Top 6 Reasons to Visit De Hoop in 2020
The new year holds fresh opportunities to travel. De Hoop Nature Reserve, situated on 36 000 hectares of pristine wilderness, brings you many reasons to include it on your destination list for 2020. This well protected haven, that includes stretches of untouched fynbos along wild dunes, mountains and a spectacular coastline, is rich in biodiversity and hosts many awe-inspiring sites just waiting to be explored.
1. Proximity to Garden Route and Cape Floral Kingdom
De Hoop is conveniently situated just three hours’ drive from Cape Town, and near Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa. The reserve serves as the perfect stop-over while touring the world renowned Garden and Whale Routes. It can be used as an ideal base from which to venture out and explore the breathtaking surrounding landscape.
2. Spectacular Whale Watching Spot
The protected bay of Koppie Alleen has been a longstanding haven to the endangered southern right whales. These gentle giants annually return to the safe waters to mate, give birth to and rear their calves. At the peak of the high season, between June and December, as many as fifty of these mammals can be spotted on a day, which makes the reserve one of the most coveted land-based spots for whale watching in the world.
3. Safe to Explore on Foot/Bike
Enjoy the rare chance of exploring a true wilderness up close and personal. With no large predators to put you at risk, the reserve is safe to explore on foot or bike. Walk or cycle among the plentiful herds of large eland, the rare bontebok, grey rhebok, Cape mountain zebra, troops of baboons, and ostriches. Take your time to study the fascinating world of smaller creatures such as the Cape dwarf chameleon, the angulated tortoise and the Cape crag lizard. The diversity of 1 500 plant species is amongst the highest in the Cape Floral Region, with a large percentage of rare, threatened and endemic species to be viewed.
4. Informative Activities with Professional Guides
Enrich your stay by booking one of several activities with our expert guides. Adventure out to the cliffs of Potberg Mountain and view the endangered Cape vulture—the Western Cape’s last surviving colony of these birds. A guided marine walk will introduce you to the wonders of the rocky shores - housing a myriad of intertidal creatures that have learned the art of surviving in this challenging environment. Relax during an eco boat cruise while exploring the protected vlei, where flamingoes, pelicans, otters and porcupines come to feed and breed.
5. Archeological and Historical Significance
De Hoop serves as a valuable porthole into both the prehistoric and colonial past. Guides can take you to the middens where the indigenous Strandlopers combed the beaches and consumed shellfish for hundreds of years. Special artefacts belonging to the hunter-gatherer Khoi-Khoi, who roamed the inland plains, are carefully preserved and displayed at the welcoming center. Learn about the settlement of the Dutch East India Company in the 1700s when the land was first leased to free burghers for farming. Generations of cattle farmers developed the land into a prize stock farm during the nineteenth century. Relive the past by booking your stay in the beautifully restored Manor House with many carefully preserved fittings that include the original stonewalls, yellowwood floors and a roof beam salvaged from the Krakatau shipwreck. The historical Melkkamer and Potberg homesteads are also available as fine accommodation rentals.
6. Various Accommodation and Dining Options
De Hoop Collection offers various accommodation and dining options to serve every need. Treat your partner to a romantic getaway in one of the tucked away suites overlooking the vlei. Families can enjoy a luxurious stay in one of the historic homesteads, while the cosy cottages at De Hoop Village provide fully equipped kitchens for those who prefer to self-cater. The Fig Tree Restaurant serves freshly prepared meals throughout the day and William’s Wine Cellar, housed in a converted silo, holds an acclaimed collection of more than 8 00 select wines.
Come explore, indulge and unwind - the possibilities at De Hoop are endless. A team of friendly staff stands ready to help you make the most of your precious 2020 vacation time.