Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve

Last week, I was lucky enough to be part of the UNESCO World Heritage Road Trip to the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve. It was a fun collaboration with the popular @instagram_sa, where 4 bloggers from various creative backgrounds came together and went on a road trip to celebrate South Africa’s Heritage Day on 24th September. The aim was to visit some of South Africa’s most beautiful and well-preserved conservation areas.


Grootvadersbosch has really comfortable accommodation. You have to bring your own food before coming, and there are fully equipped kitchens and a braai (barbeque) areas attached to the cottages.

Otherwise, the nearest town is Swellendam, where you can find restaurants and do shopping.


To get to Grootvadersbosch, you will have to drive there by car. You can travel with one of the inter-city bus liners to Swellendam, but then you will still have to rent a car to reach the reserve.

I strongly recommend driving by car, if you are visiting South Africa then you can rent a one. We spotted a few canola fields along the way and couldn’t resist stopping and taking a few fun pictures amidst these pretty yellow backdrops.


2 Images above taken by Avril Mahraj & Richard Haubrich

The Nature Reserve

Fynbos Flower Power

Grootvadesbosch offers some amazing hikes through the Overberg Mountains, where you can view some of the most unique flower species, known in South Africa as fynbos.

It’s great place to also spot some wildlife such as bush buck, baboons, birdlife and some unique butterfly species. The views out here are amazing, and you can do the Bosmansbos Trail which leads to a two day hike in the valley. The start of the trail leads you to a deep gorge with a big waterfall full of fresh mountain spring water.

The Afromontane Forest

The reserve also has a Afromontane forest, which are unique forests that are found in dry regions amidst mountainous areas within Southern Africa. These forests are very unique in that they are full of lush vegetation and are like an oasis with their own natural habitat and ecosystems. You can walk to a pretty waterfall through the forest trails. We decided to have a picnic and some champagne here at sunset.

Chasing the Milky Way

The air out there is so fresh and clear, that you can spot the Milky Way on a clear night. Some in the group who were professional photographers took some astrophotography shots! I had always wondered how this was done, so I learnt a bit about photography that night.


Image taken by Avril Mahraj & Richard Haubrich

It was a fun three days meeting new people and exploring more of my amazing province. A special thanks to Cape Nature Parks for sponsoring this trip. You can find out more about parks like these at:

Be sure to follow these amazing South African bloggers and creatives on Instagram for the rest of this trip and more at:

@instagram_sa @richardhaubrich

Travel tips

  • Be sure to pack a warm jacket for the evenings. This is a semi-desert environment, so its gets really cold at night.
  • The water used here is direct from the mountain, so it has a brown tinge to it. It’s totally safe, but if you are uncomfortable with that, be sure to stock up on bottled water.
  • Bring proper hiking/outdoor shoes. The trails here can get flooded overnight and they are full of rocks and stones at some parts.
  • Bring a plug adaptor! They only have outlets for the South African 3-prong plugs.

Here is another attempt of mine to put a video of it all together on the highlights:

Safe travels,


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CNPIN feat


23 thoughts on “Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve

  1. What a wonderful trip to get the chance to be a part of! Such a beautiful looking place. I love being out in nature, as I am not a city girl! Your photos turned out great!

  2. Aw I’d love to return to South Africa to see more scenes like this! The unique flower species are gorgeous, and that photo of the Milky Way….just wow! Amazing post Bee, hope I can see Grootvadersbosch for myself one day.

  3. This looks like such a great location, especially for a large group of people! The reserve looks like an amazing place, full of gorgeous flowers and animals! The last picture of the Milky Way looks stunning – would love to see that one day. Great post!

  4. A really alluring post! I love the way Fynbos Flower Power looks. The flora is so different from what is found in other parts of the world. I also liked the pic of chasing the milky way! It couldn’t have looked better! I bet!

  5. That night shot is absolutely fantastic ! Sounds like an interesting place to visit Bee and the canola fields on the way to the reserve look pretty cool. I wish it were more accessible though – what if one cannot rent a car?

  6. Grootvadersbosch looks incredible, tat cottage looked so cute but wow those stars – they look incredible 😀 The clearest I ever saw were in New Zealand they felt like I could touch them but from this picture they look so much more vivid.

  7. What a great trip! Your room was so cute, and I love your pictures in the canola fields. The scenery is gorgeous! I would love to learn how to do the photography at night, too. I’m glad you had a wonderful trip!

  8. Wow you’re pictures are incredible! Loved the ones of the milkyway and the canola fields, so beautiful. Sounds like you all had a great trip admiring the beautiful scenery.

  9. South Africa has been on my list for a while now!! The landscapes, the flowers…literally everything is perfect! that’s awesome that you got to experience this!

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