DE HOOP NATURE RESERVE
De Hoop Nature Reserve is open from sunrise to sunset. Covered in limestone fynbos, the De Hoop coast is a marine reserve which extends 3 kilometres out to sea. Along the coast you will see the finest examples of intertidal ecosystems in the Cape. Snorkelling in large clear pools is one of the best ways to appreciate this inter tidal world.
The Reserve forms part of the world’s smallest and most threatened plant kingdom – the Cape Floral Kingdom. Fynbos is the dominant vegetation group and is largely confined to nutrient-poor soils in the winter rainfall areas of the Western Cape. It is adapted to fire and drought and is defined by four growth forms:
· proteas – tall shrubs with large leaves
· ericas – heath-like shrubs
· restios – wiry, reed-like plants which are always present in fynbos
· geophytes – bulbs that store moisture in fleshy underground organs.
De Hoop has several mountain bike trails as well as the 5 day Whale Trail.
With more than 260 species of bird, the De Hoop Vlei also attracts a large number or water birds. The only remaining breeding colony of the rare Cape Vulture in the Western Cape occurs at Potberg.
The reserve has 86 mammals species. Most notable are the rare Bontebok and Cape Mountain Zebra as well as Eland, Grey Rhebuck, Baboon, Yellow Mongoose, Caracal and the occasional leopard.
Marina mammals such as Dolphins and Seals are in abundance with the Southern Right Wales calving and mating in the sheltered bays each year between May and December. There are over 250 species of fish in the marine protected area.
Covered in limestone fynbos, the De Hoop coast is a marine reserve which extends 3 miles out to sea. Along the coast you will see the finest examples of intertidal ecosystems in the Cape. Snorkelling in large clear pools is one of the best ways to appreciate this inter tidal world.
De Hoop is also a world heritage site and a short drive from Tides Lodge.