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Lekkerwater Beach Lodge

LOCATION:

De Hoop Reserve, Western Cape

NUMBER OF ROOMS:

7 (max 12 guests per group)

PRICE FROM:

R4900 per person per night

DATES OPEN:

Year Round

LOCATION:

De Hoop Reserve, Western Cape

NUMBER OF ROOMS:

7 (max 12 guests per group)

PRICE FROM:

R4900 per person per night

DATES OPEN:

Year Round

Lekkerwater Beach Lodge is situated on an exclusive private concession in De Hoop Nature Reserve, a 34 000-hectare conservancy justifiably regarded as the ‘jewel of the Western Cape’.

Located little more than three hours’ drive from Cape Town – and a convenient diversion for travellers exploring South Africa’s scenic Garden Route – Lekkerwater enjoys an enviable position perched between land and sea atop the ancient dunes of De Hoop.

This remarkable coastal reserve is particularly famous for offering some of the world’s best land-based whale watching. During winter and spring (July to November) Southern Right whales migrate here from Antarctica to calve and breed in the warm seas offshore. Since 1985 these waters have been designated as a Marine Protected Area, and sea life has flourished. While whales are the stars of the show, guests may also look forward to sighting dolphins, seals and myriad sea birds from the comfort of Lekkerwater Beach Lodge.

Lekkerwater – ‘good water’ in the Afrikaans language – offers a homely and comfortable beach-safari experience in a truly magical setting. The lodge’s seven intimate suites, decorated in a bright and breezy coastal aesthetic, each boast a private deck overlooking a six-kilometre stretch of private beach. At the main lodge the focus is on communal hospitality, with a cosy lounge and convivial shared dining table at the heart of the airy space.

From almost every vantage point the ocean dominates the landscape, and daily activities are structured around the tides. At low water our team of expert naturalists lead guided walks to explore the fascinating inter-tidal ecosystem, while high tide sends travellers inland to discover De Hoop Nature Reserve’s wealth of biodiversity. Alongside the remarkable fynbos vegetation, more than 260 bird species have been recorded in the reserve. A memorable highlight is the opportunity for a close-up discovery of the breeding colony of Cape Vultures on Potberg Mountain, the last remaining colony in the Cape.

Whether you’re simply seeking a luxurious off-grid coastal escape, or an unforgettable land-based marine safari, Lekkerwater Beach Lodge offers an entirely unique coastal experience in the heart of South Africa’s scenic Western Cape.

Explore Lekkerwater Beach Lodge

Lekkerwater Beach Lodge Accommodations

Set overlooking a six-kilometre stretch of pristine sand, the seven suites at Lekkerwater Beach Lodge have been carefully designed to let ocean views take centre stage. Floor-to-ceiling windows deliver remarkable sea vistas from every corner of the suite, while the protected outdoor deck provides a perfect oasis of privacy.

Indoors, the décor takes its cue from the natural beauty of the surrounding reserve. With a colour palette of blues and greens balanced by rich organic textures, the aesthetic in each suite is a subtle mirror of the scenic beauty beyond. Cool sea breezes take the edge off summer’s heat, while a wood-burning stove in each suite offers welcome warmth when dramatic winter storms roll in.

At the main lodge a wrap-around deck offers the perfect space to admire the sunset over morning coffee, or perhaps a sundowner to toast the end of a remarkable day at De Hoop. Meals are enjoyed family-style at the large communal table, and guests are encouraged to engage with the chefs at the interactive open kitchen.

When the weather permits, dinner may be enjoyed on the beach, and lunchtime picnic baskets are available on request. For celebrations and special events, memorable private dinners can be arranged in-suite.

Need to know

  • Lekkerwater offers 7 rooms: 6 twin/double, 1 family unit with second loft bedroom.
  • En-suite bathrooms with indoor ‘in-suite’ showers.
  • Wi-Fi: To preserve the sense of escapism, Wi-Fi access is only available in guest suites. Please note that mobile phone signal at De Hoop is extremely limited.
  • Battery charging facilities: Available in each suite.
  • Child policy: We welcome children aged 6 and older. Please be aware in mind that the lodge swimming pool is unfenced, with no lifeguard on duty.
  • Disabled access: please enquire directly with reservations.

Lekkerwater Beach Lodge Activities

  • Watch the whales. De Hoop Nature Reserve is known as one of the world’s best locations for land-based whale watching. Peak whale season runs from July to November.
  • Lekkerwater offers a unique land-based marine safari experience. Along with spotting cetaceans offshore, join our expert nature guides on fascinating walks to explore the rock pools and inter-tidal ecosystem of this pristine coastline.
  • Daily nature walks introduce guests to myriad species of fynbos in this corner of the Cape Floral Kingdom
  • Feeling twitchy? More than 260 species of bird have been identified in the De Hoop Nature Reserve. Excursions to view the Cape Vulture colony on Potberg Mountain can be arranged.
  • Discover the rich paleontological history of this coastline with informative talks from our knowledgeable naturalists.
  • Enjoy a private beach picnic, or romantic sundowners from atop the dunes.

Lekkerwater Beach Lodge Landscape & Wildlife

Landscape

The 34 000-hectare De Hoop Nature Reserve is situated just over three hours’ drive from Cape Town, the capital of the Western Cape province of South Africa.

