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Goukamma Nature Reserve

  • 4.5

  • from 648 Google reviews

A man rowing a boat in a body of water
A man rowing a boat in a body of water

About the garden

Goukamma Nature Reserve and Marine Protected Area, situated on the Garden Route between Sedgefield and Knysna, has a diverse array of fascinating habitats and an abundance of smaller wildlife, birds and fish. It is also a World Heritage Site.

The reserve covers 2 500 hectares of dense coastal forest, including milkwood, yellowwood and candlewood trees. It protects the charming vervet monkey, bushbuck and bushpig, as well as porcupine, mongoose, honey badger and grysbok. This is a popular choice for keen birders, as the Goukamma River and estuary and the Groenvlei Lake provide a welcoming habitat for more than 220 bird species, including the rare African black oystercatcher. There are two indigenous and four alien species of fish found in the Groenvlei Lake. Visitors enjoy the sight of the magnificent southern right whales between June and November. Bottle-nosed and humpback dolphins play in the waves throughout the year.

A great time to visit is in September/October when the first spring rains create splashes of bright spring flowers amid the fynbos. This is a year-round destination, as it falls between the Cape’s summer and winter rainfall seasons.

Opening times

Office Hours | Monday - Friday: 07h30 to 16h00

Useful details

Cafe or restaurant

No cafe or restaurant on site



South Cape DC, 6570

Check local coronavirus guidance before you visit

Weather forecast


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Goukamma Nature Reserve
South Cape DC
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Google reviews

  • 4.5

  • from 648 Google reviews

Average Gamer

2 weeks ago


Awesome place to spend the day,fish,swim or even canoeing,not alot of shade though,be warned you will burn badly if you didn't bring your own form of shade, Lovely place for the family.

Michael Herweg

a year ago


Stunning stunning stunning! Pure natural bliss! Well maintained and enforced conservation area, with lots of bird life and marine life.

Samantha Perrimore

9 months ago


Beautiful and serene. This is a definite go back and visit again place as there is so much to do and see that one just cannot do in one visit.

Daleen Myburgh

3 months ago


I visited Goukamma on the free access week. Had a wonderful family braai. Sunny, beautiful water. The braai facilities are very clean and the bathrooms are clean and comfortable to use. The hiking routes are fun and easy to follow.

Geoffrey Lang

a year ago


This place gets full points and 5 stars in my opinion....if u r the outdoor type and enjoy nature and doing kayaking and fishing and hiking and non motorized watersports along rivers and estuaries with direct access to the beachand venturing slightly of the beaten track then this comfortable well priced accommodation is not to be overlooked.

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