Choose a country to see content specific to your location

Skip to main content
All Gardens

Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve

  • 4.6

  • from 362 Google reviews

A sign on a dirt path in a forest
A sign on a dirt path in a forest

About the garden

Originally known as Melkhoutskraal, the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve encompasses 250 hectares of indigenous forest in the Langeberg region, close to Heidelberg. The name translates to “big father” in honour of Roelof Oelofse who owned the land in 1723. It has only been a reserve since 1986 and was declared a World Heritage Site in 2004.

This is the most significant stretch of indigenous afromontane forest left in the south-western Cape, with nearly all of the 35 typical forest tree species, including red alder, ironwood, stinkwood and yellowwood. Visitors to this beautiful reserve will relish the opportunity to get out into the forest on day walks and mountain biking trails. This is an excellent birding destination with more than 196 bird species regularly spotted. Hikers are likely to bump into bushbuck and spot baboons and smaller mammals when out on the trails. Sighting the forest emperor butterfly and a subspecies of the rare ghost frog would be the highlight of a visit here, as they can only be found in this particular forest.

Opening times

Office Hours | 07h30 to 16h30

Useful details

Cafe or restaurant

No cafe or restaurant on site



South Cape DC

Check local coronavirus guidance before you visit

Weather forecast


Find the garden

Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve
South Cape DC
Open in Google Maps

Google reviews

  • 4.6

  • from 362 Google reviews

R. Aquarius

8 months ago


Beautiful forest reserve for hikes, walks and cycling. Friendly and helpful reception staff. The signage for the trails is somewhat confusing but fortunately we did not get lost. Huge trees, many birds and a stream provide a pleasant environment which can be enjoyed by young and old. We had our accommodation just outside the reserve.

Gail Meyer

2 months ago


Spent just 1 night in the Wooden Cabins, and it was fully kitted, the built in fireplace in the rainy weather was perfect. Just wished we hadn't been passing through the area. Would have loved to stay at least 3 more nights. Kids loved it, and were thrilled with the Baboons visits.... Took a damp (it had been raining) walk through the forest, not good for elderly in the wet, but we went anyway. And went to see the beautiful little waterfall. Finding Starfish Fungi was super cool. We will definitely be back. Hoping to Glamp....and explore some more in warmer weather. Gave it a 4 star because of how far the pool is....hopefully they build one closer to the campsite. But it's not too far from the Wooden Cabins.

Sean Jacobs

9 months ago


Beautiful surroundings! Accommodation is not as modern as some other CapeNature reserves, but perfectly fine and comfortable. I would recommend an off-road / 4×4 vehicle for accessing the reserve and getting around once inside.

Lucille Spies

3 weeks ago


Relatively new campsite in the Grootvadersbosch Reserve. We stayed in a Clamping Tent with the most beautiful view of the Langeberge. There are tents with either inside or outside showers, a double bed and 2 bunk beds in 2 seperate rooms. The kitchen has a glass cooking plate, fridge, microwave oven and crockery and cutlery for 4 people. The decor is modern with quality linen and blankets. Awesome experience!!

marius dalton

3 months ago


Glamping here was worth it. Beautiful nature, lots of birds, a few bucks and then the baboons (jip, we got raided when we left the tent.) luckily not serious! I can recommend this place. The staff was friendly. Place was clean. Only the beds are very hard. Bring your own water.

Contact the garden

27 (0)28 492 0001

Nearby gardens

See more gardens


About usCareersPrivacy policy

Candide is your guide to visiting UK public gardens. Find the best gardens, buy tickets and enter with just your phone. Download the app for offline tickets, community access and more.

Terms & ConditionsCode of Conduct

© 2022 Candide

Made in Bristol