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A Pioneer in Eco-tourism

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is an eco-resort tucked away in the Western Cape. Grootbos welcomes travellers across the globe to experience a destination in South Africa that is defined by luxury in nature, exciting activities, exquisite cuisine and responsible tourism.

The five-star resort has luxury suites embedded in the indigenous vegetation where waking up to sweeping views and nothing but the sound of nature promise to humble and inspire. The accommodation at Grootbos offers complete immersion in nature while enjoying all the interior comforts of the modern suites. The eco-activities on Grootbos will make for an unforgettable experience as guests can learn more about the astounding bio-diversity of fynbos on a 4x4 flower safari, horse ride across the reserve, experience a close encounter with a great white shark or bear witness to the majesty of Southern right whales.

Beneath all this opulence and the riveting experiences is an honesty and passion for the land that is the undercurrent of every endeavour of Grootbos. Grootbos is constantly trying to establish itself as an authentic leader in eco-tourism. The Reserve is set in the midst of a fynbos biome with rare Milkwood forests and, since its inception in 1991, has been making a concerted effort to preserve the biodiversity of the fauna and flora.

The local community of Gansbaai faces daily challenges of poverty, unemployment and a lack of housing. Through Grootbos countless members of the community have received employment and a select few get the opportunity to study for a year through the Grootbos Foundation. The Grootbos Foundation manages the non-profit activities of the five-star resort that focuses on social upliftment of the local community through two colleges and a youth development programme.

Making a difference

The presence of every guest directly supports the efforts to maintain and preserve this natural utopia. Grootbos is sitting on a section of the Cape Floral Kingdom, which is the smallest yet most diverse of the six floral kingdoms in the world. The floral diversity of the Cape Floristic Region is even superior to that of the Amazon. On Grootbos alone there are 765 different species, six of which were discovered on Grootbos and completely new to science. These sensuous wildflowers are incredibly localised and there are seven species that cannot be found beyond the Grootbos Reserve. Take a guided tour through the 2500 hectares reserve by foot, 4x4 or horseback to explore this incredible flora and discover how Grootbos has worked relentlessly to help the land recover from previous mismanagement and alien vegetation.

In 2006 a veld fire burnt down Forest Lodge and consumed a section of the Milkwood forest, through the Future Trees project Grootbos has been trying to restore this part of land to its previous bountiful state. Guests can help this venture by donating money to plant a tree. There are already 1 600 indigenous trees that have been planted and guests receive a certificate, GPS coordinates and the opportunity to name the Milkwood tree that will stand for centuries to come.

One of the activities offered at Grootbos is the Social Responsibility Tour. It is often that guests embark on this excursion with little expectation and return feeling inspired. Green Futures and Growing the Future are colleges that educate a number of people from the township for one year to empower them with knowledge and skills for a brighter future. Green Futures focuses on teaching horticulture while Growing the Future teaches women about organic food production. The course is fully subsidised and the students receive transport and a weekly stipend. To avoid dependency, the Foundation aims to be completely self-sustainable by providing landscaping services to the Gansbaai community and selling the fresh produce. The positive energy is infectious and often the women at Growing the Future display their jubilee with traditional dancing and laughter.

Guests can enjoy living lavishly at Grootbos knowing that this eco-resort is at the forefront of conservation.