De Hoop Nature Reserve

By - Jo Wagner
30.11.16 02:06 AM
The De Hoop Nature Reserve lies along the coast of Agulhas about three hours drive from Cape Town along the N2 National Road. It stretches from just north of the well known village of Arniston with its white painted thatched roof houses to Noetsie in the northeast.

To tourists and local visitors it offers a number of options such as day and overnight hikes, camping and chalet accommodation. The Reserve has a variety of buck species, wildebeest, Zebra but none of the big five.

The winter months of May to August bring the winter rains and storms to this part of coastal Agulhas and is the least popular period.

The well known Whale trail is best hiked during the early southern spring months of September to October after the southern winter rainy season and before the hot summer months of December to March.  The trail is over four days starting at the main reception and camping area of the park. The first day is up and over a series of hills with great views over the Breede River valley and towards the coast followed by three days along the coast.

A popular option is to have one’s backpack transported at a reasonable fee to the next hut making the hike easier with a day pack.

The Southern Right Whales arrive along the southern coast from Antarctica during June and July each year and chances are good to sight them during the coastal part of the hike.

The days can be windy and one needs to be prepared for the odd rain shower. Summer months are generally hot and dry with pleasant evenings.

De Hoop Nature Reserve is near a number of quaint villages and towns including Swellendam, Riversdal, Stilbaai, Bredasdorp, Napier and Caledon where there is a variety of good accommodation available.

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Jo Wagner