At Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, just half an hour from Hermanus in South Africa, overlooking the whale-watching haven of Walker Bay and Gansbaai, children are able to explore the Cape Floral Kingdom and the nearby penguins and marine life first hand, in an environment that is both enjoyable and educational.
A previous recipient of Tatler Travel Guide’s Best Family Hotel in the World Award, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve offers parents all the comforts of a five-star hotel, while their little ones are kept busy with safe, engaging nature-based activities.
From scouting for bugs, frogging at night with head torches, visiting the penguin rehabilitation center nearby, picking vegetables, feeding rabbits and pressing flowers, the activities available to small guests provide an interactive encounter with the natural world and its many creatures.
Tailor-made, bespoke experiences encourage learning about the symbiotic relationship between animals and plants. A dedicated playground with paddocks, a petting zoo and trampoline delight little ones, who are free to enjoy the grounds or take a guided daily horse ride through the reserve’s 6,000 acres of indigenous and unique plant life.
Vacationing parents can relax, at peace in the knowledge that their children are in the safe hands of trained guides and staff. Regular treasure hunts to the beach, in the Cape Fynbos or in the ancient Milkwood forest often yield collected treasures – be it an insect, shell or porcupine quill. These provide for valuable learning experiences and unforgettable memories.
Rainy days, meanwhile, provide the opportunity to spend time in the movie room or activities room complete with foosball and pool tables. An extensive library and DVDs are also available for in-suite entertainment.
Comfortable yet undeniably luxurious, the 11 freestanding Garden Lodge suites are the perfect retreat for families. Surrounded by fragrant fynbos gardens and sweeping vistas over the bay, each suite has a wraparound timber deck, a separate lounge and wood-burning fireplace. Babysitting facilities are also available to parents who are looking for some alone time.
The kids’ menu is creatively compiled of seasonal produce from the onsite organic Growing the Future initiative and children are encouraged to help with the collection of produce at the organic farm to help bring a better understanding the origins of food. For adults, organic food bursting with flavor is sure to excite your palette and you can experience a candlelit dinner in the wine cellar or take a packed picnic to the beach or out to the reserve. Expert wine pairings are also available during dinners.
For more information visit Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.