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Goukammma July 2020 Scott Ramsay 17
Goukamma Nature Reserve

Map of Reserve area

Goukamma Nature and Marine Reserve was proclaimed a marine protected area in 1990.

Where to Stay

Buffalo Valley - Vlei Lodge
Goukamma Nature Reserve
Buffalo Valley - River Lodge
Goukamma Nature Reserve
Buffalo Valley - Forest Lodge
Goukamma Nature Reserve
Blacktail Chalet
Goukamma Nature Reserve
Otters Rest Lodge
Goukamma Nature Reserve
Mvubu Bush Lodge
Goukamma Nature Reserve
Stumpnose Chalet
Goukamma Nature Reserve

What to Do

Take a relaxing tour of the reserve on a canoe or pedal boat. Visitors can slowly drift down the river or across the lake, taking in the scenery and keeping a sharp eye out for wildlife and birds. Kayaks and pedal boats can be reserved at the main office. Paddles and lifejackets are provided.

This is a marine protected area so no bait organisms or shellfish can be removed or disturbed. For this reason, no ski-boat fishing or spear fishing is allowed. Angling with a rod and line from the shore is permitted.

This is a popular birder’s destination with more than 220 species recorded in the nature reserve. Visitors should keep an eye out for the rare African black oystercatcher and the endangered African penguin. Species commonly spotted include the African fish eagle, African marsh harrier and Knysna loerie. A bird list is available at the office.

Visitors are welcome to picnic at any of the designated spots.

Between June and November each year, the southern right whale heads to South Africa’s shores to breed and calve their young. The sight of these majestic creatures lolling in the water never fails to impress.

Guided horse riding trips are on offer along the beach. Costs vary depending on the number of horses required.

A variety of hiking trails are offered in this beautiful reserve ranging from two to six hours in duration. Take plenty of water and a sense of adventure with you!


The reserve covers 2 500 hectares of dense coastal forest, including milkwood, yellowwood and candlewood trees. It protects the charming vervet monkey, bushbuck and bushpig, as well as porcupine, mongoose, honey badger and grysbok. This is a popular choice for keen birders, as the Goukamma River and estuary and the Groenvlei Lake provide a welcoming habitat for more than 220 bird species, including the rare African black oystercatcher. There are two indigenous and four alien species of fish found in Groenvlei Lake. Visitors enjoy the sight of the magnificent southern right whales between June and November. Bottle-nosed and humpback dolphins play in the waves throughout the year.

A great time to visit is in September/October when the first spring rains create splashes of bright spring flowers amid the fynbos. This is a year-round destination, as it falls between the Cape’s summer and winter rainfall seasons.

Goukamma also borders Buffalo Valley - a conservation area overlooking the Goukamma River which offers safe seclusion in three fully-equipped self-catering timber lodges.

Goukamma Nature Reserve has been awarded ECO Certification by Ecotourism Australia.

How to get there

From Cape Town: Take the N2 highway and travel for about 500km south towards George. Roughly 40km past George and between the towns of Sedgefield and Knysna, take the turn-off to Buffalo Bay. Follow this road for 8km and then turn right (towards the river) and into the reserve.

GPS: 34 4 6.73 S 22 56 52.29 E

Office hours: 08h30–16h00

Tel: +27 (0)44 383 0042

Accommodation and permit bookings Tel: 087 087 8250

Tariffs

Self-catering accommodation starting from R960

See Tariffs
Conservation Fees

Adults

Day Access = R50; Overnight fee = R40

Children

Day Access = R30; Overnight fee = R20

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Visitors Gallery
Events Calendar
15 Jul 2021
The Conservation Symposium
1 Sep 2021
Arbor Day Event - Interview with a Tree Competition 2021
13 Sep 2021
Access Week 13- 20 September 2021
15 Sep 2021
#Don'tBeTrashy Campaign

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