Goukamma Nature Reserve is an excellent destination located in the Wilderness between Sedgefield and Buffalo Bay. The reserve is one of those unspoiled treasures that, despite being on the popular Garden Route, remains relatively unknown—a true wildlife experience near the mouth of the Goukamma River. Milkwood, yellowwood, and candlewood trees grow in abundance on the reserve’s 2 500 hectares of lush coastal woodland. The adorable vervet monkey, bushbuck, and bushpig, as well as porcupine, mongoose, honey badger, and grysbok, are all protected here. Furthermore, the Goukamma River and estuary, as well as the Groenvlei Lake, provide a hospitable environment for more than 220 bird species, including the endangered African black oystercatcher. The Nature Reserve is located near Wilderness National Park on the Western Cape’s southern coast, around 40 kilometres east of George and 15 kilometres west of Knysna.
Grysbok, bushbuck, bushpig, porcupine, vervet monkey, caracal, mongoose, honey badger, and otters all thrive in Goukamma's unique ecosystem. There are seven fish species, two of which are native and five of which are alien. Over 220 kinds of birds, including the spoonbill, African fish eagle, Knysna loerie, and the uncommon African black oystercatcher, will be seen by birders, making it an excellent choice for birding enthusiasts. The dune forest is filled with milkwood, yellowwood, and candlewood trees, and the protected marine region is an invitation to bottle-nosed and common dolphins who enjoy the surf throughout the year. Additionally, visitors can enjoy the sight of the magnificent southern right whales between June and November.
In September and October, when the first spring rains bring splashes of vivid blooms to the fynbos, it's a fantastic time to visit. Because Goukamma Nature Reserve falls between the Cape's summer and winter rainy seasons, it's a year-round attraction. Goukamma's weather is particularly unusual in that there is neither cold wet nor dry season, with heavier rainfall in spring and autumn.
Goukamma Nature Reserve offers many outdoor activities for those visiting the reserve. For birding enthusiasts, there are 220 types of birds found here, making it a great place to spot the likes of the Knysna Loerie and the endangered African black oystercatcher. For the intrepid at heart, there are plenty of hiking trails around, all of which are ideal for getting up close to nature. Guided horse riding excursions are popular, and head along the beach, while avid anglers can cast a line from the shore with the correct permits in hand. On a canoe or pedal boat, visitors can take a peaceful tour of the reserve and slowly float down the river or across the lake while taking in the surroundings and keeping a lookout for wildlife and birds.
Goukamma Nature Reserve has an array of accommodation options for those wanting to spend a few nights in the reserve. Some lodges and chalets offer various facilities and services, most of which boast lovely views of the water. Guests opting to stay here can contact us for any enquiries or bookings.