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South Africa / Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

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Nestling above Walker Bay, South Africa’s premier marine and botanical reserve offers a wealth of activities for lovers of the great outdoors.

Complimentary land-based activities range from guided flower safaris through the ancient milkwood forests on open 4x4 vehicles to hikes on walking trails up fynbos-clad mountains or gentle horseback rides, with ponies available for children. Picnic on the beach or walk along the rocky shores and explore the ancient coastal caves. Whale watching from the coastline between Hermanus and De Kelders is a highlight of the area as Southern Right whales migrate to the warm waters just off shore to calve from July to November – choose a prime spot on the headland, take a boat trip for a closer encounter or witness the spectacle from the air on a scenic flight.

Beyond the reserve, head out for a day of wine tasting in the Overberg’s wine farms or explore the small local villages of Africa's most southerly tip. At the heart of Grootbos is the Grootbos Foundation, a socially and environmentally responsible programme designed to improve the lives of the local community – guests are invited to learn more on a ‘Living the Future’ tour.

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Big Marine Five Safari

Experience a Big Marine Five safari (whales, penguins, sharks, seals and dolphins) on an eco-friendly vessel, spotting the animals up close accompanied by specialist marine biologists and guides to offer up incredible facts. 

When to visit South Africa

A year round destination, but expect cooler weather in the Eastern and Western Capes during winter, between June and August. Mpumalanga stays warm year round with temperatures, humidity and rainfall all increasing in the summer months between October and March. The whales return to the waters around Hermanus from July to November, and the spring months of August and September are particularly colourful along the Garden Route.

The prime time for game viewing is generally the drier winter and spring months from April to September when animals frequent the waterholes. During the wetter summer months between October and March, animals can still be viewed but are more widely dispersed – from December to February there may be more sightings of newborn animals.

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