De Hoop Nature Reserve is one of South Africa’s best kept secrets. It is a 34 000-hectare stretch of vegetated dunes, fynbos, and wetlands on the foothills of the Potberg Mountains and the coast of the Indian Ocean. This biodiversity hotspot is near the mouth of the Breede River, hugged by the coastal towns of Arniston and Stilbaai, and Lekkerwater Beach Lodge enjoys a 6km stretch of pristine beach to itself. Each of the rooms enjoy a view of the beach and the ocean below, so expect to fall asleep to the sound of waves every night. It’s luxuriously equipped without losing the casual, beachy atmosphere. Perfect.
Perhaps the biggest wildlife attraction at Lekkerwater is the incredible whale watching opportunities each year between July and November. The protected waters are also home to pods of dolphins and plenty of other marine species. Rock pools full of sea creatures and clear, warm water are perfect to look at and dip into on low tide strolls along the beach, while summer nights lend themselves to beautiful beach dining under the stars, and the fynbos-covered hills offer up the perfect hiking and walking trails that are bound to be full of flowers and birds. The rare Cape mountain zebra can be spotted, as well as rhebok, eland, bontebok, ostrich, and South Africa’s national bird, the blue crane. Visit the Cape vulture colony nearby (hike it or hop in a vehicle and take a drive), investigate the coastal caves, and listen to informative talks about the area’s fascinating history.
Grootbos Private Nature Reserve offers 5-star luxury and elegant accommodation in one of the most beautiful areas in South Africa; with some of the best whale watching on the planet the experience is bound to be memorable.