Last week I was lucky enough sneak a little break away to De Hoop Nature Reserve in before the 2021 work end had to start. It was lovely to be in such a beautiful, protected space that falls under Cape Nature and away from any crowds. It is the perfect place to go during this Covid lockdown if you want to escape your home and people in general. We stayed in one of their lovely Opstal self-catering houses which are best for larger groups or families. They have a number of different accommodation types ranging from smaller self-catering cottages to equipped rondawels and camping. They also offer hotel suites where all meals are catered for in their Fig Tree Restaurant. A beautiful pool overlooks the 16 km vlei which wraps around the De Hoop collection of properties. There are loads of walks and mountain bike routes you can take on your own or guided. This is a nature lovers paradise.
Bontebok, Cape mountain zebra, eland and ostrich roam the property and you will get many close-up encounters with them on your stay. If you visit between June and November you will see the whales as they come into the area to breed and give birth. De Hoop is the best land-based whale watching spot in South Africa and is home to the famous Whale Trail hike.
Current activities offered at De Hoop (slightly reduced due to Covid restrictions)
1. Guided bird walks (1 – 3 hours)
2. Interpretive Marine walk – 2 hours
3. Guided Mountain bike trail (Mountain bikes can be hired)
4. The Vulture Experience
a 3-hour excursion to the Potberg Mountains to view the endangered Cape Vultures
5. Nature drive experience – 2 hours
We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon drive through pristine fynbos with our qualified field guide
De Hoop is a 3-hour drive from Cape Town with a 45km stretch of dirt road through gorgeous Overberg farmland. I recommend taking the slightly longer and more scenic route on one of the legs via Hermanus, Stanford, Elim and Bredasdorp. The De Hoop Collection are offering a few amazing packages whilst the tourism sector battles out this brutal pandemic.
A few fast facts about De Hoop:
- It’s 36 000 hectares.
- Its a UNESCO Ramsar World Heritage Site and one of the larges Cape Nature properties.
- There are over 70 kilometres of pristine coastline.
- The famous Whale Trail hike happens on the eastern and coastal part of the reserve (this is a bucket list thing to do if you haven’t already).
- De Hoop is one of the best land-based whale-watching sites in the WORLD.
- There are 1500 plant species.
- 260 bird species.
- 2 major ocean currents merge in the area as this is close to the most southern tip of Africa.
- Phenomenal star gazing opportunities with minimal light pollution.
- Mountain zebra, bontebok, eland, Steenbok and baboons wander around the property.
To find out more about my last trip to De Hoop and stay at the Melkkamer house, click here.
*Disclaimer – I stayed as a guest of De Hoop Collection
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