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Lekkerwater Beach Lodge at De Hoop

LOCATION:

De Hoop Nature Reserve

NUMBER OF ROOMS:

7

PRICE FROM:

ZAR 2,900

DATES OPEN:

Year Round, Departures every Monday, Wednesday and Friday

LOCATION:

De Hoop Nature Reserve

NUMBER OF ROOMS:

7

PRICE FROM:

ZAR 2,900

DATES OPEN:

Year Round, Departures every Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Why You’ll Love Lekkerwater Beach Lodge at De Hoop:

  • Journey through time on two or three nights stays at one of the most historic and scenically beautiful locations on the African continent.
  • Guaranteed departures every Monday (two nights), Wednesday (two nights) and Friday (three nights) throughout the year.
  • Learn about the marine life, fynbos and pristine environment of the unusual reserve.
  • Enjoy meals or drinks on the beach with the sand between your toes and the region’s finest wines on the table. There certainly aren’t many places to enjoy this in South Africa…
  • Experience some of the world’s best land-based whale watching straight from your bedroom.
  • Enjoy staying in a cosy and intimate lodge. Here, you will arrive as strangers and depart as friends.
  • One of the very few all inclusive venues in South Africa where all your accommodation, all activities, all meals, all house wines, beers and spirits etc are include in your fare. There are no surprises when you check out! And our house wine selection is vast with a choice of 12 house wines to choose from. Lekkerwater is a genuine all-inclusive, non-stingy, generous beach venue.

WHERE THE MOUNTAINS MEET THE SEA

A mere three (and a bit) hour drive from Cape Town, in the eastern, most exclusive sector of De Hoop Nature Reserve, is Lekkerwater Beach Lodge at De Hoop. Undoubtedly one of the most glorious coastal reserves in Africa, the area’s extraordinary beauty and blissful seclusion led ex-President FW de Klerk to choose the location for his ‘Camp David.’ The reserve is also famous for some of the best whale watching on the planet when, from July to November, Southern Right whales and their offspring flock here in their hundreds from Antarctica. It’s not simply whales either and you’ll also spot sizeable pods of dolphin and all sorts of marine life in this – the ultimate, land-based marine safari.

Lekkerwater itself (literally meaning ‘the place of good water’) offers a homely and comfortable beach experience in a magical setting. Each of the seven rooms are located right on a six-kilometre stretch of private beach, complete with stunning rock pools and fish life. Activities-wise, we’ve got walks with experienced naturalists, an array of fynbos to be discovered, a plethora of marine life to be explored, and a rare vulture breeding colony to be spotted (and that’s without mentioning the whales!)

All reservations must be made through Natural Selection’s Cape Town reservations office at +27 21 001 1574 or email to reservations@naturalselection.travel.

We recommend booking Lekkerwater Beach Lodge at De Hoop as part of a complete Natural Selection safari, but if you want to book it separately or just check availability, click here to select dates and book.

Interested in learning more about the prices? View Rates

We are thrilled to announce that Lekkerwater is now one of Time Magazine's 2019 World's greatest places!

Explore Lekkerwater Beach Lodge

Lekkerwater Beach Lodge at De Hoop Accommodations

The seven rooms at Lekkerwater Beach Lodge are positioned along six kilometres of pristine white sand. Our dream was for the spectacular vistas to take centre stage and each is fronted by floor-to-ceiling glass windows that overlook the Indian Ocean and marine life ahead. Each is positioned perfectly for a unique view over the surroundings, and small verandas outside provide the perfect spot to soak up the magic. Inside, the rooms take inspiration from the natural beauty of the reserve and are earthy and comfortable. A wood-burning stove takes away the chill in the winter mornings and evenings and each has an ensuite bathroom with amenities.

At the main area, expect the same fabulous views and a wraparound deck from which to enjoy them. An interactive, open kitchen is at the heart of the lodge and guests will dine, family-style, at the indoor tables or outside, feet-in-the-sand style, on the beach.

Accommodations

  • 7 rooms: 6 twin/double, 1 family unit with a second loft bedroom.
  • Ensuite bathrooms with indoor showers.
  • Wifi available: In room only (please note: there is limited phone signal at De Hoop).
  • Hairdryers: We try to encourage guests to enjoy the natural look! Hairdryers only available on request.
  • Battery charging facilities: In room.
  • Child policy: we welcome children aged 6 years and older. For children under 6, please contact us for details.
  • Disabled access: please enquire with reservations.

When to Visit Lekkerwater Beach Lodge at De Hoop

Lekkerwater Beach Lodge is a genuine, year-round destination. There is something special happening at any time of year and its privacy along 5km of pristine and well-protected coastline, combined with its extraordinary location, makes it one off the planet’s best coastal retreats. It’s not surprising that Time Magazine selected the lodge as one of the world’s top 100 must-visit destinations!

During our summer months (November to April), the days are long, sunny and warm and the blue skies stretch as far as the eye can see. It is a wonderful time to swim at low tides, stroll on the beach and in the hills – and enjoy the long, lazy summer evenings.

