Things To Do in De HoopDe Hoop Trail
Where? De Hoop Nature Reserve, Cape Overberg, Western Cape
When? Bookings are essential and need to be made well in advance.
How much? Price on request
More? See website
Start: De Hoop Nature Reserve
Finish: De Hoop Nature Reserve
Duration: 2 days, 3 nights
Fitness: moderate – the walking pace is gentle, but the walk can be long and sometimes uneven
Our tip: go at the time of the whales (August/September) to spot them at Koppie Alleen
This two-day, three nights, fully catered for luxury trail takes place along the vlei and beaches of De Hoop Nature Reserve in the Overberg. Your accommodation is the Melkkamer Manor House (built in 1907 and restored in 2010) on the other side of the vlei, which you reach by boat or vehicle, depending on the weather.
The first day of the trail includes your journey to the nature reserve, with time to settle in and an evening meal around the fire under the giant milkwood tree and the stars, or in the dining room – a gentle start.
Day two is a morning hike on the shore of the vlei, led by a guide who shares the local customs and history of the area. The vlei is 19 km long; a Ramsar site that is home to 260 different bird species.
When the vlei floods there can be as many as 30 000 birds here at a time, including the threatened and near-threatened lesser and greater flamingo, white pelican, chestnut-banded plover and Caspian tern. Other highlights are pairs of African fish eagles and the appearance of the Cape clawless otter, many of whom live around the vlei.
The afternoon, after brunch, there is also a walk, usually not as long as the days can get hot.
Day three starts with a drive to the beach at Koppie Alleen. The undeveloped and beautiful coastline serves as the day's backdrop, exploring the coast, the marine life in rock pools and the sand dunes. Stop for a packed picnic lunch.
The cost of the trail includes all meals, accommodation and the boat or vehicle trip to and from the Manor House.
Contact De Hoop Collection for further information.