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Grootbos Private Nature Reserve | Gaansbaai

Home of the “Marine Big 5″ – whales, sharks, dolphins, seals and penguins; and with unparalleled floral diversity, Grootbos offers you a one-of-a-kind luxury African experience.

Every feature of the Grootbos experience has been crafted to facilitate and accentuate your discovery of this unique and wondrous destination from fine dining to a wide variety of guided activities.

The accommodation at Grootbos offers a complete immersion into the pristine natural surroundings within the gentle embrace of comfort and luxury.


Nestled between mountain and sea, the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is a five-star eco-paradise showcasing the incredible Flora and Marine life of the Southern Tip of Africa.

Only 2 hours from Cape Town and 30 minutes from Hermanus on the way to the world-renowned Garden Route, Grootbos is perfectly situated between the classic attractions of the Cape and is most certainly a highlight on any itinerary.


grootbos accent4Nestled in an ancient Milkwood forest surrounded by fynbos and mountains, the accommodation at Grootbos comprises the Garden Lodge, Forest Lodge and Villa.

The Garden Lodge has three types of suits; the Classic suite, Luxury suite and Two Bedroom Luxury suite. The Classic and Luxury suites feature spacious bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, private deck with panoramic views, lounge with cosy fireplace, satellite TV and DVD player, tea & coffee making facilities and minibar, additional bathroom with shower and toilet, secure safe and air conditioner. The Two Bedroom Luxury suite features two bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, private deck with panoramic views, lounge with cosy fireplace, satellite TV and DVD player, tea & coffee making facilities and minibar, secure safe and air conditioner.

The Forest Lodge has the Luxury suite and Luxury Pool suite. Both these suites feature spacious bedroom with en-suite bathroom, private deck with panoramic views and outside shower, lounge with cosy fireplace, satellite TV and DVD player, tea & coffee making facilities and minibar, additional bathroom with bath, shower and toilet, secure safe and air conditioner and underfloor heating. The Luxury Pool suite has a plunge pool.

The Villa features 2 master-suites with en-suite bathrooms, 4 luxury bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, 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, media room with big screen, projector and movies, fully equipped office with internet access and telephone, fully equipped gym, wine cellar, large outside decks and own landing strip suitable for helicopters and small planes.


  • Spa
  • Restaurants
  • Wine Cellar
  • Champagne Bar
  • Conference facilities


Fact File

  •  ½ hour scenic drive from Cape Town.
  • 2 Restaurants.
  • Conference facilities.
  • Unique dining options including intimate wine cellar and champagne bar.
  • Nouveau wine farms close by (tours available).
  • Free Wi-Fi.


Click here to view rates for Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

Why we LOVE it

  1. A five-star eco-paradise showcasing the incredible Flora and Marine life.
  2. Magical Milkwood forests.
  3. 4 X 4 Flower safari accross fynbos plains – with over 765 flower species to be discovered.
  4. Grootbos boasts two outstanding restaurants as well as a selection of amazing venues for special occasions.
  5. Executive Chef Duane Lewis and his extensive team are at your service at all times of the day to prepare just about anything your heart desires which includes catering for any special dietary requirements.
  6. Savour delectable dishes prepared with organic ingredients produced by our very own Growing the Future food production and social upliftment project.
  7. You can have every inch of your body pampered in the comfort of your own suite, in the spa facilities, or even in the forest surrounded by ancient Milkwood trees.

grootbos accent1


grootbos accent3What is included in the rates?

All meals (breakfast, lunch and 6-course dinner) as well as all land-based activities.

What activities are not included in the rate?

Boat-based whale watching (June – December), Dyer Island Boat Trip (January – May), Shark Cage Diving, Scenic Flights, Spa treatments.

Which time of year is best for whale watching?

From July – December.

Which time of year is best for viewing the Cape Floral Kingdom?

From July – December

How far is Grootbos situated from Cape Town?

160km’s (100 miles) – about a 2 hour drive.

How far is Grootbos situated from the Garden Route?

Grootbos is conveniently situated between Cape Town and the start of the Garden Route.


Marketing Collateral

Forest Lodge


Garden Lodge



Two Awards in One Week for Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve wins the Safari Awards for best Marine Safari Experience as well as the WTM Responsible Tourism Award in the accommodation category.

Since their inception in 2008 the Safari Awards have gone from strength to strength, and are now regarded as an industry gold standard. The 2018 Safari Awards included 15 award categories and Grootbos is proud to have received the Award for Best Marine Safari Experience 2018. 

Originally launched in 2004, the WTM Responsible Tourism awards aims to recognise those that are making a difference, the changemakers, those that are leading the way to make tourism more sustainable The Awards are about acknowledging and promoting good practice and specifically pay attention to those that make real impact and address the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the SDG’s. The award aims to recognise examples in the tourism industry that inspire, challenge and raise the industry bar.

The Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is a luxury lodge on 2 750 hectares of pristine Cape fynbos on the Agulhas plains of the Western Cape of South Africa. The ethos and commitment of Grootbos to responsible tourism and sustainability practices, permeates all levels of the organisation. Together with its non-profit partner, the Grootbos Foundation, Grootbos works to drive conservation, local enterprise development and the wellbeing of the local communities. Together, Grootbos and the Grootbos Foundation positively benefitted more than 10 000 lives last year.

Sean Ingles, General Manager of the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, “The principles of sustainability, transparency, respect and above all PROGRESSIVE TOURISM is a fundamental part of the Grootbos DNA. We work tirelessly to follow these guidelines in every aspect of our business whether it be in our conservation efforts, our community outreach programmes or in the lodges themselves. We are very proud to receive this award and we hope that it inspires other organisations to participate in similar programmes in their area”

grootbos awards

9 November 2017

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve – Re-Opening of Forest Lodge after fire

Following a fire that damaged the main lodge area of Forest Lodge at the end of August, forcing the closure of the lodge while re-construction takes place, we are happy to say that work is well underway to meet the opening deadline of the 20th December. Using the opportunity to ensure that Forest Lodge gets a fresh new look, various areas in the main lodge have been re-designed. Wormy Chestnut floors have been used throughout the lodge giving it a much lighter feel. James Mudge tables adorn the restaurant and we eagerly await the arrival of the award-winning Artisan chairs from Europe to complement them. A newly- fashioned bistro area leading onto the pool deck and a renewed pool with a glass front overlooking the magnificent vista of Walker Bay all work to update the lodge feel.  

Not missing the opportunity, extensive work is being done in the lodge suites too. The bathrooms receives a full make-over with new luxurious bathtubs and crisp new vanities. The flooring throughout the lounge and bedrooms have been updated and new large-paned aluminium sliding doors have been installed in all rooms. New 50 inch Smart TV’s complement the re-designed fireplace area in each lounge and a refreshed minibar area awaits to entice each guests on entering the room. 

We look forward to sharing some pictures of the new lodge once it’s complete. Watch this space…

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve voted as one of the “Best Eco-Lodges in Africa” on CNN

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, located in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, is voted as one of 15 of the finest eco-lodges across Africa.

Africa’s Finest Eco-Destinations Colin Bell, co-founder of Wilderness Safaris and Great Plains Conservation, and David Bristow, environmental writer and coordinator of Green Safari Africa project, together co-authored “Africa’s Finest” – a book that describes 50 of the best eco-lodges across sub-Saharan Africa, Seychelles and Madagascar.

Their aim was to discover and expose truly sustainable establishments amongst those that only claim to be eco-friendly and to set a criterion in the industry for responsible and sustainable tourism that others will strive toward. The lodges listed run the most remarkable sustainable tourism operations, whilst simultaneously supporting their environment and surrounding communities.

Joined by nine environmentalists, each lodge was evaluated on over a hundred different points in four broad categories: successful conservation work, the effectiveness of their community outreach programmes, their use of renewable energies and their waste treatment and disposal.

CNN published the authors’ top 15 properties on 8 April 2015, and Grootbos is one of two of South African’s finest among 13 other eco-lodges across Africa. These lodges scored over 8 out of 10 in each category and meet the criteria for a genuinely eco-destination.

Conferencing and Events

Grootbos is the ideal location for a work conference because of its natural beauty, opulent interiors, five-star service, exquisite cuisine and luxurious suites.

The lodge is only a two hour drive from Cape Town and the International Airport which makes it a convenient venue or for a year-end function.

Delegates can take part in the many outdoor activities and return to the meeting feeling inspired and rejuvenated. A stimulating hike through the lush fynbos valley and a gulp of the crisp Champagne air will be sure to invigorate. There is also a forest spa on the premises where our skilled masseuses will make you feel like a new person as they push all the right points to soothe the muscles and extract all stiffness.


Cinema Style 84

Boardroom 36

U-shape 40

Classroom 48


Length 20m(66ft)

Width 5.5 m (18ft)

Height 4.5m(14ft)

Area 110sq m (350sqft)

For more information including imagery and 360 Virtual tours CLICK HERE


Home of the “Marine Big 5″ – whales, sharks, dolphins, seals and penguins; and with unparalleled floral diversity, Grootbos offers you a one-of-a-kind luxury African experience.

Every feature of the Grootbos experience has been crafted to facilitate and accentuate your discovery of this unique and wondrous destination from fine dining to a wide variety of guided activities.


