Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is one of the most magical natural kingdoms on Earth.

Spanning 2,500 hectares of South Africa, and sitting less than 2 hours from the city of Cape Town, this breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site is committed to preserving some of the world’s most precious wildlife and opening visitors’ eyes to its wonders.

Every year, between the months of May and July, something extra-special happens. The unique carpet of Erica irregularis explodes into colour, the ocean and trees thrive with wildlife, while insects feast on the flowers and gardens are laden with ripe fruit and vegetables – this is the Secret Season at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.

Acclaimed as one of the world’s best hotels by the likes of Tatler, Andrew Harper and Fodor’s, you can come here to experience an invaluable combination of pure luxury and soul-stirring surroundings. A truly enchanting mix of stunning scenery, sumptuous cuisine and unique discoveries that can’t be experienced anywhere else, see our top 5 reasons to visit Grootbos Private Nature Reserve in the Secret Season and how you can see it for yourself…

1. Nature is at its most magnificent

There are over 791 species of flower across the breathtaking Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, but there is one in particular that stands out at this time of year – the unique Erica Irregularis, which is found nowhere else in the world. Between May and July, these flowers burst into vibrant blossoms of pink, forming a magical display across the foothills. A 4×4 safari drive, guided hike through ancient Milkwood forests or horse-riding through the fynbos will reveal the full beauty of the area’s eco-system.

2. Be amazed at the Marine Big Five

Based along the sparkling waters of Walker Bay, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve overlooks a special section of the Atlantic Ocean, where marine life flourishes into action. As Autumn beckons, the Southern Right Whales return from feeding in the cold waters, offering visitors a unique display of their migration back to the warmer climes of Walker Bay.

Out on Dyer Island, you will find one of only two offshore African Penguin colonies, while the adjacent Geyser Rock is home to around 60,000 Cape Fur Seals. This is also the hunting ground of Great White Sharks, while the friendly Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin can also be seen frolicking.

3. Discover the root of your cuisine

As the fynbos and oceans spring to life, a foodie fantasy also takes centre stage. Among the fynbos, the Grootbos honey bees are hard at work pollinating this floral kingdom. Join the beekeeper and see a fascinating miniature world revealed as you gather their golden nectar.

Out on the coast, explore the ancient caves of Walker Bay and forage for fresh mussels to prepare in the kitchen with the Executive Chef. As the rains feed the Siyakhula gardens, you can learn about Grootbos’ Growing the Future project and handpick fresh organic vegetables to be prepared in your delicious lunch or dinner. Of course, you are also in the home country of some of the world’s finest wines, so prepare for some exquisite pairings from the sommelier.

4. Stay in stunning accommodation

As one of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is a truly outstanding place to stay. Rooted in its community and cradled in natural beauty, each suite blends in seamlessly with the environment for total immersion. Slide open your glass doors, and you will be greeted by a rolling carpet of fynbos and the crashing Atlantic Ocean in the distance, with panoramic views across the landscape. As evening falls, Grootbos is perfectly positioned for stunning sunset views over the ocean – the final spectacle of the day.

Grootbos nature reserve South Africa luxury lodge accommodation
Grootbos luxury lodge accommodation

5. The Grootbos Nature Reserve Secret Season Package

The Grootbos Secret Season package is only available between the magical months of May and July. During this time, you will be able to experience all the above with unique experiences, unlocking the wonder of this phenomenal part of the world. Over a four-day stay, you will discover the best of the reserve, with exceptional experiences such as horse-riding the coast of Walker Bay, a beekeeping tour, vegetable harvesting in the garden, a bird-watching riverboat cruise and boarding a luxury vessel to spot the Marine Big Five.

You will also have the privilege of wonderful gourmet experiences, including a three-course lunch, six-course dinner and a daily breakfast buffet, plus plenty of award-winning local wines to enjoy. A melting pot of nature, gastronomy and unrivalled luxury, the Secret Season is the key to discovering South Africa at its most amazing.


See more stunning footage from Grootbos or be inspired by Elegant Resorts’ Travel Consultants video diary from their luxury safaris in South Africa and Botswana.

Feeling Inspired?

For more information on Secret Season at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, or to arrange your luxury holiday to South Africe, please call our expert Travel Consultants on 01244 897 578 or visit