Animal enthusiasts will love De Hoop. This nature reserve is full of land and marine creatures roaming wild, just waiting to be discovered. Finding your way through the tall sand dunes might be tricky, but it’s definitely worth it in the end.
The De Hoop Nature Reserve sits right on the coast, just south of Swellendam. To see it at its best, you need to walk around the reserve. Don’t be tempted to take a jeep like you would in other places. Walking will give you the chance to take in the glorious green landscape and the wildlife that hides within it. The six-day whale trail hike is also fantastic; you’ll get to see everything De Hoop has to offer both on and off land.
Being a coastal reserve, De Hoop has some fantastic beaches. However, humans aren’t the only ones who like to play on these pure white sands… whales often breach and play here too. They drift along the shore and can easily be seen from the beach and clifftops. In fact, De Hoop is one of the best places in the world for land-based whale watching. You might not even need binoculars!
If you want to get a closer look at these magnificent creatures; take a boat out and see how they move in the water. Back on dry land, there are lots of animals to discover. It’s not like the Serengeti or Maasai Mara where you’ll see rhinos, lions and elephants, but there are some interesting animals to spot. Look out for the Cape mountain zebras and bontebok, as well as the birds that flock here throughout the year – this includes the Western Cape’s only breeding colony of rare Cape vultures.
De Hoop is the perfect holiday spot as it’s barely been touched by humans. To get there, you have to wind your way through country roads and jump on a chain ferry. When visiting the De Hoop Nature Reserve, you’ll have to stock up on supplies at the village of Ouplaas. It’s just 15 km from the reserve entrance.
The bleached sand dunes reach up to 90 metres high and the craggy arches fall into the sea, creating a dramatic backdrop for any holiday.
Plan your trip to De Hoop today.