Serendipity best describes our discovery of Gourikwa Reserve. Just when you think you know most of the spots along the Garden Route, there’s the delightful discovery of a secret gem!
Imagine 5km of unspoilt pristine coastline along with 2000 hectares of indigenous fauna and flora. Gourikwa Reserve offers an idyllic getaway surrounded by untamed nature.
Where Is Gourikwa Reserve?
Gourikwa Reserve is nestled in a sprawling yet secluded spot between Stilbaai and Mossel Bay. It’s about a 4 and a half hour drive from Cape Town making it quite accessible for a holiday break. George Airport is about a half hour drive away.
About Gourikwa Reserve
The area is believed to have originally been inhabited by the Khoikhoi thousands of years ago before eventually becoming an isolated farming community. It’s not hard to understand how a shipwreck occurred off the dramatic rocky outcrops where wild waves crash relentlessly. The Ystervarkpunt Lighthouse, which provides magnificent photo ops was built in 1964. At one point the land was designated to become home of a nuclear plant. Those plans were scrapped and through the previous and current owners, Gourikwa has become the unspoilt reserve guests enjoy today.
Accommodation At Gourikwa Reserve
The Gourikwa villas are set back from the shoreline. They’re semi-detached and offer an open plan living area, mini kitchenette and patio where you can expect to see resident zebras munch at vegetation. Units accommodate up to 4 people (1 sleeps 6) and offer interleading options. Portable braais are available.
The 6 cottages are less than 100m from the shore break affording magnificent views. One cottage sleeps two and the rest sleep 4. They come with a fully equipped kitchenette and built in braai.
There are 9 Fishermen’s Houses, freestanding and dotted along the coastline. They’re a little more rustic than the cottages but charming and spacious. Expect gorgeous views of the sea and lighthouse. They come with kitchenette, inside fireplace and patio with built in braai. These accommodate 4 people and one unit accommodates 6.
We stayed in their 6 bed unit, which is furthest away from reception near the lighthouse. We had our own pathway leading from the garden down to the shoreline and glorious rock pools which provided endless entertainment!
Current winter rates start at an affordable R650 per night for a villa up to R1130 for a cottage based on double occupancy.
Activities In The Reserve
Outdoor life is the name of the game. Walk or hike through the vegetation or go boulder hopping along the shoreline. There aren’t really sandy beach areas for bathing so I’ll cover those options in a bit. Our kids spent many happy hours with their fishing nets catching and releasing little creatures in the rock pools.
Other options include opportunities for whale watching, bird watching, boat launching facilities, 4 x 4 driving route and snorkelling. There is a swimming pool, outdoor chess set and mini putt putt course. Check on restaurant times as these vary according to seasonality. Essentially this is a self-catering holiday.
Get self-catering tips and a free checklist here.
Activities Outside The Reserve
If you fancy a little beach lazing, Gouritsmond is your nearest option 16km away. It’s a beautiful flat beach.
Our best discovery was Stilbaai. It’s about an hour away but beyond worth it. Aim for low tide and you’ll be rewarded with spectacular sprawling beach, warm shallow water and views for days. You can also stock up on food supplies here or have lunch at one of the restaurants.
We spent a day in Mossel Bay which is almost an hour’s drive. Mossel Bay offers loads of coffee shops and restaurants. We enjoyed lunch at Delfinos located by Point Beach which offers gorgeous rock pools and a mini tidal pool. The Point Of Human Origins, a renowned archaeological site is in the vicinity. We walked to the first cave and a bit beyond.
If side stepping the daily hustle of life is what you need, then Gourikwa Reserve is just the solution. You’ll be hard pressed to not feel stress dissolve as you find yourself immersed in this spectacular environment.
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