Reviews of De Hoop Opstal
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
De Hoop Opstal review
Only worth a 2 night stay as once you've done the river walk and seen the beach (beautiful) there is not much else to do and you are 1 hour down a dirt road. Seeing Whales from the beach was a highlight.
The restaurant burnt down a few months ago and both myself and my wife got gastroenteritis form their efforts - I would not return until this is sorted out.
Our accommodation was very basic - the worst of our visit - there were higher standard units available and these should be offered instead - Village rooms were also a mile from the restaurant and you were clpse to the staff quarters.
Great wildlife at De Hoop Opstal
The best wildlife viewing, especially birds, we experienced outside of a game park. Walking good although not many tracks.
Accommodation in our cottage (a Vlei Cottage) had a very rural feel to it, was private and was ideally positioned just above the blocked river estuary.
Very isolated and not much to do if weather not good, but it is well worth accepting that risk.
Quality of food and service in the on site restaurant was very good but service could be slow if they were busy.
Could not bear to leave De Hoop Opstal
Possibly one of the most incredible places I've ever been. Amazing sand dunes, complete peace, brilliant staff. Couldn't tear my eyes away from the sea when we had to leave, didn't know we could just hang out as a family watching the water for whales.
I have no complaints but wish Id known: that you can have brekkie, lunch and dinner in the restaurant. I wouldn't have bothered with self catering for such a short time (3 nights) if we'd known this. The only other small thing was no cot for the infant. It didn't bother us but might be a problem for other travellers with a baby - good to flag up in advance. We also arrived very late and the gates were open but reception closed immediately after checking us in and we didn't realise until we'd seen our accommodation that we needed wood for heating. By which time it was too late to pick any wood up - just advance info about this would have been great.
The available activities were not so good for our age ranges (two adults, a 3 year old and 1 year old) - we couldn't do any walks (too long for the 3 year old who won't be confined) and there were no child seats/trailers for the mountain bikes and they are obviously too young for the quad bikes. We just about managed some bird watching without too much whinging and we were very happy just hanging out on the dunes and paddling for the two days that we had but again its just things you might want to advise any travellers with young children. Might also have been good to know in advance that once we were there it was still quite a journey down to the beach from our accommodation.
Just a note on self catering options that we used as well - I wish I'd been advised that there would be a braai everywhere. I'm so used to 'no fires' and 'no BBQs' locations here that I'd forgotten the South African love of cooking outdoors. Easiest thing in the world when you are self catering to just pick up some meat and get the fire on.
Expert Africa comments
We often have numerous, quite lengthy, discussions with our travellers and as such there is a lot of information to absorb. We do mention, as a matter of course, that although the rooms are self-catering you can eat all meals in the restaurant on site. We are sorry if this was not made clear to these travellers. We have also taken note to specifically mention the BBQ facilities in our chats.
De Hoop Opstal a wonderful surprise
Your "wild card" came up trumps! This place ought to publicize itself better. Birding on the vlei (lagoon), game viewing, beaches, and we were encouraged to walk anywhere we liked! But it's a long way from anywhere down a gravel road and across a pontoon ferry if you approach directly from the East.
We occupied a self catering bungalow as nothing else was available, although we chose to eat in the restaurant. Service in the restaurant was variable depending upon who was on duty. Our bungalow could have been a little inconvenient if all six beds were occupied as the only loo was in the bathroom.