Planning your dream destination wedding or honeymoon in South Africa? Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, just two hours away from Cape Town and voted one of the Best Hotels in the World by Tatler Travel Guide is the destination for you.
Grootbos is an Afrikaans word meaning Big Forest, which is fitting as the Grootbos Lodge is beautifully laid out across two large Milwood Forests which houses over 750 indigenous species. Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is a 2500 hectare botanical treasure trove, wildlife sanctuary and a world leader in luxury responsible tourism.
Wedding Planning: The Ceremony
Tailor made wedding packages are available for the ceremony and reception of your dreams. The Grootbos Private Nature Reserve offers four outdoor venues that allow for a maximum of 80 guests as well as The Pool at the Garden Lodge, next to the main lodge, which allows for a maximum of 40 guests. As for the former, the available venues are…
The Milkwood Forest, which is a 5-minute walk from the main lodge. Die Plaat is a private nature reserve about 10 minutes drive from Grootbos. Please note that 180 steps lead down to the beach venue! Piano Rock is an additional 20 minutes from Die Plaat that can only be accessed by 4×4 vehicles (which is included in the overall cost). Stanford’s Cove is a public beach in De Kelders (a 10 minute drive away from Grootbos) so complete privacy is not guaranteed and there is no alcohol allowed on the beach without a permit.
Wedding Planning: The Reception
Grootbos offers five venues for your reception, ranging from a maximum of 12 guests to 80 guests including The Wine Cellar, The Garden, and the Red Indigo Restaurant at Forest Lodge.
Planning Your Stay
Grootbos boasts two beautiful lodges and one gorgeous villa, available to stay in at seasonal rates with all meals and a wide variety of guided tours included in your stay. Worth noting, there are three all year round honeymoon packages and one honeymoon package available from November to March.
1. The Garden Lodge is set amongst an Eden of beautifully landscaped fynbos gardens and indigenous trees. Also included in your stay: Welcome drink served upon arrival, fresh fruit daily in suite, 5-Course dinners, guided nature walks and hikes, horse riding for non- and experienced riders, and more.
2. The 16 freestanding luxury suites of The Forest Lodge are carefully embedded in the ancient Milkwood forest, accessed via an enchanted cobbled pathway beneath the forest canopy.
3. Finally, the most exclusive offering in the Grootbos portfolio and quite possibly one of the most exclusive offerings in the whole of South Africa is the Villa. Included in your stay: Private guide for the duration of your stay with a private vehicle, butler, laundry and valet service, private chef for the duration of your stay, day trip to Cape Agulhas – the Southernmost Tip of Africa, wine tours to Overberg wine estates, golfing excursions, and more.
100% of the herbs used in the kitchens of Grootbos are grown by the reserve staff. Grootbos also boasts homegrown organic produce as well as fresh, local fish bought directly from the Gansbaai and Hermanus Harbours as well as the local rainbow trout farm, Langkloof Trout Farm.
Two restaurants with both breakfast and lunch buffets sit on the gorgeous Grootbos Reserve. Dinner is a five-course culinary journey reinvented every day to keep your taste buds surprised and delighted. If you have any specific dietary requirements or simply feel like something else, Grootbos will go out of our way to accommodate your desires.
To watch the whales along Walker Bay, plan dining at The Whale House. There are a number of restaurants in the area as well as the option to have a picnic on the beach. Everything you need is prepared and provided at your request for your picnic, even umbrellas and transportation!
Guests at Grootbos can join a guided tour to the Overberg ‘wine pockets’ of Stanford, Hermanus, Elim and Cape Agulhas – all within a half hour’s drive. Wine tours are included in your accommodation fee and no pre-booking is required.
The Beach & The Spa
When you’re ready to head to the beach, there’s an abundance of options perfect for every beachgoer. Stanford Cove and Die Plaat are two beautiful nearby beaches and for more secluded beaches, consider visiting Franskraal Beach or Pearly Beach.
You can also get a manicure, pedicure, facial, massage (including The Body Massage, a combination of the Classic and Swedish technique), and Shiatsu (a traditional healing art from Japan) during your stay.
There are 125 bird species and six different types of antelope at Grootbos, nocturnal roamers and a healthy troop of Chacma Baboons that wander the range. According to Grootbos, free roaming primates on the reserve are untainted by civilization and keep to themselves.
A small island off the coast of Gansbaai, Dyer Island is a protected nature reserve that cannot be accessed by the general public. Boat tours however are available and guests at Grootbos have exclusive access to their own dedicated boat for guided tours to Dyer Island with a marine biologist onboard at all times.
July to December is considered the best time of year to see the sharks and whales along the Gansbaai coastline but you’ll most likely catch the “Marine Big 5” which consists of whales, sharks, dolphins, seals and penguins.
Guided Cave Tours, Shipwreck Tours & Museums
Take a guided tour to one of a number of caves that were the homes of Middle Stone Age people. The number one recommendation? Klipgat Cave. As one of only three places in South Africa where such ancient remains have been found, Klipgat Cave is one of the most important historical sites in the Western Cape and of World Heritage significance.
Guided shipwreck tours are available around Cape Agulhas, Arniston and Quoin Point, as well as Gansbaai which is home to the most famous wreck, the HMS Birkenhead of the Danger Point Peninsula. The largest private collection of Birkenhead relics can be found at the Strandveld Museum in the nearby suburb of Franskraal. Also worth mentioning is the Bredasdorp Shipwreck Museum which is on the way to the Southernmost Tip of Africa, where the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean meet – a must see.
The lighthouse at Cape Agulhas, one of the oldest lighthouses in the country and a national monument, houses Africa’s only lighthouse museum (as well as a small rustic restaurant for after your walk through this historical museum).
Scenic Rides: An Overview
Finally, there are a handful of 30 minutes to 2 hour scenic flights to view the mountains, vineyards, shipwrecks, waves and wildlife like never before. It is the perfect way to end your wedding or honeymoon and take in one last beautiful look at the wildlife and nature that will take your breath away no matter where you look.
For more information on the 5-Star Private Nature Reserve of Grootbos, visits Grootbos.com.