South African Hotels

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve Reviews & Information

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Dining at the Grootbos Nature Reserve

The Grootbos Nature Reserve provides two restaurants which are the more contemporary designed Red Indigo Restaurant and the cozy, African style The Garden Restaurant.  Served with style and finesse in beautiful setting, guests may dine in the unsurpassed beauty of sun, sea, sky and luscious flowering fynbos.
Both restaurants at Grootbos provide high beamed ceilings and windows galore to fuse with nature, maximising the sense of open space and scenic views across Walker Bay. Open fireplaces and soft lighting create cozy warmth during the winter months. Open decks and pool areas provide outdoor bliss and beauty in summer.

The chef offers colourful creations with exquisite flavours and tastes which flow from his dynamic workplace - thick Milkwood trees set amidst bright bursts of flowers and lush fynbos foliage overlooking sea and sky.  Using fresh, seasonal produce from Grootbos itself and the neighbouring farms, the chef blends and fuses Oriental flavours with traditional dishes to create unique and delicious combinations which please even the most critical connoisseur's taste buds.
Succulent beef fillets seared duck livers, and coriander-flavoured dark chocolate delicacies are just a few of his delicious creations which guests may enjoy.


Spa Facilities

The Bloom Beauty Salon at Grootbos

For relaxation, the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve offers an array of spa treatments. Guests are invited to enjoy the calming vapours of delicious scents, such as sandalwood, arnica and buchu while the body melts under the soothing touch of the qualified beauty therapist.  Pampering takes place in the comfort of guests' private suites. For the tired body, a therapeutic full body massage is a definite must, leaving guests in a state of absolute calmness.  For the weary feet, reflexology, including a footbath, are recommended.
Manicures, pedicures, facials and a host of other treatments are available on request in the Bloom Beauty Salon at the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.

Activities, Sports & Leisure

Whale watching

The reserve provides its guests with some of the best whale watching tours in the world. Guests have the opportunity to view the Southern Right Whales from the Shores, off the rocks in De Kelders, by boat, or by a plane flying over the spectacular Walker Bay.

The whale watching tours are all part of the Grootbos experience, so no prior arrangements or bookings need to be made.

  • Land-based Whale Watching Tours
  • Boat-based Whale Watching Tours
  • Whale Watching Tours By Plane
Beach walks

The Walker Bay Nature Reserve in the Western Cape features a spectacular 14 kilometres of unspoilt coastline and is also home to various coastal birds including the African Black Oystercatcher.

Flower safari

The guided walks and 4x4 drives at Grootbos not only lead guests through the forest but also through the magnificent Cape Floral Kingdom with more than 750 fynbos species, 107 bird species, 21 mammals and 21 reptiles which can be admired.

Klipcat Caves

The famous Klipgat Cave, which lies near De Kelders, evokes vivid images of pre-historic times when modern man lived in symbiotic harmony with nature of the bounty of land and sea when the coastline was still kilometres away.

Horse riding

The vast reserve offers ideal opportunities for horse riding, with 16 well-trained horses and experienced instructors available who cater for all levels of riding.

Scenic flights

View beautiful mountains, lush vineyards, incredible shipwrecks and even sharks and whales. Fly with Grootbos to see the southernmost part of the African continent from this unique perspective. During season up to 140 whales and calves can be observed in the Walker Bay of the Western Cape.

Only from the sky is it possible to comprehend the size of the Southern Right whale communities which come to visit this shoreline. The confluence of the warm Indian and the cold Atlantic Ocean create a vibrant and colourful seascape.  The beautiful Cape Mountains frame these perfect white beaches and rocky shorelines, interspersed with rivers and villages.

Shark cage diving

Watching a large 4-metre Great White shark glide past you within impressive range is a once in a lifetime adventure. The Gansbaai coastline is probably the best place in the world to encounter Great Whites in a relatively small area. Whether you merely want to observe these unusual creatures from the safety of a plane or boat deck or prefer an up close encounter with them from a steel cage, this truly is an activity never to be forgotten.

Bird watching

In the breeding season which is from September to April, guests staying at the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve encounter a magnitude of beautiful birds sticking together albeit they are not of the same feather.

The diverse habitats, ranging from fynbos, Milkwood and Afromontane forests to riverine scrub and mountain slopes, are home to at least 120 different bird species, of which 30% are endemic or near endemic to Southern Africa. These include specials such as the Knysna Woodpecker, Cape Clapper-lark and the Southern Tchagra.

Conferences & Events

Grootbos Creative Conferencing Centre

Located in the Overberg area, the nature reserve is about a 2-hours drive away from Cape Town. The 2510-hectare nature reserve overlooks the picturesque Walker Bay with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the distant Cape of Good Hope.  Escape from the city and discover life.

The lodge features two exclusive 5-star sanctuaries: the Garden Lodge and the Forest Lodge, which are close by to each other.  With dinner, guests are offered only the best South African wines in a social atmosphere, while the comfortable bar and lounge provide a congenial environment to relax and socialise after a day of conferencing.

