“*Please note that Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve will be closed to the public until further notice due to essential upgrades that will take place on the access road. Access from neighbouring properties will not be possible during this time either. We apologise for the inconvenience. “
The Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve encompasses 250 hectares of indigenous forest in the Langeberg region, close to Heidelberg and Swellendam. This is the most significant stretch of indigenous afromontane forest left in the south-western Cape, with nearly all of the 35 typical forest tree species, including red alder, ironwood, stinkwood and yellowwood.
The name translates to “big father” in honour of Roelof Oelofse who owned the land in 1723. Originally known as Melkhoutskraal, it has only been a reserve since 1986 and was declared a World Heritage Site in 2004.
Enjoy the forest on foot or bicycle. You’re sure to see bushbuck, baboons, small mammals, hundreds of different bird species and, if you’re lucky, you may just see the forest emperor butterfly and a subspecies of the rare ghost frog that are only found in the Grootvadersbosch forest.