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: www.capenature.co.za
Be sure to follow these amazing South African bloggers and creatives on Instagram for the rest of this trip and more at:
- 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: