201511_Grootbos_0274GrootbosGrootbosGrootbos, Western Cape

stamp3Why photographers love Grootbos

This area of the Southern Cape has extraordinary biodiversity and the great attraction here is the many species of fynbos plants and their associated flowers and insects. It is a botanical hotspot, plus the coastline  is  wild and unspoiled and offers  excellent opportunities for photographing southern right whales and great white sharks.

How we rate Grootbos for photography

Botanical diversity  starstarstarstarstar
Wilderness  starstarstar
Lodge and dining  starstarstarstarstar
Seascapes  starstarstarstar
Vehicles  starstarstarstar
Guides  starstarstar to star

Grootbos at a glance

  • The Garden Lodge has 11 freestanding suites set in an ancient milkwood forest and landscaped with fynbos gardens. There are one- and two-bedroom options. Additionally, the air-conditioned suites feature two bathrooms, lounge, deck, and fireplace. The main lodge has a restaurant, lounge, salon, library, and pool in addition to horse stables.
  • The Forest Lodge comprises 16 freestanding luxury suites nestled in a milkwood forest with private decks, outdoor showers, two bathrooms, air conditioning, heating, and fire places. Some have private pools. The main lodge has dining rooms, a bar, lounge, curio shop, pool, spacious decks, and a conference centre.
  • The private villa set apart in the fynbos provides luxury accommodation for up to 12 adults in six suites, each with private bathroom. The villa has two lounges, kitchen, dining room, breakfast area, media room, office, gym, wine cellar and plenty of space for outdoor living. Besides a private guide, chef and butler, the villa offers a top notch art collection

The concession

Situated near the southern tip of Africa, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is two hours east of Cape Town and half an hour from Hermanus. The 2500 hectare reserve features the incredible floral diversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom with 765 plant species known, 100 of which are endangered. Cape leopards occur in the region, but you’re extremely unlikely to spot one. Instead, the birding is great, and you can focus on some of the smaller lifeforms—insects, frogs, and reptiles. An ocean safari is another option. The Overberg coastline that Grootbos overlooks is where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet with a unique mix of marine life. Look out for whales, sharks, dolphins, seals and penguins. Read more about the experience with Marine Dynamics

The seasons

  • The whale season is June to December, usually peaking around September. Many fynbos flowers also bloom from July to November.
  • Winter in the Cape can be cold and rainy from June to August. But the days in between the cold fronts are stunning.

What Grootbos costs

Contact Photos and Africa for great prices and ideas. Also find out more about tours on Photos and Cape Town

Photographers need to know

Be prepared to be entranced by the flowers and macro opportunities. If you do decide to go on the boat shark and whale watching excursions be prepared for rough seas at times.

The good news

Grootbos has trained many unemployed people in horticulture. It also supports local communities and upliftment in a very real way.