Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve
Excellent bird watching, gorgeous indigenous Knysna forest and mountain fynbos characterize this CapeNature reserve in the Langeberg. The 250-hectare forest is situated 22 km northwest of Heidelberg and is considered the best and largest woodland in the southwestern Cape.
The Bushbuck and Grysbok Hiking Trails and a short mountain bike trail through high forest are wonderful options to explore this stunning reserve. Permits for these trails are available from the CapeNature office.
Rich in bird diversity, the reserve boasts no less than 196 bird species. Twitchers will be gripping their binoculars to spot endemics like the Knysna woodpecker, Knysna warbler, Victorin’s warbler, forest canary and Cape Siskin. Other forest specials to look out for are the Narina Trogon and majestic Crowned Eagle.
Forest tree species that you will see are stinkwood, yellowwood, red alder and the ubiquitous ironwood. Wildlife that is often encountered includes bushbuck, Cape grysbok, Cachma baboons, various small mammals like mongoose and genet. Occasionally leopard can be seen. Look out for a subspecies of ghost frog and the unique forest emperor butterfly.