De Hoop is a rich and diverse landscape of fynbos, wetland, sand dunes, and marine reserve, located along the coastline south of Swellendam. The De Hoop Vlei provides sanctuary to many species of aquatic birds and is temporary home to scores of migratory birds.
A well-maintained gravel road leads to the beach, which is a wonderful place to spend the day exploring the fascinating creatures of the tidal pools or lazing back in the sand dunes, where one can watch the southern right whales in springtime.
There is a circular game drive through the interior of the reserve, where ostrich can be seen dancing through the bush, along with zebra, bontebok, and a troop baboon. There is also a lovely picnic site beside the vlei, set amongst the limestone cliffs, where thousands of bats ""hang around"" during the day. Visitors are also welcome to explore the reserve by foot or by mountain bike.
The Postberg Environmental Education Centre located in the eastern section of the reserve provides self-guided environmental programmes for schools and research institutions. The Postberg mountains are home to a breeding colony of Cape vultures, which can best be viewed by taking a hike along the 8 km Postberg Trail.
The De Hoop Marine Protected Area covers nearly 50 km of pristine coastline and can be explored by the very popular whale trail. Unfortunately De Hoop has a rather uneasy relationship with it's neighbours, Denel, who use the area for missile testing several times every year, resulting in the cancellation of any hikes along the coast scheduled during those periods.
ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES AT DE HOOP NATURE RESERVE:
- rock pools
- whale trail
- mountain biking
- bird watching
- game viewing
- rock pools
SUMMARY OF WILDLIFE & FLORA:
Birdlife: Cape vulture, ostrich, numerous waterfowl
Mammals: Cape mountain zebra, baboon, bontebok, eland, grey rhebuck, bats
Marine Life: southern right whale, dolphins, seals, invertebrates
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