About Goukamma Nature Reserve

The glorious Goukamma Nature Reserve, just 20 kilometres west of Knysna, is one of those unrivalled hideaways that, despite being on the popular Garden Route, manages to remain relatively obscure and unknown - a treasure trove near the mouth of the Goukamma River.

Did you know? Boat-based and shore-based whale watching is a joy during the whale season between July and October.

Goukamma Nature and Marine Reserve is an area of about 2500 hectares that includes a 14 kilometre coastline that extends from Buffalo Bay to just outside Sedgefield, and 1 nautical mile seawards.

Staying here affords one access to a long, protected beach, an extensive dune field that boasts some of the highest vegetated dunes in the country, the Goukamma River and estuary and the curious Groenvlei Lake that lies effortlessly self-contained, without a link to the sea or an inflowing river.

The Goukamma reserve is rich with coastal fynbos and coastal forest; the dune forest thick with milkwood, yellowwood and candlewood trees and the protected marine area an invitation to bottle-nosed and common dolphins which relish the surf, devoid as it is of ski-boats and spearfishermen.

Goukamma’s weather is also relatively unique - there is no cold wet or dry season, although rainfall is higher in spring and autumn - and as a result, fairly unpredictable with even the odd cold day in summer and an equal chance of warm days in the middle of winter.

There are day trails within the reserve, swimming in the sea and river are permissible, canoe trips up the river are a delight, whilst the lake offers some of the best bass-fishing in South Africa.

Need to Know

WhereBuffels Bay, Knysna, 6570, Garden Route, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours.

OvernightStay in Knysna Accommodation, Garden Route


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