• Bitten by the whale watching bug Bitten by the whale watching bug We don’t realise how lucky we are in South Africa, and in particular the Western Cape, to have the mightiest of the marine mammals visit our coastline between every year ...
  • The Whale Trail The Whale Trail The Whale Trail is not a new trail, having been around since about 2002, but it has become extremely popular. It is truly a unique experience, perhaps comparable with ...
  • 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa Combine your trip to South Africa with a relaxing, revitalising visit to a health spa and experience Africa at it's finest. Our favourite 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa are ...
  • Locals share their favourite getaways Locals share their favourite getaways We ask 30 local South Africans to share their favourite holiday destinations and getaways with us. From the more popular destinations like Knysna and the Kruger Park to ...
  • The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip walk shares portions of its hike with the larger Karbonkelberg Traverse, which is roughly seven hours of hard walk from Hout Bay harbour to Llandudno ...
  • 10 Amazing Game Lodges 10 Amazing Game Lodges South Africa is world renowned for her game reserves and wildlife. The lodges which allow us to experience these in luxury are no less awe inspiring. Our favourites are ...
  • 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town As much as your kids will tell you they can’t wait for the school holidays, the words "I’m bored" inevitably cross their lips. Our "101 things to do with kids in Cape Town" will ...
  • "World's most beautiful Cities" "World's most beautiful Cities" Open space makes Cape Town special. Renowned English sea navigator Sir Francis Drake once referred to Cape Town as the fairest cape in the world. The city houses the ...

Find Accommodation in South Africa
Subscribe to our Feed
Posted on: Wednesday, 27 February 2013

De Hoop Marine and Nature Reserve

Send to Kindle
Magnificent De Hoop

Magnificent De Hoop

The first step in wishing the ‘world’ goodbye came as I drove through gates of De Hoop marine and nature reserve.  Three hours drive from Cape Town; it was a welcome reprieve from the long road, its shops, stores and gas stations. What unfolded before me was all natural. Once we had booked in and had lunch at the restaurant beside the reception area, I walked around the corner to find an ostrich sitting close to a quad bike. The two were side by side beneath a tree whose branches spread out over a large part of sandy grass. The story goes that this ostrich seldom moves from the quad bike and seems to be drawn to its bright red and yellow colours.

And that was when I truly escaped into the wilderness. A wooden white and yellow boat putted along to the other side of the tranquil lagoon and moored beside the swaying jetty. Standing before us was a quaint, old barn where people occasionally held weddings and two stone-walled houses that beckoned us in. A family occupied the cottage closest to the water and ours was slightly further back, tucked next to a tree and an old warehouse.

I stepped through the porch with my single bag and camera until my feet creaked along the wooden passageway of the house. The high ceilings, wooden floors and sash windows looking out over the dry bushes reminded me of my grandmother’s house. We were a large group all staying in different rooms of this big house and that night would be sit beneath the tree with its hanging lanterns and listen to ghost stories of the old woman who once lived here. I half-listened and gazed out over the tips of the fire’s flames and towards the dark lake and over the land where animals hibernated for the night.

In the morning before the sun had a chance to really ignite the temperature we set off on a walking trail through the reserve. Birds waded on the shores of the vlei avoiding the dry floating grass and other skimmed the surface of the water with their feet whilst taking off into the skies. Not far from the water we spotted mountain zebra moving over the flat land. Their ears pricked up into the air alert for any possible danger.

There are no wild cats on the reserve to attack them, so in this case we were it. Our walk took us amongst rare fynbos, taller bushes and throughout vast amounts of untouched land. There we saw caramel coloured eland moving in a line parallel to the sand dunes and bontebok nibbling on grass.  Their bold dark brown and white markings were in stark contrast to the green land with its dry, grey trees.

 

De Hoop Nature Reserve

Photographs: The contrasting beauty of the De Hoop Nature Reserve

By the time we were hugging the coastline, the wind had picked up and it started to drizzle lightly. I pulled my jacket closer to my chest and walked along the rock pools where divers resurfaced from a research dive. With the call of birds in the air, the wind howling around me and not much else surrounding us, this is how I remember De Hoop.

Book your place to stay in De Hoop today and feel the magic of nature surrounding you or find all other hotels in Cape Town here.

Useful Links:
Cape Town Accomodations
Cape Town Attractions
Western Cape Attractions

Lauren Manuel McShane

About 

Six continents later, Lauren Manuel McShane still has itchy feet and wanderlust for adventure in all corners of the earth. She recently married the love of her life and together they are traveling the world pausing only to find work, take photos and write. She is currently in Asia and sharing everything about her expat life on The Travel Manuel.

Related Posts: