Reviews of The Opstal
Wildlife sightings and reviews
21 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited The Opstal and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Well worth the detour to De Hoop."
Registration for accommodation takes place in shop where everything else is booked for all visitors to the Nature Reserve.
Chairs in dining room are ready for replacement - fine if you managed to get one with a seat intact or enough cushions for it not to matter. Good selection of wines." See all these reviews: 8n in South Africa
"a unique location"
However, once at De Hoop we appreciated its unique location although the rooms could do with an upgrade.
Our main criticism here is of Expert Africa's itinerary. This said we were self catering but when we got to De Hoop we were told that we were booked on a half board basis. Given that De Hoop is in the middle of nowhere and we were staying there for Christmas we had stocked up in Swellendam. Most of the food we bought went to waste so we are not happy about the expenditure we have incurred as this could have been avoided." See all these reviews: 17n in South Africa
"Nature at its best"
All this being said, we would still recommend De Hoop Opstal simply because of the wonderful opportunity it offers to get close to the Fynbos and some of its wildlife. Admittedly, the mammals may be a little too habituated for the taste of some; but we personally found it refreshing to be able to observe for lengthy periods the front end of zebras (Cape Mountain) and eland in particular! And the birdlife is excellent - we counted off 75 species in our three days including Denham's Bustard, Cape Vultures and Blue Cranes - reflecting the range of habitats in the immediate locale.
All the activities we did were well-organised and well run, with first rate guiding. We were particularly impressed by the marine walk with shark expert, Hannah, which opened up what was a completely new aspect of Africa's wildlife to us." See all these reviews: 10n in South Africa
"Remote and beautiful"
We enjoyed a drive to Kopje Allen with its magnificent dunes and a lovely beach from where we watched whales at close quarter.
6 a.m bird watching with Patrick was worthwhile and he's certainly at the twitcher end of the scale, with a good knowledge of other fauna to boot. A boat trip on the vlei was very good too but the wildlife is subject to the wind - of which there's plenty." See all these reviews: 17n in South Africa
"Out of the way place"
With three bedrooms per unit a second bathroom would have been useful. The children appreciated the freedom to move among (non-predatory) animals, the sand dunes and the beach.
An out of the way place which deserves to be better known, although that would spoil it!" See all these reviews: 13n in South Africa
"Tranquil stay at relaxing De Hoop"
"De Hoop Opstal review"
No one bothered with us much, only one intern and another girl who seemed rather hostile were on duty and they didn't take any notice of us for a while. Finally we were shown our room, there was a fuss over lost keys and we found that a group of German tourists were using our room as a way to their car! We had to chuck them out and establish ownership! having done that, we were fine.
We enjoyed the walks and the beach, got up early and had lots of exercise. We are quite happy on our own but this is probably not the place for people who want more guidance. No one suggested anything, we just followed their map. Food was adequate and quite hearty but they obviously had a problem with fresh fruit and veg.
I would caution anyone going to take masses of sunscreen and a hat as De Hoop is VERY exposed at this time of the year. We were well equipped but you could get badly burned as the light is very bright and the Vlei and beach super exposed. In all we enjoyed De Hoop but were glad that we had some luxury worked into our trip too!" See all these reviews: 18n in South Africa
"De Hoop Opstal review"
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." See all these reviews: 13n in South Africa
"Great wildlife at De Hoop Opstal"
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." See all these reviews: 34n in South Africa
"Could not bear to leave De Hoop Opstal"
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." See all these reviews: 12n in South Africa
Holiday styles & special interests in South Africa
From birdwatching breaks to walking holidays, find great ideas for your trip in South Africa.
Other lodges in De Hoop Nature Reserve
Alternative places to stay in this same area.