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Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

Gansbaai, South Africa

Just 2 hours from Cape Town, Grootbos is a superb family-run nature reserve set on the fynbos-clad hills above Walker Bay. 27 luxurious suites are divided between two lodges, set amongst ancient milkwood trees overlooking a majestic sweep of coastline.

At a Glance

  • The best place on the planet to see the marine Big Five: Whales, Sharks, Dolphins, Seals and Penguins

  • A wide range of social and environmental projects here. Grootbos is an award winning, world leader in Responsible Tourism

  • So much to explore here at the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, on the hills of the reserve and down on the beach at Walker Bay

  • Delicious fresh and locally sourced food at both lodges, and an enviable wine cellar

  • Spacious and modern suites with sweeping views across the whole stretch of Walker Bay

  • Horse ride along the beach, explore the rock pools and caves of the coast and pause for a picnic lunch

Adventure, Wildlife, Culture, Family

Insider's View

Take a guided tour around their amazing social projects before heading down to the waterfront to spot whales. Children will be in heaven playing with the rabbits, riding the ponies and taking part in beach games.

Camilla Whitworth

Insider's View

On top of the complimentary activities the hotel also organizes a number of really special excursions. From cage diving with Great White Sharks to Whale Watching Tours and Sea Plane flights there is something for everyone.

Dominic Atterton

Insider's View

For something really special the hotel has a stand alone private villa to rent. Ultra sleek and modern it's a beautiful home.

Dominic Atterton

Insider's View

An incredible place to visit after a stay in the cosmopolitan melting-pot of Cape Town. Only 2 hours out of the city, but like being on a different planet. Sweeping views, vast skies, so many activities. A real must in a cape or Garden Route itinerary.

Scott Dunn team

Insider's View

Children can visit the stables and spend time with the horses – and Emma, the pot-bellied pig!

Anna Hearn

Insider's View

Try shark cage diving – it’s an incredible experience for those brave enough!

Anna Hearn

Insider's View

Forest Lodge has an incredible underground wine cellar with over 1000 bottles of wine – dinners here are a specialty

Anna Hearn

Insider's View

Grootbos has a guide station for guests to plan their activities

Anna Hearn

Insider's View

There are some fantastic wine estates in the Hermanus area, within 30 km of the lodge. So it is possible to go wine tasting for a day.

Louisa Ross-Taylor

Call us on 858 345 1761 to start planning your vacation to Grootbos Private Nature Reserve or take a look at our itineraries to Garden Route


Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is in a beautiful location above Walker Bay, a short distance from Hermanus on the Garden route, with sweeping views over the bay and out to sea. Grootbos is split into two lodges - Garden Lodge and Forest Lodge.

Grootbos Garden Lodge’s 11 suites provide the ideal getaway for families, while the newer Forest Lodge with its fresh, contemporary style and spectacular sea views is ideally suited to couples and groups of friends. The large suites, each with a private deck, offer guests the chance to unwind amidst the splendours of nature, while enjoying all the comforts of home. The use of natural textures and colors enhance the feeling of harmony with nature; well appointed bathrooms with large windows overlook a carpet of diverse flora stretching down towards the sea. Combine this with a beauty or massage treatment in the comfort of your own room and you will be left feeling utterly peaceful and at one with your surroundings.

In addition to guided nature walks and drives, activities at Grootbos include horse riding, fishing, birdwatching, great white shark cage diving and whale watching. Southern right whales migrate into Walker Bay to shelter from the storms in the south Atlantic and to calve from June to November. The cliffs of Walker Bay offer some of the best land-based whale viewing in the world and you can get even closer to these beautiful creatures by boat. Watch spellbound as mothers, calves and energetic bulls come to within 30 meters of the rocky shoreline.


Grootbos Private Nature Reserve offers 11 Suites at Garden Lodge and 16 suites at Forest Lodge. Suites in both lodges feature a spacious bedroom with en suite bathroom, separate lounge with tea & coffee making facilities, minibar, cosy fireplace and satellite TV / DVD player for in-room entertainment. The spacious suites open out onto a private outside deck overlooking Walker Bay.

Private Villa

Two private villas are the last word in secluded luxury, offering unforgettable experiences to our discerning guests. With intuitive service provided by your own private chef, butler and nature guides, your every need will be met in a home-away-from-home environment of unsurpassed quality.

Forest Luxury Suite

Secluded, tranquil and opulent, these are suites for romance, contemplation and connecting deeply with both nature and yourself. Taste the fresh air, listen to the sound of the ocean and breathe in the smell of the unique fynbos that surrounds you.


Garden Lodge offers good facilities for children. There is a playground near the horse stables and there are a number of activities to inspire and educate them, including treasure hunts in the Milkwood Forest. Special children's menus are available as well as refreshments and snacks during activities. Children under 12 years old are not accepted at Forest Lodge.


Facilities at the lodges include a swimming pool, the 'Red Indigo' and 'Garden' restaurants, serving imaginative interpretations of 'old school dishes' with breathtaking views of Walker Bay and the surrounding fynbos reserve.

The is also a boma nestled in the lush surroundings of Milkwood Forest, bar, spacious lounge area, gallery, infinity pool, conference center and spa with treatments and massages on offer.


Grootbos Private Nature Reserve offers horse riding, guided walks or drives in the reserve, which are complimentary at both lodges. Activities at an a additional cost include whale watching, great white shark cage diving, other boat activities, wine tours, bird watching, scenic flights, horse riding and in-room beauty and massage treatments.

Location & Directions

Gansbaai, South Africa

Only 2 hours from Cape Town en route to Hermanus and the Garden Route, Grootbos is centerd in the heart of the Cape's abundant sea, floral and wild life landscapes. The Garden Route is rightly referred to as the Jewel of South Africa, with lush indigenous forest, free flowing rivers, expansive lagoons, sunkissed beaches and majestic mountains combining to create a symphony of natural beauty.

When to go

Garden Route enjoys a moderate climate all year round. In peak summer season, from December to February, temperatures can climb as high as 34ºC, although winter temperatures can drop to as low as 4ºC. Generally, this season has many sunny days with high wind at times. During the winter months of June, July, and August, expect frequent rains and a couple of chilly evenings. From June to December, the Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis) graces Walker Bay with its massive presence.

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Call us on 858 345 1761 to start planning your vacation to Grootbos Private Nature Reserve or take a look at our itineraries to Garden Route

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