- Comfortable cottages
- Pristine wilderness
- Diverse wildlife
- Great Value
De Hoop Village is a collection of well-appointed traditional farm cottages set in the wild De Hoop reserve, boasting superb wildlife and wild coastal scenery.
The De Hoop Reserve is a large low-lying nature reserve situated on a stretch of wild coast with extensive dune systems, numerous beaches and a large vlei (estuary). The reserve is home to large populations of mountain zebra, bontebok, eland and rich birdlife.
In our opinion, De Hoop offers the best opportunity to experience the wildlife and raw rugged beauty of South Africa whilst leaving your budget relatively intact. It is the perfect place to spend 3-4 days days walking, beach combing, enjoying the wildlife and of course finishing off with a nice evening braai.
During the whale season (June – October) De Hoop is one of the best land based whale watching sites in the world. The large dunes offer the perfect promontory to watch the whales in the bay below. Large herds of Eland and zebra are often seen around the Village area and the bird life in the Vlei (estuary) is astounding.
Guided beach and fynbos walks are highly recommended (extra cost), or you can just explore the reserve by your-self, exploring the any miles of walking trails. Bikes can be hired and there is a tennis court and swimming pool. Organised children's programmes are available during South African school holidays only.
Accommodation is self-catering at De Hoop. There is a good restaurant on site (a short stroll from the cottages), which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and you can pick up basic items from the shop at the reception (e.g. they offer everything for your own braai. If you intend to cater for yourself in any seriousness, then you will want to stock up on groceries before arriving at De Hoop.
There are several accommodation options at De Hoop, but we recommend the De Hoop Village and Vlei Cottages. Cottages in the village are 2-3 bedrooms, with cosy lounge (with fireplace), kitchen and private garden – perfect for families. Vlei Cottages have good views and are recommended for couples.
Access to De Hoop is via a long gravel road (around 40 minutes. drive from the main road); we usually recommend staying for 3 nights to make the most of the reserve and change of pace it offers.
For Families: The De Hoop Village is a wonderful destination for families who love the outdoors. It is a fantastic opportunity to get a dose of African wildlife at a fraction of the coast of a safari, and whilst there aren’t the big mammals, we find children are usually just as excited to see zebras and antelope as they are lions. Families will love exploring the vast dunes and wild beaches. The sea itself is usually fairly wild, but there are lovely low tide pools for warmer and safer bathing. For families of four or more, we usually recommend the three bedroom village cottages. The smaller two bedroom village cottage is just suitable for a family of four with two smaller children.
The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.
Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)
Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!
Woan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing Value KZN Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019