“It’s more than just a retreat; it’s total surrender” – Whale Trail hiker

De Hoop is one of the largest natural areas managed by CapeNature. This beautiful reserve is a favourite for hikers, cyclists, and bird and whale watchers. The reserve, which is 34 000 hectares, is just three hours from Cape Town, in the Overberg.

The neighbouring marine reserve, which extends 5km out to sea, is one of the largest marine protected areas in Africa. It conserves a vast and fascinating variety of marine life.

De Hoop has one of the best hiking trails in South Africa: the Whale Trail. This route offers coastal and mountain walking, with spectacular views and, of course, plenty of opportunities for whale watching. This route is currently a four-day trail as upgrades to the Noetsie cottage are taking place. The trail will revert to a five-day trail once the cottage’s upgrades are complete.

To find out more, download the De Hoop Nature Reserve brochure.

Please note: The management of the tourism activities and accommodation facilities of the cottages and camping sites at De Hoop Nature Reserve (excluding the Whale Trail) is handled by De Hoop Collection.

How to get there

Potberg & Whale Trail:

Take the N2 from Cape Town to Caledon.  Turn right at the second turn off to Caledon, where you will find the Venster Restaurant on your left side.  Drive through Caledon and then continue on the R316 to Bredasdorp, via Napier. At the 3rd four-way stop street in Bredasdorp, turn left into All Saints Street (Engen garage on left corner).  Travel approximately 8 km on the R319 to Swellendam (past the silos on right hand side).  Turn right onto the gravel road signposted Infanta, Malgas and De Hoop.  Travel for approximately 50 km straight on to Potberg.  (Do not turn right at the De Hoop turn-off). Follow whale trail signs. Go past Ouplaas School.  Potberg gate is approximately 10 km from the school.

Koppie Alleen & De Hoop Collection:

Take N2 to Caledon. From Caledon drive through Napier to Bredasdorp. From Bredasdorp take the R319 to Swellendam. At about 6kms turn right – sign posted De Hoop / Malagas / Infanta. Follow the gravel road for 35kms until you see a sign to the right – De Hoop Nature Reserve.

Office hours: 07:30–16:00

Tel: +27 (0)28 542 1114/5