“I feel so free, Mom,” shouted my eight-year-old son as he whizzed along a sandy path on a bike – red in the face and out of breath, but not stopping. We ate some of his dust as his little brother looked for scorpions under the rocks outside our cottage. Our big boy returned a while later, now scarlet from exertion, but beaming and ready for the next adventure. No scorpions were found until much later, when our boys went on a nocturnal treasure hunt and ran in to show us a luminescent scorpion in a plastic container (caught by their “game ranger”).
We sipped wine (from a nearby farm in Elim) and enjoyed the delicious food at the Fig Tree Restaurant as the kids were whisked off to braai marshmallows under the night sky (and release the aforementioned critter).
The Sacred Ibis Cottage was the perfect base from which to explore the expansive De Hoop Reserve – an exquisite piece of wilderness in the Overberg. As a family we went on marine walks, dune-surfing, on a boat cruise and competed to see who could spot the first baboons, zebra and buck. Nature walks and chilled time chatting around the fire all added to our relaxation.
My son definitely had a point: De Hoop induces a feeling of freedom as part of the itinerary.
Information: The De Hoop Collection offers a wide variety of accommodation. There are luxury self-catering cottages as well as fully catered lodge accommodation. There are also self-catering chalets and campsites for families looking for affordable holidays. Activities range from whale watching and river cruises to walks and hikes, quad and mountain biking, star-gazing and wine-tastings as well as special activity-based getaways from time to time such as yoga retreats, birding retreats and art workshops. For more information on The De Hoop Nature Reserve, visit the Cape Nature website.