The Creative Conferencing Centre provides delegates with an experience out of the ordinary: state-of-the-art conferencing facilities, embedded in a natural setting, will have delegates unwinding the minute they reach Grootbos.  The modern conference centre can accommodate up to 80 guests featuring one large conference room.

A u-shaped seating arrangement can seat 40 delegates, cinema style 80 delegates and boardroom-style 26 delegates.  Breakaway rooms are also available during the period of the conference. These meeting rooms provide plenty of wall space and are very close to the main conference facility and the lodge. 

The conference venues have new audio-visual and media requirements such as video conferencing, VOIP phones, wireless internet access, data projectors, DVD players, video and television equipment, flip charts and large white screens.  Additional services including fax, photocopying and a postal service are available with the appropriate Secretarial Service set out to offer a flexible service that will have you astonished.


Check in and Check Out Times
  • Check in: 14:00
  • Check out: 10:00
General Services
  • 24 - hour reception service
  • Airport transfers
  • Concierge services
  • Housekeeping service
  • Individual climate controlled room
  • Laundry services
  • Secure parking
  • Tours & Transfers on Request
  • Wake-up call
  • Walking safaris
  • Wellness & Beauty treatments
Children Activities
  • The Grootbos Private Nature Reserve in South Africa welcomes children of all ages and families.  The children's activities are not just activities; they are a combination of education and fun in this beautiful nature setting. 

    Kids Kitchen

    Grootbos caters for kids' physical well-being with special children's menus as well as refreshments and snacks during the activities.  Their unique children's turndown ends an exciting and fun filled day.  

    The Playground

    The Play Ground is a children's paradise, and most parents only see their children at meal times. Children are invited to explore their natural surroundings while playing with fluffy bunnies, the domestic pig "Emma" or the ducks. 

    The little guests love collecting their breakfast eggs laid by the free-range chickens after they have fed the horses with fresh produce from the reserve's vegetable garden. There is always one of the specialised guides to supervise the children at the playground.

    Treasure Hunts

    Specialised guides accompany children during exciting treasure hunts through the Milkwood Forest, where they learn about the incredible web of life linking the Milkwood trees to so many other organisms within the forest. 

    The dense canopy on the reserve is home to many bird species, including the Barthroated Apalis, the Cape Batis and Rameron Pigeon, while the woods is crossed by trails of the bushbuck, porcupine, golden mole and other forest creatures. The treasure hunt covers easy terrain and takes approximately 45 minutes to complete for children. The treasure hunt at Grootbos is suitable for all age groups

Available Rooms

Garden Lodge - One-Bedroom Luxury Suite

The One - Bedroom Luxury Suite at the lodge features a spacious bedroom with en-suite bathroom, separate lounge with tea & coffee making facilities, minibar, cosy fireplace, DVD player for in-room entertainment.

The spacious suites open out onto a private outside deck which overlooks the beautiful Walker Bay. As with all One-Bedroom Luxury Suites at the exclusive Garden Lodge, facilities such as a separate bath, shower and toilet, satellite TV and secure room safes are standard.

Forest Lodge - One-Bedroom Luxury Suite

The Forest Lodge offers a total of 16 luxury suites which nestle in a 1500-year old Milkwood Forest from where magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean can be enjoyed.
Each suite at the Forest Lodge is stylishly furnished to offer an exquisite blend of aesthetic beauty and supreme comfort. Cosy fireplaces, romantic canopy beds and spacious bathrooms make the Forst Lodge at Grootbos an idyllic hideaway for honeymoon couples. Daily fresh fruit baskets, underfloor heating, as well as heated towel rails, add to the fine features of the Forest Suites.

The Luxury Suites at the Forest Lodge:

  • Scenic views from all rooms in the suite
  • Fresh fruit basket in suite daily
  • Cozy Fireplace
  • Air-conditioning
  • Outside Shower
  • Underfloor Heating
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Freestanding
  • DVD Player & Satellite TV
  • Mini bar

Garden Lodge – Two-Bedroom Luxury Family Suite

This room type is an ideal accommodation option for families travelleing together with their children.  


  • 2 Master-Suites with en-suite bathroom (bath, shower and outside shower)
  • 3 Luxury Bedrooms with en-suite bathroom (bath and shower)
  • 1 Luxury Bedroom with en-suite bathroom (shower only)
  • 2 Lounges with satellite TV 
  • 1 fully equipped kitchen with storeroom and scullery
  • Dining Room
  • Breakfast area
  • 2 outside BBQ areas, 1 inside BBQ area
  • Outside pool
  • 1 Media Room with big screen and projector
  • 1 fully equipped office with internet access and telephone
  • 1 Gym
  • Wine Cellar
  • Large outside decks
  • Own landing strip suitable for helicopters and small planes.

