When you can’t decide between the bliss of a soothing, green wilderness and the enchantment of the sea, choose a perfect piece of paradise that gives you both. And more besides. Not far from Cape Town, and just beyond Hermanus and Stanford, there’s a very accessible and captivating wonderland of ancient forests and fynbos-clothed mountainsides with the coast laid out below in all its spectacular glory – this is the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve – a corner-to-corner mosaic of nature up above the Overberg coastline. Whether you choose the fynbos eden of Garden Lodge or the magic-woodland setting of Forest Lodge as your refuge, the lodges have unimaginably wonderful views of coast, floral and forest wonderworlds. The magic of Grootbos is, in fact, this remarkable medley of nature: mountain, forest and coast. It’s almost too good to be true – but it’s real – we’ve just been there!
The Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is a nature-mosaic filled corner-to-corner with flowers, forests and birds, above the most wildly beautiful of beaches. Discover ancient caves revealing early man’s life in the area, meet whales and sharks at excitingly close quarters, and get out and about on supremely beautiful hiking and horse trails, with beauty by the bagful. At Grootbos five-star luxury and a really great array of nature activities come at excellent value-for-money rates. Check availability and rates online.
Activities at Grootbos
Horse riding (included in rate)
Guided nature walks (included in rate)
Self-guided nature walks (included in rate)
4×4 flower safaris (included in rate)
Beach picnics and walks (included in rate)
Guided coastal tours (included in rate)
Guided cave tours (included in rate)
Land-based whale watching tours in season (included in rate)
Guided bird watching outings (included in rate)
Social responsibility tours (included in rate)
Shark Cage Diving (additional cost)
Boat-based whale watching trips (additional cost)
‘Big 5’ marine safaris (additional cost)
Scenic flights (additional cost)
Spa treatments (including shiatsu) in an idyllic forest spa (additional cost)
Wine tours (additional cost)
Food at Grootbos
Ready yourself for a feast! We discovered, to our sheer delight, that the ‘light lunch’ at Forest Lodge is in fact a mini-banquet – three delectable and beautifully prepared courses on a small-choice menu. Views to die for, of course, while you have it. The activities you choose between lunch and dinner aren’t just magnificent in their own right, but help to ready you for the evening food bonanza. During our recent stay (short but deliciously tasty), we enjoyed an imaginative six-course dinner at Garden Lodge, bursting with flavours. Both lodges at Grootbos have a most excellent restaurant, and an extensive and creative foodie-team. Check availability and rates online.
Accommodation at Grootbos
Space is a commodity that’s not in short supply at Grootbos. Nor is imagination – the Grootbos people have found ways of keeping guests connected with nature – amazing central facilities have been designed for full inclusion of nature, with walkways meandering through woodlands, generous forest-canopied private decks, and indoors, unstinting picture windows.
At Forest Lodge the ancient milkwood forest lives and breathes all around you. The forest setting is cool and mysterious – one feels so thoroughly enveloped there by a full, alive kind of stillness. The views from the restaurant and pooldeck really have to be seen to be believed – expansive and glorious green spaces in the foreground, and beyond the coastline threading an ocean border as far as the eye can see.
Garden Lodge was ‘firstborn’ sanctuary at Grootbos, and remains an exquisitely inviting retreat in a splendid landscape of fynbos and milkwoods. Here, the mountains and the sea are yours, whether you’re up at the central lodge or in your suite.
For famillies, Garden Lodge is perfect, with its children’s playroom, barnyard animals and paddocks. The staff go out of their way for children (as they do for everyone!) – surprise movie nights, soccer matches and all sorts of delights.
There’s also a gorgeous 6-bedroomed private villa, for families or groups wanting to be on their own.
Mail us for additional information and books, or call on 0860 102 907 (local) or +27 21 797-7122 (international).