De Hoop Nature Reserve 4.0 rating based on 1 rating1 Review 4 Visitor Photos + An off-the-grid reserve with off-the-charts beauty Submitted by Karen Elowitt An off-the-grid reserve with off-the-charts beauty Submitted by Karen Elowitt An off-the-grid reserve with off-the-charts beauty Submitted by Karen Elowitt An off-the-grid reserve with off-the-charts beauty Submitted by Karen Elowitt De Hoop Nature Reserve, Bredasdorp 7280, South Africa 27 28 542 1253 De Hoop Nature Reserve email@example.com De Hoop Nature Reserve Amenities: Bar/Lounge, Beach, Free Parking, Kids Activities, Kitchenette, Restaurant, Suites, Swimming Pool, Tennis Court, Tours Reserve Now
Though it's only three hours from Cape Town, De Hoop offers a delightfully remote yet comfortable wilderness experience amid the...
Though it’s only three hours from Cape Town, De Hoop offers a delightfully remote yet comfortable wilderness experience amid the land- and sea-based flora and fauna of this remarkable World Heritage site.
The 36,000-hectare (89,000-acre) reserve forms part of the unique but threatened Cape Floral plant kingdom, whose low fynbos and patchy green scrub stretch as far as the eye can see. 1500 plant species, 260 bird species, and 86 mammal species call the reserve home, including the Malachite kingfisher, white-tailed bontebok, and Cape mountain zebra. There is no big game here, and the property is extremely safe to wander at will — even with children. On the other side of the striking white dunes at the edge of the reserve is the Marine Protected Area, which stretches 5km (3 miles) out to sea and is the winter home to hundreds of Southern Right Whales. De Hoop Vlei, the waterway which cuts through the center of the reserve, is a Ramsar (internationally recognized wetland) site teeming with pelicans, flamingoes, and even a few otters.
Activities offered at the reserve are focused on allowing guests to explore and learn about the wildlife. They include guided bird walks, boat cruises, marine walks, quad bike tours, and mountain bike trips. Self-guided walks and bike trips are also possible, and stargazing is available on clear nights. Guides are knowledgeable and personable to the extreme, and are one of the high points of a stay at De Hoop.
The property caters to all types of visitors, from multi-generational family groups, to couples seeking a weekend escape, to entire wedding parties (yes, you can get married on site). Accommodation ranges from simple two-person rondavels with shared kitchens and bathrooms, to posh, multi-room suites, to camping and caravan sites. Most of the accommodation centers around the main Opstal area (where the reception and restaurant are located), but if you want a more secluded experience, book one of Melkkamer cottages, which sit on the opposite side of the Vlei and can only be accessed by a 5-minute boat ride or 45-min drive. Wherever you opt to stay, you’ll likely wake up to herds of eland and ostriches wandering past your window.
Some of the accommodation is catered, but if you’re in an uncatered unit (and don’t feel like cooking) the Fig Tree restaurant offers casual gourmet food and splendid wines in a warm, friendly setting. The restaurant has been housed in temporary quarters since the old site burned down in 2014, and the new site, which is slated to be finished in late March 2015, sits in a lovely spot overlooking the vlei.
Other amenities include a small gift shop, tennis courts, and the occasional art workshop and yoga retreat. Wi-fi and mobile phone reception are fairly strong around the main Opstal part of the property, but elsewhere it’s slim-to-none, so don’t count on keeping in touch with family back home (or the office) when you’re out exploring. But the whole point of going to De Hoop is to unplug and enjoy the silence and wild beauty of the place, so consider the lack of 3G a blessing.
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