Groenvlei is a natural lake just outside Sedgefield toward the East. A large part of the lake falls within the Goukamma Nature Reserve and it is managed by CapeNature. This is an interesting body of water to explore by kayak and various bird species can be observed as well. Kayaks, sailing and electric vesels are allowed on the lake providing you have a permit. Fishing is also allowed with a permit.
Interesting fact about Groenvlei is that it has no streams flowing into or out of it, it is said to be fed by water seeping from the surrounding dunes. There are two indigenous fish species only found in this lake, the Estuarine Round Herring and the Cape Silverside. There are also some invasive alien fish species that were introduced into the lake at some point. Some were legally introduced decades ago like the Largemouth Bass, Bluegill Sunfish, Mozambique Tilapia and Mosquitofish. These species thrived together but unfortunately carp was introduced illegibly in the 1990s disrupting this balance. There are some interesting articles on CapeNature's website regarding this and the efforts to re-establish the balance in Groenvlei.
Permits & Cost: Permits can be obtained from the SANParks office on Thesen Island in Knysna or Ebb-and-Flow in Wilderness and are R216 annually or R108 per month (February 28, 2022)
SANParks Thesen Island 044 302 5600
SANParks Wilderness Ebb-and-Flow 044 877 1197
Directions & Coordinates:
You can access Groenvlei lake from two locations;
The first is from from the CapeNature access point, this turnoff is from the N2 basically across the road from the Ruigtevlei / Karatara turnoff on the Knysna side of Sedgefield. (-34.025438, 22.850504)
Alternatively take the Groenvlei / Lake Pleasant / Traders Hotel turnoff 1.8km closer to Sedgefield. The lake can be accessed through Lake Pleasant's day visitors area, there might be day visitors fees applicable for using the facilities here. (-34.024931, 22.833718)
Other: We recommend always wearing PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices) even when paddling on the lagoon. Wear a hat and sunscreen as well, bearing in mind that the reflection off the water can also burn you.
Click images to enlarge.
Please preserve our environment for our posterity by not littering.