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De Hoop Nature Reserve is home to the amazing plant diversity of  Cape Fynbos as well as numerous birds and antelope species. It is a World Heritage Site.

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Few other reserves offer as complete an outdoor experience as De Hoop – sea, sand dunes, the vlei, a floral sensation of rare fynbos plants, diverse antelope and the Potberg Mountains.

Birders observe wading birds on the shores of the vlei while the Potberg Mountains are home to a colony of endangered Cape vultures. Some 260 bird species have been recorded.

Bontebok, Cape mountain zebra, eland, baboons and ostrich roam freely.

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There are a variety of activities for families and nature lovers alike. Book ahead at the De Hoop Collection office:

Explore the diverse landscapes on self-guided hikes through the rich fynbos plains or along the deserted coastline, take an MTB ride to explore the many gravel roads or scenic game drives.

Mountain Bikes can be hired.

Guided Bird Walk: 2 hours with a knowledgeable field guide focused on the identification and behaviour of De Hoop’s prolific birdlife. R195 pp.

De Hoop Vlei is a coastal lake of seasonally varying levels of water and salinity, formed when dunes blocked the course of the river. It is important for numerous species of wintering and staging waterbirds. The vlei is magnificent; 19kms in length, a RAMSAR site of international importance and a haven for birds. Also the site of the original De Hoop Farmstead.

Guided Eco Boat Cruise: 1.5 to 2 hours. Watch the sunset with a drink in hand on an afternoon boat cruise on the De Hoop wetlands. Birds, game, otters and sometimes, porcupine are sighted. Cruises leave at 11.00 and 1500 in Summer.  House wines and beers plus snacks are provided. Morning cruises include tea/coffee, pastries and croissants.   R450 pp.

Vulture Experience: 3 hours. Join a knowledgeable guide for a scenic drive through endangered fynbos and then a 1 hour hike up to the viewing deck. Watch the Western Cape’s last colony of endangered Cape Vultures as they soar and dive. A picnic lunch is provided in a backpack for you. R595 pp.

Guided Nature Drive: 2 hours. Experience the pristine fynbos and endangered game with a guide in an open safari vehicle in the late afternoon. Learn about the Bontebok and Mountain Zebra. Find special birds as you move through some of the most scenic areas of the reserve.  Sundowners and snack included. R450 pp.

Guided MTB Trail: 2 to 3 hours. Learn about some of the less obvious natural and historical aspects of the reserve with a guide as you ride through the game herds. R395 pp.

You can visit for the day to enjoy some of the activities and take a scenic drive or, stay over to get the best experience. Managed by Cape Nature with private concessions inside… see De Hoop Collection Accommodation.

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Adjacent is the 289 km2 De Hoop Marine Protected Area (MPA).

The protected area extends 3 miles out to sea and is managed by Cape Nature as a completely restricted (no-take) area.

The area is renowned as one of the best places in the world for shore-based whale watching. From May to November, 500-600 whales will find a home at De Hoop. Sit on the sand dunes and watch Southern Right Whales come close to shore. Up to 350 have been recorded at one time. The whales arrive from the south in May and June to give birth to their calves, in the relatively warm, calm waters.

De Hoop is also home to huge schools of shoaling fish, turtles, rays of various species, sunfish, bottlenose dolphins, rare humpback dolphins and on occasion Bryde’s and humpback whales. Early in the year, large schools of juvenile hammerhead sharks migrate through the MPA together with mega-pods of common dolphins and huge flocks of Cape gannets, all feeding on anchovies and sardines. In the summer months yellowtail, kob, elf/shad, leervis/garrick and rays of various species are common and numbers of great white sharks can also sometimes be seen.

The intertidal zone has faunal elements representing both warm-water east coast species and cold-water west coast species. The resulting richness and diversity of intertidal organisms attracts a large variety of fish species to this coast. The rocky platforms are home to a wide diversity of invertebrate species, many of which are enjoyed by the many African Black Oyster Catchers in the area.

The rocky sub-tidal reefs near Koppie Alleen and Lekkerwater provide spotted gulley sharks and numerous galjoen with sanctuary, while blacktail, zebra, white musslecracker and other surf-zone fish species can be found in abundance. Research in the area has proven the vital role of the MPA in the protection of South Africa’s national fish, the galjoen and other inshore linefish species.

Laze on the beach or venture out snorkeling to explore the turquoise rock pools.

Guided Marine Walk:  2 hours. Learn about interesting marine life in the crystal clear rock pools and sandy beaches. From June to November you will see whales too. R295 pp.

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The Fig Tree Restaurant is a stop over for coffee and meals. Order a picnic to enjoy while out in the reserve.

Click on logo to see more plus accommodation choices.

 

 

 

 

Show all timings
  • Sat07:30 - 16:00
  • Sun07:30 - 16:00
  • Mon07:30 - 16:00
  • Tue07:30 - 16:00
  • Wed07:30 - 16:00
  • Thu07:30 - 16:00
  • Fri07:30 - 16:00
  • RRRR
  • Price Range R40 pp reserve entrance.
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