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species, listed on CITES Appendix II, and has in fact been protected in South Africa since 1991. White shark cage diving has been recognised as a vital conservation tool, critically important for the species’ conservation in Southern Africa. Without these operations, white sharks would not be monitored and policed daily in South Africa. This would then open up the very real threat of illegal fishing of this species.
Bronze whaler sharks (Carcharhinus brachyurus) otherwise known as the copper shark because of its distinctive colouration is the new star at the shark cage diving boats in Gansbaai. This species is found in temperate waters and usually seen in groups. Bronze whalers can grow up to 3.3m in length during its 25 to 30-year lifespan. Their copper/gold colour is distinctive, and this species is very active around the boats leaving nature lovers and divers enthralled. It is not known to be predatory to humans, but itself faces fishing pressures and is considered near threatened by IUCN – International Union for Conservation of Nature.
- We’ll provide a clean, dry wetsuit and all other equipment.
- Suitable for both young and old.
- The specially designed cage is extremely safe and secure.
- Be entertained and informed as you learn more about these magnificent animals.
- You may also spot whales, dolphins, seals and penguins, as well as rich bird life.
No diving experience is needed and you’ll never be more than a metre below the surface, completely protected in a metal cage. We work in partnership with Marine Dynamics, conducting the tour on a luxury boat along with the help of a dedicated marine biologist. For anyone not wishing to dive, travellers can also view the sharks from an elevated viewing deck instead of a cage.
Every one of our guests gets taken on a free visit to the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary, to see and learn more about our seabirds.
Included in your nightly rate *
BOTANICAL 4×4 TOUR
We’re known for our unique botanical safaris on board an open-top Land Rover, where you’ll learn from our hugely knowledgeable guides about the incredible birds, plants and animals in this floral kingdom. Be still, absorb the world around you and delight afresh in its wonder.
Get into better rhythm with nature as you traverse this landscape in a very natural way. With our own stables on the reserve, you can see Grootbos as either a beginner or expert rider, as you trot slowly through the fynbos or ride on the beach.
Whale watching in this unspoilt natural environment is an almost spiritual experience, which is why people from around the world flock to Walker Bay in the Western Cape every year to do so. Spot Southern Right Whales on either land-based or boat-based excursions or take a flight for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
* Additional charge
WALKS & HIKES
Walks or hikes in and around Grootbos are one of the best ways to truly immerse yourself in the Cape Floral Kingdom, as you breathe the fresh air and drink in the crystal clear views. Take a guided walk or head out yourself as you gaze at bursts of fynbos colour.
Feel revitalised , calmer and more at peace by choosing from the many treatments offered by our two beauty salons. Enjoy a deep tissue massage with only the forest surrounding you or feel pampered with a facial from a therapist with healing hands.
* Additional charge
LIVING THE FUTURE TOUR
Take a tour with heart as you discover how the entire Grootbos experience has been designed around benefitting the community and environment around you. Learn and connect as you witness how our various projects are changing lives and conserving this protected wilderness.
STEP INTO A NATURAL WORLD
All accommodation has been designed to reflect the exquisite natural setting of the Grootbos Nature Reserve, while never compromising on style or luxury.
Mother Nature is at the centre of your experience at Forest Lodge, whether it’s glimpsed in the botanical inspired tones of the decor, the curved lines of the roof or the way the expansive windows frame each natural masterpiece. Bask in the dappled light and unwind in this contemporary and stylish architectural haven. Wind your way through our ancient Milkwood forest as you walk between your opulent suite and the lodge itself, and you’ll feel serenity settle over you like a delicate mist. With its clean lines, elegant ceilings and expansive windows, Forest Lodge is the place you retreat to for blissful contemplation or for connecting with yourself or nature.
Imagine a secret garden overflowing with abundant life. Think of birdsong echoing from every corner, the scent of flowers in the air. And then imagine being given the key to that garden…such is a stay at Garden Lodge – where magic awaits you around every corner. Lush. Welcoming. Inspiring. Step into our Garden Lodge and feel the warmth of African hospitality combined with architectural mastery. Explore the fynbos on horseback or foot, admire the striking views or simply sip on a refreshing drink at our welcoming bar.
