Doing de Hoop

A family camping trip at De Hoop Nature Reserve is a fantastic way to start off the school holidays, that’s for sure. Local brews, good mates, free-range kids, sunset braais, mountain bikes, beach hikes … what’s not to like?

The only downside of De Hoop is the fact that you are not allowed to partake in any aqua activities, and I personally think this is a huge pity. I understand the need for conservation and support it 100%, but still feel there is space for responsible eco-activities such as kayaking, SUPing and catch-and-release angling. The minimal environmental impact which may potentially be caused by these outdoor options are sure to be off-set multiple times by the increase in tourism income.

That said, you still have an outdoor arena of note to explore, with stunning mountain biking trails, day hikes and trail runs criscrossing the Renosterveld fynbos mix in this expansive nature reserve. The bird watching is superb, and we had a great encounter with one of the resident Cape cobras near Site 3.

Despite the full onslaught of the elements – from 38 Degrees Celsius on Day 1, to a torrential downppour on the final day – it remains a fabulous destination for the outdoor crowd. More info on this natural paradise in the southern Cape can be found at

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