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Goukamma Nature Reserve

Western Cape

Far away from the madding crowds is one of the Garden Route’s best kept secrets. Long kept under wraps, this gentle and serene protected coastal reserve is guaranteed to nurture your soul.

Goukamma Nature Reserve incorporates a long beach, extensive high dune field, the Goukamma River and estuary as well as the self-contained Groenvlei Lake. The coastline stretches for 14 km and the adjoining marine protected area extends out to the ocean for 2 km. Bring your snorkelling gear and explore the lovely rock pools at Rowwehoek.

Numerous hiking trails traverse a wide range of habitats for birds, mammals and marine life. Cape clawless otter, grysbok, bushbuck, bush pig, porcupine, bushbaby, Cape dune mole rat, caracal and honey badger all live in this paradise. Most of the animals are quite timid and difficult to spot but you will see plenty of droppings and spoor on the trails.

The coastline offers excellent whale watching from July to December and dolphins are frequently spotted surfing the waves. The area is great for birdwatching with more than 220 recorded bird species. The Goukamma River has a number of picnic sites and braai spots. Bring your own firewood.

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