Villa 2

  • 1 Master-Suite with en-suite bathroom (bath and shower)
  • 2 Luxury Bedrooms with en-suite bathroom (bath and shower)
  • 1 Luxury Bedroom with en-suite bathroom (shower only)
  • 1 Lounge with satellite TV 
  • 1 fully equipped kitchen with storeroom and scullery
  • Dining Room
  • Outside BBQ area
  • Outside pool
  • 1 Gym
  • Wine Cellar
  • Sauna & Relaxation Room 
  • Large outside decks
  • Own landing strip suitable for helicopters and small planes.

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve offers an airport transfer service. To receive a quote or make an airport transfer booking, please click the button below.

Book Airport Transfer

GPS Co-Ordinates

Latitude: -34.539746

Longitude: 19.413528


Directions to the Grootbos Nature Reserve from Cape Town:

Take the N2 from Cape Town, past the Cape Town International Airport to Somerset West. Either follow the N2 over Sir Lowry's Pass turning onto the R43 after the Houhoek Pass, or take the R44 along the coast and turn onto the R43 to Hermanus. Drive through Hermanus, Grootbos is 13km past Stanford on the R43.

Directions to the Grootbos Nature Reserve from the Garden Route:

The N2 brings you west past Swellendam and Riviersonderend. 10km past Riviersonderend turns onto the R326 to Stanford. At Stanford turn left onto the R43. Grootbos is 13 km from Stanford on the R43.

Coastal scenic route from Cape Town to the Grootbos Nature Reserve near Hermanus:

The drive from Cape Town takes guests along the R44 from Gordons Bay to Hermanus. This is one of the most scenic coastal routes in Southern Africa, hugging the coastline with magnificent views of False Bay. Between June and November, whales are sighted on this drive. The route winds through the magnificent Kogelberg Nature Reserve, which is known for its beautiful fynbos. The reserve lies within the southern stretch of the rugged Hottentots Holland mountain range and has remained isolated and remarkably unspoilt. Its high mountain peaks, steep kloofs, valleys and several tributaries of the pristine Palmiet River create a sense of remote wilderness.

En route to the Grootbos Nature Reserve, guests may visit Stony Point in Bettys Bay, which is home to one of only three breeding colonies of the African Penguins on the mainland in South Africa. The penguin colony can be viewed from a platform, and the penguins are best seen when they return from their days fishing. An interesting fact is that the Spheniscus demersus (African Penguin) is one of 18 species worldwide and the only penguin species that breed around African coasts. Pathways are leading past the penguin nests, and many photographic opportunities of these fabulous creatures are available.

After leaving Stony Point in Bettys Bay, the route takes visitors past the Harold Porter Botanical Garden towards Kleinmond. Once one reaches Kleinmond, the R43 leads you towards Hermanus, which is wedged between mountain and sea offering spectacular views over Walker Bay. Drive through Hermanus, pass Stanford and you will arrive at the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.

Car Rental

A car rental service is available. To receive a quote or arrange car rental booking, please click the button below.

Book Car Rental


On site parking facilities are provided for guests.

Star Rating

5 Star


The magnificent Grootbos Private Nature Reserve in the Western province of South Africa has been the recipient of several prestigious awards over the years for both its luxurious accommodation and conservation efforts.
•British Awards: Tourism for Tomorrow, Protected Areas and National Parks. Highly Commended 2000
•MTN & Western Cape Tourism: Winner Eco-Tourism experience of the year 2001
•The Iris Darnton Award: for International Nature Conservation 2001
•AA Travel Guides: Accommodation Awards, Gold Achiever 2002
•2003 Imvelo Best Environmental Management Program Award
•2003 Imvelo Overall Winner for Responsible Tourism
•2003 Imvelo Responsible Tourism, Most Improved in one year
•2004 Responsible Tourism Award - Best protection of endangered species
•2005 Tatler Travel Guide voted as one of 101 best hotels in the world
•2006 Tatler Travel Guide voted as one of 101 best hotels in the world
•2006 Tatler Travel Guide voted as Best Family Hotel in the world
•2006 Conde Nast Traveler annual Green List 2006
•2007 Tatler Travel Guide voted as one of 101 best hotels in the world
•2007 Responsible Tourism Award: Best for Conservation of an Endangered Species
•2008 Tatler Travel Guide voted as one of 101 best hotels in the world
•2008 Finalist: Tourism for Tomorrow Awards
•2008 The Good Safari Guide: Best Community Property in Africa 2008
•2008 Amarula Best Retreats in Africa Awards: Winner: Heart of Africa 2008
•2009 GEO Saison Green Palm 2009 for Michael Lutzeyer
•2009 The Good Safari Guide: Best Community Safari Camp 2009
•2009 Amarula Best Retreats in Africa Awards: Winner: Most Innovative Retreat in Africa 2009
•2010 The Good Safari Guide: Best Ecological Safari Property in Africa 2010
•2011 The Good Safari Guide: Runner Up Best Ecological Property in Africa 2011
•2011 The Good Safari Guide: Finalist Best Community Safari Property in Africa 2011