Accommodation

Self-catering

  • Scolopia

    Scolopia is a wooden house that comfortably sleeps six guests in two bedrooms (one with a double bed and one with two single beds) and on a double sleeper couch in the lounge. It is located 500m from the reserve entrance on the edge of indigenous forest and near the start of a day hike. The house, named after an indigenous pear tree, has a well-equipped kitchen, bathroom and living room, as well as a shaded outdoor braai area. Guests must bring their own food, as there is no shop on the reserve. Firewood can occasionally be purchased at the reserve office but bring your own to be safe as supply from neighbouring farms is sporadic.. The water from the taps is naturally brown in colour and not polluted; however, it is advisable to boil it before drinking.

    Electricity: Yes
    Bathroom: Shower
    Kitchen: Stove, fridge, microwave, kettle, cutlery and crockery
    Bedding, linen and towels: Yes
    Fireplace: Indoor fire and outdoor braai, with grid
    Disabled access: No
    Pets welcome: No

Camping

  • Grootvadersbosch Campsites

    There are 10 camps. Each site looks onto indigenous forest, providing many opportunities for bird watching. Communal ablution facilities are offered, as well as a thatched communal braai area with fridge, and a children’s play area/jungle gym (no children to be left unsupervised). Campsites have braai facilities, but visitors should bring their own braai grids.

    Sites available: 10 campsites
    Power points: Yes
    Ablution facilities: Hot water showers, toilet paper provided
    Shop on-site: No
    Firewood for sale: Occasionally. Bring your own to be safe as supply from neighbouring farms is sporadic.
    Braai facilities: Each campsite has it’s own fireplace and there is a communal braai at the picnic area
    Disabled access: No
    Pets welcome: No

Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve

Grootvadersbosch is temporarily closed to the public, from 20 June 2016 until 4 September 2016

Scolopia is a wooden house that comfortably sleeps six guests in two bedrooms (one with a double bed and one with two single beds) and on a double sleeper couch in the lounge. It is located 500m from the reserve entrance on the edge of indigenous forest and near the start of a day hike. The house, named after an indigenous pear tree, has a well-equipped kitchen, bathroom and living room, as well as a shaded outdoor braai area. Guests must bring their own food, as there is no shop on the reserve. Firewood can occasionally be purchased at the reserve office but bring your own to be safe as supply from neighbouring farms is sporadic.. The water from the taps is naturally brown in colour and not polluted; however, it is advisable to boil it before drinking.

Electricity: Yes
Bathroom: Shower
Kitchen: Stove, fridge, microwave, kettle, cutlery and crockery
Bedding, linen and towels: Yes
Fireplace: Indoor fire and outdoor braai, with grid
Disabled access: No
Pets welcome: No

Activities

  • Mountain biking

    Visitors are welcome to head off on mountain bikes to explore the reserve. Cycling groups are restricted to 12 people and cyclists must keep to the well-marked routes. Please note that there are no bikes available for hire and visitors will need to bring their own. Permits can be bought at the reserve office (R40 per day).

    Cycle Trail

    Trail distance: 58km
    Estimated time: 2 days

    This challenging mountain bike trail passes through the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve and adjoining conservancy farmland. This is recommended as a two-day trail with overnight stops. Permits are required for this route.

     

     

  • Hiking and Walking

    There are a variety of day hikes as well as longer, overnight trails on offer. Regardless of the length of the trail, visitors should take heed of trail advice given, in particular the need to wear comfortable shoes, suntan lotion and a hat, and to carry sufficient water.

    Hiking trails

    Hikers will enjoy the relatively easy three-to-four hour hike on the Bushbuck Trail, and also the more challenging Grysbok Trail.

    Help us protect nature

    No pets/no firearms/no picking of flowers or collecting of seeds/no fires except in designated areas/no horse riding.

    Permits

    Permits may be purchased for R40 per adult and R20 per child at the reserve office or through CapeNature Central Reservations.

    Trail preparation

    • Wear comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat.
    • Do not hike alone.
    • Carry enough food and water with you.
    • Make sure you know what the weather conditions are before you depart.
    • Take a warm jacket/raincoat in winter.
    • Make sure you have a relevant map of the area.
    • Take a field medical kit with you for emergencies.
    • Obey all signage.
    • Stay in a group and on the trails.
    • Please alert reserve staff once you have finished your hike, so that they know you are safely off the trails.

    Bushbuck trail

    Trail distance: 10km
    Estimated time: 3-4 hours

    This beautiful route wanders through mountain fynbos and indigenous forest, providing a shaded and relatively easy hike for all ages.The route loops in and around the indigenous forest, affording hikers the opportunity to visit both bird hides in the forest, as well as taking them past most of the tree species in the reserve.

    Grysboksirkel

    Trail distance: 15km
    Estimated time: 5-6 hours

    The Grysboksirkel is a tougher hike, taking you out of the forest-covered valley, up the mountainside through the fynbos area, and on to the ridge of the hills bordering the Boosmansbos Wilderness Area. The hike is a loop and will bring you back to the reserve road.

  • Bird Watching

    There are nearly 200 bird species that are regularly spotted in the reserve. Visitors should keep a keen eye out for black, crowned and booted eagles, the rare striped flufftail, the narina trogon and beautiful sunbirds and sugarbirds.

    The forest area features two bird hides (pictured below) which are easily accessible via the hiking trails and provide great vantage points from which to view the many bird species in the nature reserve.

    GVB-Bird-Hide-1

    Bird Hide 1

    The first bird hide is located approximately 500m from the reserve road along the Melkhoutpad, and provides a wonderful view over the forest canopy.

    GVB-Bird-Hide-2

    Bird Hide 2

    The second bird hide is located a few hundred metres from the reserve road along Bosbokrand, or it can be accessed via the Bushbucktrail. The triple story structure is accessed via wooden stairs in the interior, and provides a view of the tree tops in the middle of the indigenous forest, allowing birders views of the many bird species in Grootvadersbosch.

Location

Conservation

Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve Conservation

Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve conserves a significant section of indigenous forest that has most of the typical 35 forest tree species, including yellowwood, stinkwood, red alder and ironwood. Areas in which exotic trees were planted between 1896 and 1913, including camphor, eucalyptus, ash and Californian redwood and oak, are being reclaimed for indigenous species.

The reserve is home to two species only found in this particular forest, a subspecies of the forest emperor butterfly and a subspecies of the ghost frog, as well as a host of bushbuck, grysbok, baboons and smaller mammals. Leopards are occasionally spotted. This is a birder’s paradise with 196 species recorded within the reserve, including the rare striped
flufftail, Layard’s titbabbler, francolin, black and booted eagles and the beautiful sunbirds and sugarbirds. Located in a transitional rainfall zone between winter and all-year rainfall regions,the vegetation is primarily mountain fynbos, with about 1 200 plant species documented in this region.

Filming

Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve Filming

With pristine indigenous forest, amazing Redwoods, and remarkable vistas, there are numerous opportunities for filming in this reserve.

Located just over three hours from Cape Town, near the towns of Swellendam and Heidelberg, the reserve is conveniently located for film shoots.

2 Reviews

Back In Action. | Alive & Well, Jun 6, 2014 - Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve

[…] and Tar.) We went off on a mountain biking mission. We headed out of the farm and Headed towards Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve. We were told that there’s a rad mountain bike trail that ends up right on the […]

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Grootvadersbosch Day Hikes | Boots & Fins, Mar 23, 2014 - Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve

[…] are 10 campsites with electrical points at Grootvadersbosch, as well as a large thatched braai area with a fridge.  The communal ablution block is neat and […]

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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.