The name Grootbos, an Afrikaans word meaning Big Forest, comes from the presence of the ancient indigenous Milkwood forests. Milkwood trees are known to live for more than 1,000 years. The tree’s scientific name, Sideroxylon inerme, derives from the words for ‘Iron-wood’ in Greek, referring to its very hard timber.
Grootbos Nature Reserve boasts a diversity of fynbos vegetation with over 500 plant species and over 100 bird species as well as a magnificent unspoilt coastline. Apart from activities available at Grootbos, which include nature drives, walks, horse rides and mountain biking, the area itself offers much to do. The 19 mile (30 km) long beaches with a variety of seabirds are perfect for walks.
Nestled amongst the hills, 20 minutes’ drive east of Hermanus,Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is a real gem. It’s a small but very well-kept reserve which is dedicated to the preservation and understanding of the endemic fynbos ecosystem – which once covered much of Cape. It’s also the location for several first-class lodges.