Luxury holidays in De Hoop Nature Reserve

The wild and untouched De Hoop Nature Reserve is South Africa’s premier destination for land-based whale watching, as migratory southern rights pause along the Overberg Coast to nurse their young. You’re also in with a chance of spotting dolphins, sea lions, porpoises and other marine life, if you explore the beaches that nudge the reserve’s edge. Elsewhere, South Africa’s native fynbos shrubbery drapes itself over the a landscape of dramatic dunes, plus you can spy antelope, zebra, baboons and ostrich which prance around the plains. Though the whales leave in summer, don’t miss the chance for warmer days spent building sandcastles on the beach.

When to go

Whale watching season is early-July to mid-October; the fynbos is in bloom from August to October; summer brings long, lazy days of beach lounging from late-October to February. Anyone for a braai?

Getting there

  • Planes

    The easiest international gateway for De Hoop Nature Reserve is Cape Town, a three-hour drive to the west. But Johannesburg is also an option if you’re starting with the sights of the Eastern Cape. From there, you can connect via domestic flights to Port Elizabeth or George airport, before docking in at De Hoop.
  • Automobiles

    Most travellers drive in South Africa: car hire is inexpensive and the main roads are excellent – especially along the N2 coastal highway. That said, if you’re entering a sandy areas such as De Hoop, you’ll need a four-wheel drive. Hire them from major airports or city centres.