Unspoilt beauty, bountiful nature
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.
To find out more, download the Goukamma Nature Reserve brochure.
Goukamma also borders Buffalo Valley – a conservation area overlooking the Goukamma River which offers safe seclusion in three fully-equipped self-catering timber lodges.
How to get there
From Cape Town: Take the N2 highway and travel for about 500km south towards George. Roughly 40km past George and between the towns of Sedgefield and Knysna, take the turn-off to Buffalo Bay. Follow this road for 8km and then turn right (towards the river) and into the reserve.
GPS: 34 4 6.73 S 22 56 52.29 E
Office hours: 07:30–16:00
Tel: +27 (0)44 383 0042
Accommodation and permit bookings Tel: +27 (0)21 483 0190
[…] boisterous neighbor like Knysna means that Goukamma National Park is often overlooked. During the mid-December madness there is something to be said for the solitude […]
We have the privilege of using Goukamma and it's fantastic accommodation as a base for our trips and hikes in the area. Sharing the splendid tranquility of the reserve with our foreign and local tourists is a rewarding experience, each time we sit and watch that magnificent sunset from the well appointed decks at the cottages, we grin as our visitors gasp in admiration at the beauty. Goukamma has so much to offer and we look forward to many more stays at Goukamma. Well done to Cape Nature for looking after this natural treasure and Thank you too, to the amazing friendly staff who round off the experience at Goukamma. Thank you from all at GoTrekking Africa.
[…] montly article for March 2014 in Leisure Wheels focused on Garden Route National Park and Goukamma Nature Reserve. These are two of my favourite spots…the former is much bigger than the latter, but they both […]
I would like to commend CapeNature for the way in which they are managing the Goukamma reserve and the facilities that are made available to visitors. It is always a pleasure to visit the area and the accommodation is top notch. The reserve isn't that big but it works. The biggest section is unspoiled and easily accessible. It feels like you are away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and you are. The staff is well trained and efficient, the reserve is clean and the accommodation done with good taste. Thank you!
How do you want to get involved?
Bookings are processed through our Call Centre during office hours Monday to Friday 07h30 to 16h30 and Saturday 08h00 until 12h00 noon (CAT).
Our friendly tourism booking officers will take you through the booking process and answer all enquiries.