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.
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
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 colours 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 metres of the rocky shoreline.
When to visit
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.
Only 2 hours from Cape Town en route to Hermanus and the Garden Route, Grootbos is centred 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.
Birds of Eden
Birds of Eden is the world's largest free-flight bird aviary. The aviary is home to about 3,500 birds representing over 200 species.
Black Water Tubing - Green Route
Explore the beauty of Tsitsikamma's Plaatbos Nature Reserve through a fun combination of tubing and stand-up paddle boarding.
Black Water Tubing - Red Route
For those who are thrilled with adventure, this is a unforgettable way to explore Tsitsikamma's Goesa Nature Reserve as you journey through beautiful forest and cliff sceneries which opens up to the spectacular Storms River Mouth.
Boat Trip on Storms River
If you like to be on the water, then this boat trip will get you up close and personal to the stunning Storms River. Afterwards, walk through the forest to the suspension bridge.
Coastal Cave Tour
Explore the fascinating coastal caves in the cliffs below Grootbos. Your knowledgeable guide will explain the history of human habitation going back in time to a period when the Stone Age people and Khoi bushman called the caves home.
Flight over Walker Bay
Take-off from Grootbos' private airstrip for a magical flight over the Walker Bay area, from July to October enjoy incredible sightings of Southern Right Whales from the air.
Fynbos Flower Safari
The Cape Floral Region has the highest concentration of plant species in the world. Staggeringly this recognised UNESCO World Heritage Site holds three times the diversity of species than the Amazon rainforest.
Great White Shark Cage Diving
Great white shark cage diving is an experience like no other. To get up close to the ocean's number one predator in its natural environment is a humbling experience you will never forget.
Hog Hollow Horse Riding - Farm Trail
This one-hour farm trail takes you through open terrains and fields.
Hog Hollow Horse Riding - Forest Trail
This two-hour forest trail takes you through the ancient Tsitsikamma rainforest.
Horse Riding in the Cape
Enjoy exploring the dramatic landscapes of South Africa on horseback, an experience to be included on any visit.
Monkeyland - Plettenberg Bay
Monkeyland is a unique primate sanctuary that rehabilitates and frees previously caged primates. All of the monkeys here move about the forest freely and peacefully and allow you to view them as they would bee seen in their natural habitat.
Make a brief stop at Mossel Bay for the world-famous Post Office Tree at the Dias Museum Complex.
Paddle Up Storms River
If you like to be on the water, then this two to three-hour kayak adventure will get you up close and personal to the stunning Storms River. Afterwards, walk through the forest to the suspension bridge.
Paragliding over Hermanus and Walkerbay
Take an unforgettable flight over Hermanus and Walkerbay with experienced and professional pilots. With easy take off and landing spots, all you need is a warm jumper and a sense of adventure!
Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve
Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve is the largest game reserve in the Southern Cape and is in the perfect location for anyone who wants to experience a one day, big game viewing experience along the Garden Route.
Quad Biking at the Wineries
This route takes you through Hamilton Russel Vineyards & South Right wineries into the Fernklook Nature Reserve.
Robberg Peninsula Walk
The Robberg Peninsula is an outcrop of land from the western side of Plettenberg Bay. The Peninsula is now a nature reserve and a marine protected area which makes for spectacular scenery, wildlife, flora and fauna.
Sea Kayaking at Hermanus
An adventurous 2-hour sea kayaking experience as you paddle along the coastline with opportunities to encounter sea creatures.
Sea Kayaking at Walker Bay
Explore the stunning coastline of WalkerBay and see some of its abundant marine life at close range. All of the guides are extremely experienced and after a short training session, you will head out to the Marine Reserve for a unique and fun experience.
Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre
Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre at Plettenberg Bay offers guests a truly unique wildcat experience as they are taken on a guided tour of cheetah, leopard, serval, caracal and other wildcats, baboons and birds.
Whale watching on the Western Cape
Southern right whales visit the Western Cape from about June to December every year. These beautiful gentle giants congregate to the shores of Hermanus all the way along the coast line towards Plettenberg Bay.