One of my all-time favourites, undoubtedly in my top 10 of best accommodations in the world and always able to fully recharge me: Grootbos Private Nature Reserve in South-Africa.
At just a 2,5 to 3 hour drive from Cape Town you’ll find this floral kingdom, bordering the majestic Walker Bay where the Marine Big 5 can be found. Traveling with kids, it’s worthwhile taking the route via Elgin, where you will pass the Houwhoek Farm Stall midway. A nice bathroom-biltong-coffee stop, where the kids can run around a bit before jumping back in the car.
At Grootbos, you’ll find two lodges. The Forest Lodge is catering for couples and is all about exclusive luxury while the Garden Lodge is the perfect accommodation for families, with the possibility to have two kids staying in your suite. Suite? You can almost call it a private house, with a separate living room and bedroom, a fireplace and private deck. I love the way they have designed the lodge, with enough privacy for parents but with plenty of play areas for the kids. That is, if you are not out and about. Because that is what really makes this place so super special.
Whales, whales, whales
When you travel between June – December you are traveling in the whale season. A stay at Grootbos in this period is not complete when you have not embarked on a whale-watching tour. Imagine how amazing it is to see these giants of the sea so up-close-and-personal! If you have slightly older kids, you might want to do a cage dive adventure too, where you can see the great white sharks from very close. The best thing about Grootbos is that everything they organise is sustainable and eco-friendly. No baiting, and a lot of respect for all animals. Read more here
Sustainability is fun!
Grootbos owner and founder Michael Lutzeyer is all about sustainability but knows very well how to combine this with exclusivity and a firm touch of luxury. Your stay at Grootbos, whether it’s at the Garden or the Forest Lodge, is taking care of every need, but always having the local community benefitting from your stay. For kids, it’s great. They can go explore in the endless gardens and touch, smell, taste and pick their own food. There are pigs, sheep, chickens, horses and a lot more animals for them to play with. Horse riding on the beach, a jeep safari through the wilderness surrounding Grootbos or a good splash in the pool… endless possibilities for fun in the sun.
♣ There are so many activities you can do here together as a family, which makes for real quality time. On the other hand there are childminders and a playroom so there is some time for romance and spa time as well.
♣ The food is amazing and so fresh! Almost everything comes from the own garden. Being a city-family, we loved picking herbs and eggs ourselves.
♣ The ocean is never far away, and just calls for play & relax time. That fresh sea breeze smell…
♦ The access to nature is a definite highlight of the stay. It’s so easy to go running, hiking or mountain biking here, by yourself or all together.
♦ The comfort and service levels are very high. And if mom is happy, dad is happy too!
♦ The endless views from basically everywhere just puts you straight into the holiday mode.
♦ If you love wine, you are in a good place here. The wine cellar is incredible and stocked with amazing local wines.
Grootbos Private Nature Reserve – Garden Lodge
× At an easy 2,5 hours drive from Cape Town
× Famous for it’s biodiversity – in the Cape Floral Kingdom
× Travel here between June – December to spot the whales, and see the Marine Big 5!
× Perfect for traveling with kids 3+ years (but also very baby friendly)
× Combine with a stay in Cape Town, winelands and a safari in the Cape.