The winter season brings the first whales that usually begin to arrive in the bay in front of Lekkerwater in late May or June. The whale watching season can stretch all the way to November, but the best months are considered to be August, September and October, when there can be anything from 300 to 1100 whales present in the De Hoop Bay. It is over this period that some of the best whale viewing happens from between one’s toes from the comfort of your bed. The winter days are shorter and perhaps a little cooler, but this certainly doesn’t detract from the activities and experience on offer – and nothing a jacket can’t fix!

Marine life (including inquisitive octopuses) in the intertidal zone of the Marine Protected Area is ever present and time spent watching dolphins from the verandas is magical. Walks along the rolling, fynbos-covered hills and ravines are always interesting, and eland are often spotted, as are bontebok and ostrich. This is one of the few places on the planet where fresh leopard tracks are sometimes seen on the beaches. Another highlight is a visit to one of the many caves in the area with shell middens and other evidence of our early ancestors. There are also a number of birding highlights including the chance to spot blue crane, South Africa’s national bird, and the Western Cape’s only thriving Cape Vulture colony in the cliffs of the Potberg mountains.

Seasonality

  • High Season – 1st August 2019 to 18th April 2020
  • Shoulder season – 19th April to 15th July 2020
  • High Season – 16th July 2020 to 15th April 2021

For driving directions to Lekkerwater from Cape Town, please click here, and for directions from George and Plettenberg Bay, please click here.

Lekkerwater Beach Lodge at De Hoop Activities

  • Lace up your boots for a walk through the fynbos. A part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, you’ll discover thousands of endemic plant species in the reserve including the national flower of South Africa, the King Protea.
  • Delve into the history of the area with informative talks.
  • Experience some of the best land-based whale watching in the world: as well as southern right whales, you’ll also spot the less common Bryde’s whales and perhaps even humpbacks as well as dolphins cresting the waves.
  • Explore the tidal pools and caves on a marine walk, keeping your eyes peeled for multi-coloured schools of fish and fascinating marine life.
  • Take a stroll amongst the pristine sand dunes and enjoy a sundowner from atop your castle of sand.
    With over 250 species of birds recorded in the De Hoop Nature Reserve, you’ll definitely be able to tick more than a few sorts from your list.

Lekkerwater Beach Lodge at De Hoop Landscape & Wildlife

Landscape

De Hoop is something of a secret for most visitors – and South Africans themselves. Located just over 3 hours away from Cape Town, De Hoop is a proclaimed Provincial Nature Reserve, administered by Cape Nature, and is one of the largest in their portfolio at 34,000 hectares (around 75,000 acres) in size. Directly offshore is the De Hoop Marine Protected Area (MPA) which stretches for 46 kilometres along the coast from west to east and over 5 kilometres out to sea. This MPA is an extremely important fish sanctuary where no fishing is allowed.

The reserve is a glorious melee of fynbos and beach, sand dunes and wetlands, all framed by the dramatic Potberg Mountains and the Indian Ocean. It is of course famous for whale-watching, but the landscape itself is just as magnificent. The area is part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, classified as a World Heritage Site in 2004, and everywhere you turn you’ll find all manner of plant species, flowers and ecosystems. In fact, 12 of those species are found nowhere else in the world! And the best bit of all? As no one else knows about it, you’ll have the stunning reserve all to yourself…

Wildlife

If there’s one animal associated with De Hoop, it would be the whale. From July to November (and sometimes even early December), southern right whales migrate here from Antarctica in their hundreds – even thousands. They’re not alone either. Just offshore is the De Hoop Marine Protected Area, essentially a game reserve in the sea where there can be no fishing or marine exploitation of any form and as a visitor at De Hoop, you’ll spot carefree pods of dolphins and all sorts of marine life. The good news is that whale numbers are climbing and in 2018, a total of 1116 whales were spotted in the annual September aerial count, almost double the average numbers for this time of year.

Inland, on the rolling grassy plains, you may be lucky enough to spot a rare Cape mountain zebra, bontebok, rhebok and even eland. Leopard and caracal are also said to live in the area but are much harder to spot. It’s also one of South Africa’s most important birding areas with over 260 recorded species in the reserve!

Lekkerwater Beach Lodge at De Hoop Story

The lodge and the location simply ooze history. Just five miles to the east is the Klipdrift Cave, home of the earliest human remains that date as far back as 64,000 years, perhaps even 100,000. Before these discoveries, the previous earliest known records of modern man came from caves and excavations in North Africa and Europe dating between 20,000 and 40,000 years ago, so this discovery is quite something! We also know that early Khoi Khoi people walked these beaches long before explorer Bartholomew Diaz anchored his caravel in 1488 and the Dutch explorers and settlers of the late 1600s. Then, on his search for the best beach location in the region, Bill Green selected the site to build his family’s cottage in 1939, calling it Lekkerwater (“the place of good water”).

More recently, between 1990 and 1994, the area became the ‘Camp David’ of the former South African President, FW de Klerk. The site was selected because of its closeness to Cape Town, combined with its extraordinary natural beauty and solitude. It was here that De Klerk thought and planned, mused and deliberated, far away from the stresses and demands of the politics of the time. Nelson Mandela was foremost on his mind, as was how to drag the old South Africa out of Apartheid and isolation and back into the modern world. This story, as well as the broader strokes of the country’s own history, will be weaved into every stay here…