There's nothing like fresh, salty sea air to brush the cobwebs from your mind and put a spring in your step. The De Hoop Nature Reserve, a world heritage site situated in the Overberg region is a place that does just that.
Imagine wild, unspoilt coastlines, rolling dunes, heady fynbos, roaming game life, cute thatched cottages and you’ll get an idea of this quintessentially Western Cape getaway.
If yearning for a quiet and remote getaway surrounded by spectacular nature, yet still privy to a few basic luxuries, then the De Hoop Nature Reserve, a world heritage site situated in the Overberg region just a few hours' drive from Cape Town might be just what you're looking for.
Here are five reasons why you should put De Hoop on your bucket list:
It offers some of the best land-based whale watching in the world
De Hoop houses one of the largest marine protected areas in Africa so you can be sure to spy many Southern Right Whales blowing and breaching during whale season (June to November). The De Hoop region acts as a nursery for this endangered mammal so you might spot calves as well.
Animals such as bontebok, eland, ostriches, the Cape mountain zebra and more also wander freely in the reserve.
There is wide range of accommodation options
From rustic chalets to lux en suite rooms there is plenty of accommodation options to suit any style or budget. If travelling with the family or a group of friends, one can choose one of the self-catering cottages or houses which comes with a fully equipped kitchen and braai area.
Or if you’re looking for a romantic getaway the suite options might suit you better. This accommodation also includes breakfast at the Figtree restaurant. I recently enjoyed a two-night stay at the Cloete Suite with my fiancé. Offering stunning sunset watching opportunities from the patio area and a fireplace and big comfy four poster bed inside the room ticks the romance box for sure. To view the full range of accommodation options click here.
You can unwind at the fully equipped spa
The De Hoop Spa offers a two-therapy roomed spa for all your primping and relaxing needs, from facials to pedicures and everything else in between. Using Africology and the newly introduced Elemis treatments and products you can be sure to be treated in style. The rooms offer wide sliding doors with views over the grounds and pool area. I was treated to a soothing back, neck and shoulder massage and facial. To view the spa menu, click here.
Indulge in hearty comfort food
The cozy Fig Tree Restaurant, now housed in the renovated sheep shearing shed dating back to the 1800s, offers a la carte menus for breakfast and lunch and set dinner menus every night with the choice of two options for starter, main and dessert. We dined on delicious items such as cauliflower soup, trout and asparagus and lamb neck with polenta. Dessert offers sweet and fruity dishes such as berry panna cotta and guava Pavlova.
Activities for everyone
From guided marine walks to stargazing to eco-boat cruises that explore the De Hoop Vlei, there are many activities to entertain the entire family. The reserve also boasts tennis courts, a kiddies pool and an adult-only pool. View the full range of activities here.
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