Family Accommodation:

Grootbos has two-bedroom luxury suites which are the ideal family accommodation where you will find homely comforts, space, a lush interior and privacy completely surrounded by nature. The self-standing suites have a lounge, dining area, toasty fireplace and two deluxe bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. It is nestled in the indigenous fynbos and Milkwood Forest with a private wooden deck that overlooks a bewitching view.

two bedroom luxury suite has enough space for families to get comfortable Custom 300x202 classic suite lounge with lots of natural light garden lodge Custom 300x199 in a two bedroom luxury suite there is one bath and one shower Custom 300x199


Keeping the busy bodies occupied

Grootbos understands that little guests can be tiresome at times so when mom and dad feel like they need a reprieve from all the activity they are welcome to do so! Specialised child-minders will keep your loved ones happy and occupied with many activities designed to stimulate, educate and amuse. They have a playground with ponies, bunnies, ducks and a domestic pig that keeps them smiling for hours. Guides can take the children on an excursion to the beach to discover limestone caves and find interesting treasures like shells and pebbles or on a treasure hunt through an enchanting Forest. Grootbos encourage children’s innate curiosity and guide it into a creative outlet, like making shell bracelets or picture frames with what they found.

Their is an activities room clsoe to the dining area where there are DVDs, board games, foosball and a child-minder to watch over them.


grootbos accent2Enjoy a unique, romantic and unforgettable wedding at Grootbos!

The location of Grootbos is probably unbeatable throughout the whole of South Africa, if not the world, with panoramic views across the sea and mountain landscapes of the Walker Bay, stretching all the way from Hermanus to Cape Point. Getting married late in the afternoon, while the sun sets over the Atlantic ocean, surrounded by friends and family, makes this an unforgettable experience worthy of the finest Champagne.

Grootbos is located near Hermanus, in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, and has been voted one of the Best Hotels in the World by Tatler Travel Guide. With over 750 indigenous species and two large Milkwood Forests, one cannot find a more natural setting to embrace ones love for another.

The ceremony can be held in one of the many romantic outdoor lanscapes in the tranquil atmosphere of the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. You decide where your special guests can witness you taking your vows of love; will it be amongst the natural spleandour of the Cape Floral Kingdom, or on the white sand of a secluded beach or under the canopy of a ancient milkwood forest . . . all the while the whales frolic in the distance.

Should the weather not permit, the ceremony will be held in the modern grandeur of the main lodge with its cosy fireplaces, tastefully decorated lounge areas and breathtaking views of Walker Bay and surrounding mountains.

Wedding Guest Capacity:  Maximum 80 guests, however it is more ideal for more intimate weddings up to approximately 60 guests.

For bigger weddings please enquire at the Lodge for possible solutions available.

For more imagery and information about weddings at Grootbos CLICK HERE


Grootbos has two fully equipped spa facilities to suit your specific needs and desires. The Bloom Beauty Salon is conveniently situated adjacent to the Garden Lodge while the Forest Spa is dramatically set amongst the ancient Milkwood trees adjacent to the Forest Lodge.  Both offer privacy and supreme comfort in a peaceful environment. Grootbos also offers the heavenly luxury of treatments in the comfort of your own suite.

Wherever you choose to have your luxurious treatment, rest assured that you are in capable hands in an environment designed to offer maximum relaxation and integration with the pristine natural surroundings.

The excellent spa facilities at Grootbos are managed by the German trained beautician and footcare specialist Anna Federski Haering and the highly experienced foot reflexologist, masseur and martial arts instructor Mirko Haering.

Click here for treatments offered at Grootbos and more information on the spa. 

Eco & Community

From the beginning, Grootbos has been committed to the conservation of the region’s biodiversity as well as the upliftment of the local community.

The non-profit Grootbos Foundation was established during 2003 to run the Grootbos environmental and social development programmes and has as its mission:

  • The conservation of the biodiversity of Grootbos and its surrounds &
  • The development of sustainable nature-based livelihoods through ecotourism, research, management and education.

Funds generated by the Grootbos ecotourism business, together with donations received from guests and other donors are invested through the foundation into implementing key conservation and development projects. In this way all Grootbos guests are directly supporting biodiversity conservation and social upliftment in the Walker Bay region.

The key projects developed by the foundation to achieve its goals are:

Green Futures: A Horticulture and Life Skills College that provides an annual training programme.

Growing the Future: An Organic Food Production and Life Skills certification course that provides an annual training programme.

Youth Development Programme: The Youth Development Programme is an inspiring project that uses sport as a vehicle to promote education, health, social integration and participation amongst the culturally diverse communities of the Gansbaai area.

Identifying the need for a communal sport facility and seeing the opportunity for community development, the Grootbos Foundation played a key role in the establishment of the Gansbaai Communal Sports Centre, which includes a full-size artificial football pitch, two additional grass pitches, and several other world-class sporting facilities including a multi-purpose clubhouse.

Future Trees: The 2006 fire on Grootbos not only destroyed Forest Lodge but also a large area of the ancient Milkwood forest behind the lodge. Many magnificent specimens up to 800 years old were lost.

The Future Trees Project aims to rehabilitate this area as well as other forest areas on Grootbos that have been impacted by human activity.

For more information on these initiative please click here