The Southern Right Whale has made the De Hoop Reserve in South Africa one of the world’s best land-based whale watching areas.
“Unbelievable whale sightings at De Hoop this year… over 1 116 whales spotted on just part of the De Hoop coastline... nearly three times the number of last year - really the best spot for whale watching in South Africa”, said William Stephens of De Hoop Collection.
PRESS RELEASE: A new all-time record for whale sightings at De Hoop!
A Whale of a Weekend at De Hoop:
William Stephens had just been notified by Jean Tresfon, a well-known Marine Conservation Photographer, that even with “all the bad news and negativity in the media, especially when it comes to the state of our marine resources”; he was thrilled “to share something rather more uplifting”.
Tresfon, together with whale scientist Chris Wilkinson had, early on Saturday morning lifted off from the Morning Star airfield into the crisp clear air - a perfect day weather-wise - to conduct an aerial whale survey for the Mammal Research Institute Whale Unit.
Trefson reported that they encountered the southern right whales almost immediately, but it was when they reached the De Hoop Nature Reserve area that they were just blown away.
“The absolute pinnacle was at the De Hoop Nature Reserve - from Skipskop Point to Lekkerwater- where we spotted an incredible record-breaking 1 116 whales, or 558 cow/calf pairs, highlighting the fact that Koppie Alleen is without question the most important nursery area for southern right whales on the South African coast.”
CapeNature who is co-funding the whale research this year highlights the importance of monitoring the demographic changes in the Southern Right Whale population. CEO Dr Razeena Omar says “As the Winter season draws to a close it is an exciting time to see this kind of positive growth in conservation numbers. The uninterrupted aerial survey database is critical to long-term efforts to assess the extent of reproductive patterns and species population dynamics.”
After nearly seven hours in the air, they headed home. Tresfon later received a message from Els Vermeulen, head of the Whale Unit, advising him of the final numbers - 661 cow/calf pairs, plus 25 unaccompanied adults - a total of 1 347 southern right whales counted between Hawston and Witsands! Almost triple the amount of whales counted at nearly the same time - the first week of September - in the same area, in 2017.
For accommodation, bookings to stay at De Hoop and for a chance to see these incredible mammals this whale season please contact us.
Our 2019/2020 rates are now available! If you have not yet received the rates, contact us.
The De Hoop Team
Welcome to The Shed
We are excited to announce that the Fig Tree Restaurant has been ‘transformed’, re-invented, and has moved just a short distance away to The Shed. Aside from offering visitors a tranquil setting in which to enjoy local culinary creations, it now offers a bigger and better space. The stylish dining area overlooks the vlei and is flanked by a verandah which offers the perfect area from where you can watch pelicans and flamingoes … and the setting sun while sipping on sundowners. And to enhance the dining and wining experience, in a silo no less, is William’s Wine cellar - a beautifully designed space in-the-round where the fine wines of the area are showcased in a wine rack that holds over 3 000 unique and acclaimed wines.
Spotlight: Opstal Houses
These houses are well appointed and perfect for families or groups of friends looking for accommodation during whale season.
These 3-bedroomed houses are set in amongst the Milkwood trees near the opstal area. They have spacious bedrooms, separate sitting room and dining room with a fully equipped kitchen. Bathrooms are equipped with both showers and a bath, with a separate toilet. Catered and self-catered options available. Read more here.