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Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve and Boosmansbos Wilderness

Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve Boosmansbos

The Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve, between Swellendam and Heidelberg, is a magnificent 250ha indigenous forest, with towering trees, home to over 200 bird species, especially forest birds.

The reserve forms part of the 14 000ha Boosmansbos Wilderness Area, which has a network of 70km of hiking trails, especially popular to hikers that enjoy the remoteness of this beautiful, fynbos covered section of the Langeberg Mountains.

Boosmansbos Wilderness, GrootvadersboschRugged, captivating and awe inspiring, the Boosmansbos Wilderness Area is one of the best kept secrets of the Western Cape in South Africa. This special part of South Africa was proclaimed a World Heritage Site in 2004, its forest home to 35 forest tree species that include the stinkwood, yellowwood, red alder and the ironwood. Woods like these are precious, and rarely found in the Cape as far south from the Knysna forests, as Grootvadersbosch.

The edges of the forest and the nearby mountain fynbos provide some particularly good examples of endemic bird species such as the Knysna woodpecker, Knysna and Victorin’s warblers, the forest canary and the Cape siskin. There are two bird hides set within the forest and some of the bird species you may spot are the paradise flycatcher, the crowned eagle and the narina trogon.

There are a few smaller mammals too in this fertile space and it isn’t unusual to see bushbuck, grey rhebuck, baboon, mongoose and genet. After showers you may come across Plain Rain Frog (Breviceps fuscus) or Strawberry Rain Frog (Breviceps acutirostris) along the forest trails while certain boulder-strewn gorges are home to a sub-species of southern Ghost Frog (Heleophryne purcelli orientalis), which is endemic to Grootvadersbosch.

Mountain bikers can enjoy the Grootvadersbosch conservancy cycle trail. Hikers have a range of trails from short hops to the two day Boosmansbos Wilderness Trail.

Drier periods are from May to July and December to January. Berg wind conditions prevail from May to July. Camping is available in an attractive camp site.

Enquiries & Reservations: Tel: (021) 659 3500 or National callers: (021) 483 0190: International callers: 0027 861 227 362 8873: Reservations  Website.

More info on the town of Swellendam More info on the Overberg area

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