An escape into nature at De Hoop Collection

In need of an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, we recently retreated as a family to the De Hoop Nature Reserve – 90,000 acres of unspoilt land on the Western Cape coast characterised by sea, dunes, rare fynbos plants, the Potberg Mountains and the vlei.

de-hoop-accommodationThere are plenty of accommodations option with the reserve and we chose the De Hoop Collection for our family weekend away. The De Hoop Collection, a member of Cape Country Routes, offers a vast range of accommodation from rustic camping to luxury one roomed suites, a four-bedroom private manor house and everything in between.

Our choice for the weekend – the Cloete Suites, luxurious but homely farmhouse style suites with a four-poster bed, claw tub and views of the majestic old fig trees in the courtyard as well as the grasslands where bontebok, eland and mountain zebra often graze.

de-hoop-boat-cruiseDropping our bags and we were immediately of on our first activity – an eco boat trip. This guided experience takes place on the vlei just below the resort and lasts about two hours. On the trip we saw many different types of birds, including being lucky enough to see three different varieties of kingfisher and a fish eagle. Included in the trip was a stopover is one of the bays for drink and a snack before heading back.boat-cruise-de-hoop

After arriving back at the boat house, it was just a quick five-minute walk back to our suite for a nice walm shower and to get ready for dinner.

Our spot for the evening? The De Hoop Collection’s very own Fig Tree Restaurant which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Staying in the Cloete Suites, we had a three-course set menu for dinner included as well as breakfast at The Fig Tree.

On cold winters’ nights they have a roaring fire inside with games of chess to play and plenty of books to cozy up with on the comfortable couches, while in summer there is outside seating overlooking the vlei for a pre-dinner drink. There is also one other restaurant in the reserve, Bites Beach Café, which is open for breakfast, lunch, or coffee and cakes and boasts enviable views over the ocean.


After a delicious breakfast back at the restaurant the following morning, consisting of a continental buffet style spread as well as a plated hot breakfast option, we decided to drive ourselves round the reserve. Along the way we saw a variety of antelope species such as bontebok and eland as well as cape mountain zebra and many baboons.

We followed our own excursion with a guided nature drive which took us on some of the back roads which are not accessible to the public to see even more of the diverse fauna and flora and learning a little bit about the history of this amazing

But one of the things we found that really sets De Hoop apart from other nature reserves in the Western Cape is the pristine coastline with its abundance of sea life and coastal rock pools. You can explore these at your own pace or take to the beach at low tide for an interpretive guided marine walk. This can be booked at the De Hoop Collection reception along with a verity of other experiences such as mountain biking, hiking and a vulture experience which takes you to Potberg Mountain Range to see the last surviving Endangered Cape vulture colony in the region.


All in all, a fantastic getaway that the whole family could enjoy!

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