In addition to conserving 34 000-hectares of indigenous fynbos and coastal ecosystems, the reserve includes the De Hoop Marine Protected Area (MPA). Proclaimed in 1985, the MPA – essentially a nature reserve in the sea – stretches for 46 kilometres along the coastline and five kilometres out to sea, creating a marine conservancy of 289-square-kilometres.

Fishing and harvesting of any marine life is prohibited within the MPA, and in the decades since it was proclaimed the De Hoop MPA has become a vital breeding ground for regional fish stocks, while also creating an oceanic haven for Southern Right whales.

Each year these majestic cetaceans – once hunted almost to extinction – migrate north from Antarctica, taking advantage of the warm Western Cape waters to calve and mate, before migrating south in the early-summer. In the peak whale season (July-November), expect to see Southern Right whales as well as less-common Bryde’s and Humpback whales. Large pods of dolphins are also often seen surfing the breakers close in-shore.

Inland the biodiversity is no less impressive, with more than 1500 species of indigenous fynbos plants identified. De Hoop forms part of the Cape Floral Region, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, and the reserve conserves the largest area of lowland fynbos in the Western Cape.

Wildlife

Amongst the fynbos you’ll find more than 86 species of mammal, including the endangered bontebok, Cape mountain zebra and eland, the largest of the antelopes. Though Cape mountain leopard and caracal call De Hoop home, these shy cats are rarely seen.

The reserve is also a paradise for bird-watchers. In excess of 260 species of birds have been identified on De Hoop, which is also home to the last remaining breeding colony of the Cape vulture in the province.

When to Visit Lekkerwater Beach Lodge

Lekkerwater Beach Lodge is truly a year-round destination, its gentle charms shifting with the changing seasons.

During the southern hemisphere’s summer (November-March) the days are perfect for coastal adventures. Use the fresh morning air to hike out into the fynbos, then cool off with a swim in the tidal pools during the heat of the day, or enjoy a beach picnic on a private dune.

In autumn (April-May) and spring (September-October) the fynbos comes to life, and sunsets are all about lazy evenings enjoyed with a glass of fine South African wine in hand.

Winter (June-August) is, perhaps surprisingly, the beginning of peak season at Lekkerwater Beach Lodge. This is when the Southern Right whales arrive, congregating offshore to calve, mate and generally cavort in the warm seas. The first Southern Right whales usually arrive in May, but the best months for whale watching are August to October, when the bay in front of the lodge can be home to hundreds of whales at any one time.

While each month offers its own attraction, all Lekkerwater Beach Lodge activities are offered year-round, weather and tide permitting.

  • High Season: 13 July 2020 – 11 April 2021
  • Xmas Peak: 20 December 2020 – 5 January 2021
  • Shoulder Season: 12 April 2021 – 15 July 2021
  • High Season: 16 July 2021 – 15 April 2021

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

The Story of Lekkerwater Beach Lodge

While Lekkerwater Beach Lodge is all about contemporary coastal charm, this stretch of the De Hoop coastline also boasts a rich and ancient history.

A short distance east of the lodge lies Klipdrift Cave. Renowned for its paleontological significance, the cave shows evidence of human habitation dating back 64 000 years. This predates similar discoveries in Europe and North America by more than 20 000 years. In essence, some of our earliest ancestors walked the shoreline and dunes that surround Lekkerwater. Further evidence shows that the indigenous Khoi Khoi pastoralists lived in these hills long before the first European explorers sailed around the southern tip of Africa to begin centuries of settlement and colonisation.

But we have one Bill Green to thank for the dramatic location of Lekkerwater Beach Lodge. It was Green who built his family’s holiday home on this site in 1939. In later years it was appropriated by the state for a military test range, then later set aside for the modern-day De Hoop Nature Reserve.

More recently, between 1990 and 1994, Lekkerwater became the coastal escape – South Africa’s ‘Camp David’, if you will – for the former South African President, FW de Klerk. It was here that he contemplated how to move South Africa from apartheid to democracy, no doubt finding inspiration in the solitude and beauty of this remarkable coastline.

We trust visitors to Lekkerwater will find similar inspiration here, soaking up the natural beauty and remarkable history of this unique corner of southern Africa.

Why Choose Lekkerwater Beach Lodge:

  • Exclusive access to a pristine corner of one of southern Africa’s most remarkable nature reserves
  • Experience some of the world’s best land-based whale watching.
  • Discover the rich natural history of the region, from endemic fynbos and inter-tidal ecosystems to remarkable mammal and birdlife.
  • Enjoy a taste of South Africa’s culinary traditions and globally acclaimed fine wines.
  • Dine on the beach, feet-in-the-sand, next to a crackling campfire, or picnic on the sands.
  • Enjoy the sense of shared adventure at this intimate coastal lodge.
  • All-inclusive rates cover accommodation, activities, meals and local drinks.
  • Guaranteed departures every Monday (two nights), Wednesday (two nights) and Friday (three nights) throughout the year.

We recommend booking Lekkerwater Beach Lodge as part of a complete Natural Selection safari. For standalone bookings, or to check availability, click here to select dates and book. Alternatively, email reservations@naturalselection.travel, call + 27 21 0011574. Due to COVID-19 office closures, email is our preferred method of communication.

Click here to view current rates.

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