De Hoop Nature Reserve is a World Heritage Site and offers the finest whale viewing in southern Africa. The Marine Protected Area, which extends five kilometres out to sea, is one of the largest marine protected areas in Africa, providing a sanctuary for a vast array of marine life.
It is also one of the best places to discover rare and endangered fynbos, is a bird watchers’ paradise and is home to more than 85 species of game.
Picnics on the dunes, champagne under the stars or a simple lunch in a secluded spot on the vlei are just some of the unique, bespoke experiences we can offer to our guests. De Hoop also offers full wedding and conference facilities.
- Our water supply is completely independent from municipal water supply and is drawn from independent boreholes on the property. The water levels of the dams are checked daily and have been stable. The reserve and daily operations have not been affected by the drought and dam levels are to capacity.
Experience & Explore
Interpretative walks through the fynbos to the rock pools and guided bird walks are just some of the activities available, as well as whale watching and game viewing. The magnificent night skies lend themselves to star and constellation identification.
Four mountain bike trails traverse the reserve allowing one to experience the full biodiversity of De Hoop. The recently introduced walking trail needs to be booked in advance and covers a similar coastline to the well established ‘Whale Trail.’
Things to do
• Whale watching
• Stargazing and identification
• Guided mountain bike trails
• Interpretive marine walks
• Guided bird and fynbos walks
• Pre-arranged picnics
• Cookery and cuisine classes
• Beautiful beaches
Rich cultural heritage
De Hoop also has a rich cultural history dating back to the Stone Age. Hunter-gatherers who lived off the veld and coastal resources in the area thousands of years ago. The ‘middens’ of the nomadic Khoi tribes can still be found all long the De Hoop coast. The H-shaped homestead of the earliest registered owner, Pieter Lourens Cloete, still stands and forms part of The Opstal accommodation establishment.
The De Hoop Collection offers a wide range of accommodation. From affordable self-catering chalets and cottages to five-star fully catered lodges. Crisp linen and towels provided. Situated in the Overberg region near the southern tip of Africa, this very special reserve is under three hours from Cape Town. It is located near Arniston, Swellendam and the Breede River.
Opstal Vlei Suite Vlei facing luxury suite, sleeps 2 people in one bedroom with en-suite bathroom on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis. The Opstal stables are connected to the larger Opstal area including the Fig Tree Restaurant and Reception/Curio shop.
Opstal Stable Suite The Stable Suite sleeps 2 people with one bedroom and en-suite bathroom on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis. The Opstal stables are connected to the larger Opstal area including the Fig Tree Restaurant and Reception/Curio
Opstal Fig Tree Suite The new Fig Tree Suite is set in the courtyard with its magnificent Wild Fig Trees. It is an upmarket suite with one bedroom and en-suite bathroom on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis. The Opstal Stables are connected the larger Opstal area including the Fig Tree Restaurant and Reception/Curio.
Opstal Dassie Suite The new Dassie Suite has a fabulous view of the vlei. It is perfectly positioned to view the birdlife and majestic sunsets from your veranda. The Dassie suite is luxury accommodation that sleeps 2 people with en-suite bathroom, a cosy fireplace and seating area. Meals are included on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis.
Opstal Otter Suites The 3 new Otter Suites are positioned close to the serene De Hoop Vlei. Wake up to the sound of birds and the chance of Otter sightings near your room. The suites sleep 2 people with en-suite bathroom on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis.
Opstal Cloete Suites are situated in the Opstal area within close proximity to the Fig Tree Restaurant. Two of the suites (1 & 2) have a view of the grasslands where bontebok, eland and mountain zebra amongst others can be seen grazing, while Cloete Suites 3 & 4 have a spectacular view of the old majestic fig trees in the courtyard. Each suite is beautifully decorated and has a seating area and an en-suite bathroom with bath and shower. Cloete Suite 1 has a lovely fireplace for those chilly winter nights.
Opstal Cloete Cottage is a brand new suite situated between the Fig Tree and Cloete Suites. It is a lovely private suite decorated in luxury and is only a short walk from the Fig Tree Restaurant. This suite sleeps 2 people and has one bedroom with en-suite bathroom (shower & bath). The accommodation is catered for as it has no cooking facilities. Dinner and breakfast is included and served in The Fig Tree Restaurant.
