It was in 1991 that the Lutzeyer family first set eyes on a small farm on the fynbos slopes overlooking Walker Bay – and they couldn’t believe the beauty they saw. In 1994 Michael sold his business interests in Cape Town and decided to develop a bed and breakfast on the site for local visitors, not knowing that soon he would be attracting visitors from across the globe. Since then, through a combination of hard work, enthusiasm, vision and strong family cooperation, the Lutzeyers have turned the reserve into a world leader in progressive luxury tourism, transforming the lives of community members and preserving 2500 hectares of botanical and wildlife treasures.
Today, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, Gansbaai is a leading example of sustainable eco-tourism and 5-star luxury in the Western Cape, South Africa. This relaxing and beautiful place overlooks Walker Bay and is surrounded by indigenous Fynbos (shrubs) and forest clad hills. This destination is a wonderful escape or an excellent addition to a Garden Route itinerary. The quality conference centre accommodates up to 60 resident guests.
Both local and international travellers have discovered a place of tranquillity at the award-winning Grootbos Private Nature Reserve and are encouraged by the delicate and proactive relationship between man and nature. Guests can stay in classic Garden Lodge, an ideal family getaway set in a lush indigenous surrounding or the Forest Lodge, with its contemporary and modern style appealing to the cosmopolitan traveler.
This multi-award winning 1750 hectare reserve hosts more than 750 different plant species and offers warm hospitality, excellent cuisine and fine South African wines. The conservation of endangered endemic flora and fauna and social responsibility programmes are at the heart of Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. All guests directly contribute to these causes and the upliftment of the local communities.
Visiting Grootbos Reserve is an unforgettable experience. Guests will discover delicate rare Fynbos and the largest Milkwood Forests in the world. The beaches are lapped by crystal clear waters frequented by Southern Right Whales, the rare African Penguin and Great White Sharks.
There is plenty to do for the whole family at Grootbos. Caves can be explored and there are horseback rides and hiking trails through stunning scenery as well as shark cage diving, whale watching and more. Back at Garden Lodge, there is complete relaxation available with beauty and spa treatments at Bloom Salon, or in-suite if guests prefer.
The Walker Bay coastline is just a few minutes from the Grootbos lodges. The beaches are pristine, deserted and really wonderful for investigating stone-age Klipgat Cave, magical tidal rock pools and watching the Southern Right Whale frolicking very close to shore. Specialist guides take guests on a journey of discovery here and pass on stories about early inhabitants and shipwrecks.
From June to December, guests can get a fabulous view of Whales in Walker Bay from the De Kelders cliff paths. The Whale Whisperer, a custom built whale-watching boat, offers a 2-3 hour marine Big Five adventure. The Southern Right Whale, African Penguin, Cape Fur Seal colonies, Dolphin pods and the Great White Shark can be seen on these excursions as well as huge sea bird colonies.
Expert guides introduce guests to the Milkwood Forests and Fynbos of Grootbos on a flower safari with hikes and walks. Guests can stroll through 1000 year old Milkwood trees and visit Afromontane forests, set off on a 4×4 trail or horse ride through the reserve. Birding is also a popular activity.
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