Imagine a wild coastline, waves rushing to the shore, indigo and turquoise waters teeming with life. This is the De Hoop Marine Reserve—a pristine fifty-kilometre long shoreline, undisturbed and protected through time. Classified as a no tank zone, the sheltered bay offers a nutrient rich haven to a large body of bio-diverse sea creatures, proving to be the perfect setting to explore and celebrate marine month. 

The safe waters of Koppie Alleen form the ideal calving grounds for the majestic southern right whale. During season, from June to early November, five to six hundred of these giant mammals visit the bay to mate, give birth and nurse their young. At the height of their breeding cycle, up to fifty or sixty sightings can be counted in a day, which makes De Hoop one of the most coveted land based whale-watching spots in the world. 

More wonders await in the shallow rock pools along the shore—home to a large variety of intertidal organisms and plants. Join an expert guide on an interpretive marine walk and uncover the fascinating facts about these diverse creatures. Learn about the alikreukel’s sandy ‘foot’, a clever camouflaging trick to fool predators. Study the volcano-shaped barnacle up close to discover its breathing nose and its singular lightweight but indestructible frame. Count the millions of small black snails dotted on the rocks that cleverly minimize heat stress by attaching themselves to one another and form a long string that floats in the water. Watch the slow motion war between a large tent-shaped limpit pushing another off a rock in a die-hard fight for food. Enjoy the rare sight of a dozen or more palm-sized abalone collected in one pool—poached to such an extent elsewhere that they’ve become endangered. Let your children marvel at the rainbow display of starfish, sea cucumbers, urchins, klipfish, octopi and so much more. 

Extend your stay at the beach and linger for a swim in one of the natural rock pools (and bring your snorkel gear). A delectable pre-booked packed picnic will keep the hunger at bay as you sunbathe or watch the dolphins and seals frolic in the waves. Soak up the beauty of the breathtaking view, with time enough for the whole family to immerse themselves in the unspoiled landscape, and watch the sun set at the end of day

The splendour of the De Hoop coastline will keep you coming back for more, offering new surprises with every visit, in this a truly fascinating underwater paradise.

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