Opstal Manor House
The Opstal Manor House is a beautiful original home which has been restored to its former glory. Rooms can be booked individually or all 3 rooms can be booked exclusively.
These three spacious houses are set among the milkwoods close to the vlei. They all have three spacious bedrooms, fully equipped kitchens, bathrooms and special outside braai area.
Equipped Cottages at the Opstal
These cottages are all fully equipped for self-catering stays. They all have well appointed kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms with crisp linen and towels.
De Hoop Village at the Opstal
In the heart of the De Hoop Nature Reserve and surrounded by rich wildlife and fynbos is De Hoop Village – three bedroom stylish chalets in the De Hoop portfolio.
The thatched Opstal Vlei Cottages are two-bedroomed cottages with fireplaces overlooking the wetland.
Campsite Rondawels at the Opstal
The Campsite Rondawels at the Opstal are a comfortable and affordable accommodation option for couples or family holidays. Camping and caravan sites are also available.
Melkkamer Manor House
The majestic gabled Melkkamer Manor House has been beautifully renovated and its four en-suite bedrooms offer fully catered five-star luxury and service.
Melkkamer Foreman’s Cottage
Melkkamer Foreman's Cottage is a charming private sandstone cottage hidden amongst rambling milkwood trees. It is within walking distance of the vlei and the Melkkamer Manor House.
Melkkamer Vlei Cottage
Melkkamer Vlei Cottage is a sandstone house dating back to 1872. This quaint cottage overlooks the largest wetland on the southern Cape coast.
Weddings at De Hoop
De Hoop offers a unique wedding venue in the heart of a beautiful Nature Reserve. Weddings can be held under our spectacular wild Fig Trees, which create a natural canopy, with fairy lights in the branches and a brown and ivory dance floor. De Hoop will arrange everything for your special wedding day from the hiring of tables and chairs, flowers, décor, lighting, music, delicious food. There are a number of options to choose from to create a unique and unforgettable weekend wedding celebration with family and friends.
It is in the Overberg region near the southern tip of Africa and can be approached from either Bredasdorp or Swellendam. With some 40% of the global Southern Right Whale population coming to the bay each year to breed, the De Hoop Reserve is the perfect venue for whale watching. Situated just three hours’ drive from Cape Town on the world renowned Garden and Whale Routes - an ideal stop over en route from the Cape Winelands to Plettenberg Bay.
The Overberg area is characterised by quaint towns, a blossoming wine industry and delicious local dishes. The 36 000 hectares of De Hoop conservation area is a World Heritage Site comprising rich biodiversity and over 70 kilometers of pristine coastline. A 19km vlei (wetland) stretches across the reserve, which is on the Ramsar list of Wetlands of International Importance.
R40.00 per person. Applies to day visitors and overnight guests.
Excluded for Wild Card holders.
The Reserve gates open at 7am and closes at 6pm. Gate closes at 7pm on Fridays. Late or early arrival by arrangement with management.
Directions to De Hoop:
Directions from Cape Town - Take the N2 to Caledon. Turn into Caledon and drive through to the R316 out of Caledon to the quaint towns of Napier and on to Bredasdorp. At the Engen garage in Bredasdorp, turn left onto the R319 to Swellendam. Travel for approximately 6km and turn right to De Hoop on the Malgas/Infanta gravel road. Travel for approximately 32km until the sign for De Hoop - turn right onto the De Hoop road and travel for 7km to the main De Hoop gate and a further 8kms to the De Hoop reception.
Directions from Swellendam - From Swellendham drive for 13km until the sign to Spitskop. Turn left onto the Spitskop road and travel for about 45km until you reach a T-junction signposted Malgas/Infanta. Turn left and travel for about 2km where you will see the sign for De Hoop. Turn right onto the de Hoop road and travel for 7km to the main De Hoop gate and a further 8kms to the De Hoop reception.
All roads in the reserve are gravel except for a short portion of tar at the beginning.
S34˚27’09” / E020˚24’55”
Runway: 12 / 30
Please contact us for further information.
Day Zero Preparedness (if applicable)