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Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve

  • 4.6

  • from 343 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
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Google reviews

  • 4.6

  • from 343 Google reviews

Herman Cloete

5 months ago


Very clean Units and professional service. Good break to be alone with nature. The Redwoods are beautiful.

Michael Pearton

3 weeks ago


Another beautiful hidden gem in South Africa. Fantastic natural forest area with hiking, MTB trails and lovely accommodation, well done Cape Nature.

Lynette Harris Lambrechts

8 months ago


We had a lovely weekend at Grootvadersbosch at the deck camping site. Stunning scenic views, blissful quiet and walks in the forest. Thank you to those who run and maintain the Reserve. Staff were helpful and friendly. Great job!

Chris Tobler

3 months ago


Passing by from George to Swellendam we took a side trip. Had picnic lunch at the day visitors site and and took a drive around the reserve roads. Beautiful vegetation, friendly staff, everything in working condition, amazing development of different levels of camping, chalets, educational centre. Big changes since we were last there. Well done Cape Nature.

Carlo Spruyt

6 months ago


What n wonderful surprise. Beautiful setting, camping facilities excellent, lots of trials and a paradise for nature lovers

Contact the garden

27 (0)28 492 0001

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