Less than two hours drive from Cape Town, we visited Grootbos Private Nature Reserve for three wonderful days last year and found an extraordinary place filled with natural beauty and warm hospitality. The lodge is in an area of endangered fynbos plants, a protected area set aside for the survival and conservation of these unique and indigenous species. We stayed in a private and tranquil suite amidst a well-tended garden of flowering Fynbos and the sight and sound of the ocean.
The guided tours offered through the expansive Grootbos nature reserve were impressive and informative, and a must for nature lovers. We enjoyed a stunning view of Walker Bay and its superb dunes and beaches. We learned about the importance of periodic controlled fires and about the symbiotic relations between the Fynbos plants, insects and animals in producing the enormous diversity of species in this part of the Cape Floristic Region. Some plants are new to science and often only occur for brief periods following the fires, and it was exciting to witness the discovery of the 799th and 800th plants!
This inspiring enterprise features a unique combination of ecological, social, educational and scientific activities. A stay at Grootbos also gives back to the host community. A small nightly fee on top of the room rate funds local projects. Michael Lutzeyer, the owner and his team are committed to conservation and sustainability, social enterprise and community involvement. They fund a local sports club for township kids and trains disadvantaged youths in a horticultural college. They have their own organic farm that provides vegetables to the restaurants and there are bee hives that produce honey. They bottle and filter their own water so there is no plastic. Flynbos plants are also cultivated at Grootbos for replanting and sale, providing education and work for many people and improving lives.
A relaxing place to connect deeply with nature, Grootbos is well worth a longer stay!
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Ruurd and Angelika Heerema