Close to the southern tip of Africa, on the rich coastline of the Indian and the Antarctic Oceans, you will find Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, set amidst the mountains and Milkwood forests. They offer a family-friendly resort, with two suites, as well as private villas, and 2500 hectares of pristine wilderness thriving with wildlife.
Surrounded by views of beautiful native plants, and abundant wildlife it’s no wonder this place values conservation and the environment so much. Their efforts are never-ending to improve, and they ensure they pamper you in the highest level of luxury while relaxing and enjoying your stay. This reserve is more than just a place to vacation, but rather a culture of people who are looking to make the planet a greener place.
It all started in 1991 when the Lutzeyer family fell in love with a small farm sitting on the Fynbos slopes overlooking Walker Bay, surrounded by natural wonder. This place was special, and they knew they needed to share it. Fast forward 3 years, the family sold their business in the city and decided to open a small bed and breakfast to host people at this special place they had found. With a vision to protect, dedication to becoming better, and passion for the community and nature, Grootbos now shares this piece of botanical and wildlife paradise with the world.
Grootbos Private Nature Reserve stands for a luxury, inclusive, shared model of tourism dedicated to the conservation of the Overberg region in the Western Cape of Africa. In 2003 this was formalized with the creation of the Grootbos Foundation. Each year they work to sustain over 21,000 hectares of delicate flora and fauna and support 11,000 members of the local community. Most recently, the Grootbos Foundation has served over 250,000 meals during the pandemic and supplied over 16,000 masks into the community to ensure schools can open safely. The Grootbos foundation doesn’t stop there – they are continuously researching conservation and innovation on ways we can create a greener future with the lead of Michael Luzteyer (pictured above). Read more about them here.
Lowest impact construction and operation
At Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, they have committed to very little infrastructure on the premises to respect the environment. The structures you do find here are balanced with nature to preserve the exceptional beauty of the Cape Floristic Kingdom.
As a member of The Long Run, they are a part of a prestigious, worldwide initiative to achieve the highest level of sustainability. They are an icon for conservation, community, culture, and commerce. They are the only members in South Africa to achieve the highest Global Ecosphere Retreat status, and one of 10 in the world. The area around the Grootbos Reserve is one of the smallest, but richest biomes in the world, with endemism and endangered plant species this is a conservation hotspot. The forests surrounding it are over 1000 years old, with this area boasting 868 plant species, with 7 discovered thanks to conservation work done in the Grootbos Foundation.
Highest level of energy efficiency
Grootbos has been working to rescue their carbon footprint over the last two decades, and in 2018 were declared carbon negative. This is thanks to the ongoing commitment to protect and care for the natural world around it.
Currently they are implementing a phased adoption of solar power. The Grootbos Garden Lodge has initial solar installation, moving away from the national grid system.
Pioneer in waste management
This Eco-Lodge is making use of a grey water system, meaning they reuse water from the retreat, for use in the stable and indigenous nursery.
All organic waste from the kitchens is taken to the Growing the Future Farm, worm farm, and fed to the Grootbos pigs.
They have reduced waste, in 2014, banning single use water bottles from the reserve, being replaced by a bottled water system offering both plain and sparkling options.
Any necessary single use items you find on the reserve are recyclable, and they ask you to do your part in recycling or reusing these items.
Fully organic and chemical-free operation
The supply chain is limited to a 50km radius of the reserve. This is achieved by organic produce being sourced from a fully organic garden on site, and other foods are supplied from nearby local businesses whenever possible. This approach allows Grootbos to have the freshest ingredients available, with the lowest impact to the environment.
Being a nature reserve, all laundry, nurseries, and gardens on site make use of biodegradable, green, and organic products.
Actively protects nature and community
Conservation of the entire region surrounding Grootbos Nature Reserve has been at the heart of the organization for over 25 years. With botanists, entomologists, alien invasive clearing experts and faunal specialists on staff, this team actively works on groundbreaking work across the Agulhas Plain. They are at one with nature, helping plant over 1,000 trees for a greener future.
Youth in the area benefit from programs educating them about careers, employability, even entrepreneurship opportunities and how to make the most of them. Over 135 youth have attended in 6 months alone, with 80 being supported as micro enterprises. Through work done with the Grootbos foundation, they have also helped over 760 kids who wanted to play football but were underprivileged.
As pioneers of new ways to reduce carbon footprints, this eco-friendly reserve blazes the trail to show the art of the possible. Their carbon negative status lets you rest at ease, knowing that your stay will be carbon neutral.
Most Popular Activities near Grootbos Private Nature Reserve Lodge
4×4 botanical safari
Shark and whale watching
Exploration of ancient caves
Nature walks in or around forests
Best time to visit Grootbos Private Nature Reserve Lodge
If you love to spot the great white sharks in their undisturbed natural environment, best time visit them between May and October.
If you want get a sneak peek of migratory southern right or humpback whales, travel between June and October.
If you are interested in the most spectacular showcasing of its rich diversity of flora and fauna, visit between May and August.