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Bush dog

Western Captonian snapshots : De Hoop Nature Reserve and along the coast

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Bush dog

Before my visit to Hwange and after spending two to three days visiting some wine estates, I went for about ten days to De Hoop Nature Reserve and along the coast between Hermanus and Gansbaai.

 

De Hoop Nature Reserve

 

De Hoop Nature Reserve is a fabulous site that deserves to be better known, especially for its enormous diversity of plant species and for its Marine reserve which is regarded as an important calving place for the southern right whale.

 

My cottage, the Dassie Suite.

 

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View on the Vlei from my cottage.

 

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Kelp gulls on the rocky shores at Koppie Alleen

 

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Grey heron along the Vlei.

 

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michael-ibk

Oh, great - I loved De Hoop last year and am looking forward to your photos very much Mike!

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Bush dog

@michael-ibk

 

Michael, I did not know that you've been there already.  More precisely, I probably do not recall.  Anyway, it's, indeed, a great place.

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TonyQ

I look forward to this report- we are thinking about going there next year, so all details will be very welcome.

 

As expected your photos are excellent!

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Bush dog

@TonyQ

 

Thanks!

 

It's an excellent idea.  Just to remind you that Michael made an excellent report concerning De Hoop.

I will just add some practical information.

 

I guess it is in your intentions to rent a car without driver.  If so, be sure to be insured against windscreen damages.  Indeed, the ways to access the Reserve are gravel roads.  The Reserve is surrounded by farm lands.  Most of the vehicles that you will pass are 4x4 pick-ups driven by farmers.  Those guys have no consideration for the other vehicles, they are far above speed limits, projecting stones on the other cars.  One of those guys, on the road to Bredasdorp, made a chip in my windscreen.  

If you decide to book, make it full board.  There are no other choice than to have all your dinners there.  The food is excellent and the wine cellar is well stocked.  The place I was (Dassie Suite) has the best location but is certainly not the cheapest one.  There is a bathroom with bath and shower.  The rest of the accomodation is cosy with two comfortable armchairs facing an open fire with a sufficient reserve of wood.  There is a second access at the back. 

My advice is to stay three full days (four nights).  If you feel you need more information, please do not hesitate to ask.  Further, in due time, I will give you information, with pictures this time, of the second stop I made, near Hermanus.

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Bush dog

De Hoop Nature Reserve

 

Bonteboks.

 

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Blue Crane (on the farm lands ouside the Reserve).

 

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kittykat23uk

Lovely photos of the Bontebok. 

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optig

@Bush dog I was recently at De Hoop and  I'll agree that the food and wine were excellent, and the place was just beautiful; I still felt let down due to poor management . I arrived at 9.30 in the evening and there was nobody to greet me. Its only the elderly Botswanan manager of the restaurant who escorted me to my suite. Nobody bothered to light the fireplace nor turn on the electric blanket. As a result I was just freezing for two days in my expensive suite. :(:angry:

 

In contrast I felt that the service at Grootbos lodge was just outstanding. I may return to De Hoop, but I want to be sure that one of the managers is there to greet me. I do have to say that except for the managers, that I felt that the rest of the staff was just lovely.

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Bush dog

@optig

 

Thanks for your comments and sorry to hear that you did not have a warm welcome at De Hoop.  You compare it to the service at Grootbos.  The F/B price, in this case including activities which is not the case at De Hoop, you pay at Grootbos is three to six times higher, according to the season.     

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Bush dog

@kittykat23uk

 

Thanks a lot for your comments!

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Bush dog

De Hoop Nature Reserve

 

One more bontebok picture, forgotten in the previous post.

 

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Fynbos : those, I guess are proteas.

 

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Greater flamingoes along the vlei.

 

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kittykat23uk

We were hoping to have more time in De Hoop,  but we ended up with only half a day. Still, we loved the Bontebok.  

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Bush dog

De Hoop Nature Reserve

 

After having been to other places along the coast until Hermanus, I concluded that Koppie Alleen is the best place to watch whales.  This may also be due to the fact that the observation is from a higher position, in this case the dune.  One do not perceive anything first but little by little as soon as the eye is used to the swell and to the various touches of color such as for example the foam spots, one can start to distinguish the movements of the whales and also sometimes the emergence of certain parts of their bodies.  When one begin to count them, one realize that they are numerous, up to twenty individuals.

 

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Baboons.

 

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Ostriches.

 

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kittykat23uk

Very cool. The whales were more lazy this time we went. No breaches. We got some breaching at Hermanus  in 2010. Not so much action this time unfortunately. You got some nice shots there!

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Bush dog

De Hoop Nature Reserve

 

Elands.

 

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Some birds :

Cape wagtail.

 

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Bokmakierie.

 

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This one, I’m not sure, fiscal flycatcher perhaps ?

 

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Bar-throated apalis.

 

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Cape francolin.

 

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Speckled mousebird.

 

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Peter Connan

Fantastic Franky Mike!

Edited by Peter Connan

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Kitsafari

cracking photos of those bonteboks. your suite looks very charming. 

 

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optig

I'll defiantly be returning there and will make it a point to arrive earlier when I can expect that somebody will be there to greet me. It's just a great place.

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Bush dog

@Peter Connan

@Kitsafari

 

Thanks a lot for your kind words!

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Bush dog

De Hoop Nature Reserve

 

During my stay, I made a long walk in the fynbos.  Here is a very small sample of the 1.500 species that can be found at De Hoop.  Proteas pictures are in a previous post.

 

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Here the white dunes are visible in the distance.

 

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And here, the buildings of De Hoop Collection.

 

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Bush dog

De Hoop Nature Reserve

 

Grey rhebok.

 

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African black oystercatcher.

 

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Periwinkles on the rocks.

 

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Bush dog

De Hoop Nature Reserve

 

Cape mountain zebras.

 

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Those are the last pictures taken at De Hoop.

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michael-ibk

Love the Rhebok shots, Mike! I remember they were quite tricky to find (and get pictures of) when I was there but they seem quite relaxed here. Or is that just the power of your bazookalike focal length?

 

And are they no longer offering the boat activties on the Vlei?

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TonyQ

I agree that the rhebok are beautiful. Great to see the selection of flowers, and a lovely sequence of the Cape Zebra.

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Bush dog

@TonyQ

@michael-ibk

 

Thanks to both of you.

 

I was, indeed, expecting some difficulties to spot the grey rhebok but perhaps, was I lucky because I saw it several times during the three fuill days I was there.  The pictures are from two of those sightings when it was not far at all from the road and quite relaxed.

 

They are still offering the boat cruise on the Vlei.  I did it once and not liked it, probably because it was quite cold and I was frozen.  So, I did not make a lot of pictures.  The greater flamingoes images were taken from the boat.

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