Experience this world through a stay at Grootbos Villas, where you will experience culinary excellence and a variety of exclusive experiences tailored to your unique needs, ensuring memorable adventures for you and your loved ones. At Grootbos Villas, your experience is curated to your tastes and individual needs. You have a personal chef, a private guide and driver at your fingertips. Your entire stay runs according to your schedule, and on your personal clock. World-class meals are prepared from locally sourced ingredients, and served to you at any time you desire them.
WINE & DINE
Dining at Grootbos is an experience in its own right, with its unique combination of fresh organic produce, a world-class natural setting and our hugely experienced culinary team. Every plate of food served up at our tables is a perfect, colourful piece of art. We use only the very freshest ingredients, sourced as close to Grootbos as possible, with many coming from our own organic farm on the reserve. This means that as you’re swooning over that home made linguini or Thai spiced soup, you’re also contributing to our food production and social upliftment projects. And the best part? All meals are included in your rate.
FLIGHTS & TRANSFERS
Various airlines arrive into Cape Town International Airport and OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg. If arriving into Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and George are short 2 hours flight away.
Grootbos reserve is a stunning 2-hr transfer from Cape Town or along the garden route (Better Safaris will arrange all local transfers for you).
Wildlife safaris and stays in Cape Town and the nearby wine region can also be arranged as part of your itinerary.
Flights may vary, please check directly with available airlines.
The best time to visit South Africa is from May to September, as the cooler winter months in the northern regions bring superb conditions for viewing big game. It can be rainy from November to February, but this is the best time to travel for birding, and temperatures remain warm at 22°C-33°C.
However, South Africa is a year-round destination, with varying regional climates and wildlife opportunities.
The best time to visit for whale watching is between July and November.
Credit & Debit Cards are widely accepted. Cash in South African Rand is also accepted.
Speak to us about itineraries to experience more of South Africa, we’re fantastic travel planners.
- per person per night, sharing
- per person per night, sharing
- per villa per night, sharing
Mid Season: 1st May – 15th July 2022
High Season: 16th July – 15th December 2022 & 11th January – 30th April 2023
Premium Season: 16st December 2022 – 10th January 2023 (additional charges apply)
EXPERIENCES – Per Person
Shark Cage Dive from $175 (includes video of your dive)
Whale Watching Tour from $95
Rates for children available for all activities.
Forest Lodge welcomes children aged 12 years and over.
Garden Lodge welcomes children of all ages.
- Accommodation in freestanding luxury suites
- Welcome drink served upon arrival
- Water, soft drinks, tea and coffee, minibar
- Fresh fruit daily in suite
- Light lunch
- 5-course dinner
- Breakfast buffet with full English breakfast menu
- Horse riding for non- and experienced riders through the reserve (please note that the weight limit is 90kg/198lbs per person/ children under the age of 12 are only allowed on guided pony rides)
- Guided walks including fynbos nature tours and Milkwood walks
- Nature, marine & coastal drives and walks including the Walker Bay Nature Reserve, De Kelders cliff walk, Klipgat Cave combined with seasonal land-based whale watching (whale watching especially during June – December)
- Bird-watching: experience a great variety of bird species on the reserve
- Various maps of the reserve and the area for self-guided walks
- International airfare
- Visas and other entry costs
- Travel insurance
- PCR testing for your journey home (if applicable)
- Gratuities for your tour driver/guide, waiters/staff at accommodations
- Alcoholic beverages
- Spa Treatments, boat trips, scenic flights, quad biking, beach horse riding (please note that the boat trips do not operate on the 25th and 31st of December as well as the01st of January each year!!!)
- Items of a personal nature (telephone calls, items bought from the Grootbos Gallery or Gift Shop)
No obligation free quotation and absolutely NO BOOKING FEES!
Have questions before booking? We’re here to help. Contact us below, or visit our frequently asked questions page HERE