Originally known as Melkhoutskraal, the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve (GVB) encompasses 250 hectares of indigenous forest in the Langeberg region, close to Heidelberg. The name translates to “big father” in honour of Roelof Oelofse, who owned the land in 1723. GVB has only been a reserve since 1986 and wasdeclared a World Heritage Site in 2004.
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. Visitors to this beautiful reserve will relish the opportunity to get out into the forest on day walks and mountain biking trails. The reserve is an excellent birding destination with more than 196 bird species regularly spotted. Hikers are likely to bump into bushbuck and spot baboons and smaller mammals when out on the trails. Sighting the forest emperor butterfly and a subspecies of the rare ghost frog would be the highlight of a visit here, as they can only be found in this particular forest.
Nature Reserve numbers:
028 492 0001 OFFICE HOURS
082 496 2451 AFTER HOURS
Office Hours: 07h00 - 16h00
Overnight booking times: Check-ins: 14h00 - 16h00 - Check-out: 10h00
Day booking times: Check-ins: 08h00 - Check-out: 16h00
Gate times: 07h30 - 16h00
FOR SCHOOL GROUPS - a copy of the programme, list of learners and indemnity forms to be given to the officer on duty.
For more information please see the Survival Guide below
Forest Emperor Eco Venue
- Capacity is 60 people cocktail style and 45 conference style
- 11 x cabins 2-bedroomed
- 48 x people capacity
- 7 x 4-sleepers (double bed + 2x single beds)
- 4 x 5-sleepers (double bed + single bed + doule bunk)
- 48 x capacity
- Scolopia cottage 6 x capacity
Ironwood Eco Venue
- 10 x campsites
- 2 x campsites with ablutions
Day programmes for schools
All CapeNature school programmes are fun, interactive and aligned to the South African national education curriculum.