Things To Do in Grotto BayGrotto Bay Trails
Where? Start at the Gatehouse in the Grotto Bay Private Nature Reserve, Cape West Coast.
When? Daylight hours.
How much? Price on request
Start: the Gatehouse, Grotto Bay private nature reserve
Finish: the Gatehouse
Duration: 3 to 15 km
Fitness: easy to moderate
Our tip: the Duinefontein dunes route is particularly hot; doing it in the heat of summer is probably not advisable
Up the West Coast, roughly halfway between Koeberg Private Nature Reserve and Yzerfontein, is Grotto Bay, a proclaimed nature reserve and property estate. To reach it takes about 45 minutes.
It forms part of the Cape West Coast Biosphere reserve – 378 000 hectares from the mouth of the Diep River at Milnerton all the way to beyond the Berg River at Velddrift.
You may not know is that there are 4 trails at Grotto Bay through the fynbos that dominates the coastline.
This strandveld comes alive during spring particularly, but even when there are not flowers there is an avid bird life (150 species) and a fair number of wild buck, ostriches and tortoise that roam the estate.
Please register at the Gatehouse, where there is parking, before you begin any trail.
TORTOISE TRAIL – 3 km
Starts at the gate, takes you to the waterhole and along the various pans and on to the signal towers at Pelican circle.
BOKKIE TRAIL – 6 km
This trail takes one via the waterhole to the second pan, through the Long pan to the track crossing for Skuinsrots and then south along the fire track to the signal towers.
OSTRICH TRAIL – 10 km
Head to the waterhole, then the second pan, through Long pan, the fire track crossing for Long Beach and River, and then north towards the river and river mouth. You then head south on Long Beach joining part of the Oystercatcher trail to Kabeljoubank.
DUINEFONTEIN DUNES – 15 km
From the river mouth path, continue to the bridge across the R27. Head north along the boundary fence until you reach the path that runs up the middle of the river. Follow this route to the northern boundary of the reserve, and then return along the route to the river mouth, but keep to the dunes.
Over and above the prepared hiking trails through the nature reserve, the other trails in the area include the Black Oystercatcher trails, and a hiking trail that runs from Kabeljoubank along the waterfront to the mouth of the river.
The community discourages any walking north of the river mouth as it disturbs the oystercatcher, whose breeding ground this is.