De Hoop is a nature and marine reserve situated in the Overberg region of South Africa, approximately 3 hours' drive from Cape Town. The reserve offers a complete outdoor experience for hikers, cyclists, bird watchers and beach lovers. It's major attraction, however, is whales. De Hoop is one of the world's best land based whale-watching areas. The entire length of the De Hoop coast is a marine protected area, and this World Heritage Site is an important nursery for the endangered South Right Whale. From June to November the Southern Right whales come so near to the shoreline that visitors can sit on the unspoilt sand dunes and watch these beautiful creatures calve, blow, breach and belly-flop. You can also expect to see other marine mammals such as dolphins and seals occur in the waters off the coast.

whale 16De Hoop - Rock pool discoveries 17De Hoop - Walks on the beach
  • Great ocean views over the Marine Protected Area
  • Some of the world's best land-based whale watching (in season)
  • The only remaining breeding colony of the rare Cape vulture in the Western Cape
  • Long walks along a deserted coastline

At De Hoop there is sea, sand dunes, rare fynbos plants, diverse antelope and the Potberg Mountains. When you are not lazing on the beach and snorkeling in the turquoise rock pools you can go on a walk through the rich fynbos plains or along the deserted coastline. There's mountain biking along the many gravel roads or scenic game drives where you may have close-up encounters with bontebok, Cape mountain zebra, eland, baboons and ostrich.

The reserve is also famous for its variety of resident and migratory birdlife with more than 260 species recorded. The Vlei (wetland) attracts large numbers of water birds and the only remaining breeding colony of the rare Cape vulture in the Western Cape occurs in the reserve's Potberg Mountains.

Our favourite De Hoop Nature Reserve accommodations

Lekkerwater Beach Lodge at De Hoop

Selected De Hoop Nature Reserve Tours

Our favourite itineraries, showcasing the best of De Hoop Nature Reserve

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