Oh my gosh – this is now on the travel bucket list – best I plan my Cape Town trip sooner rather than later, there are so many awesome properties that have just opened up that I must visit!!
Natural Selection opened their first property in South Africa in May, and the intimate Lekkerwater Beach Lodge in the De Hoop Reserve sits isolated on a six-kilometre stretch of beach in the glorious De Hoop Reserve, east of Cape Town.
Just as the whales arrive in the warm Indian Ocean waters, so Natural Selection opened the doors to their newest property, Lekkerwater Beach Lodge. Each year hundreds of Southern Right Whales migrate from the colder Antarctic Ocean to give birth to their young in the warmer Indian Ocean waters in front of Lekkerwater.
The rooms at Lekkerwater are perched on a cliff just meters back from the coastline, affording panoramic views of the ocean ahead, allowing dolphin and whale watching right from your bed. The Southern Right Whales are seasonal visitors, but year-round pods of dolphin play in the waves right outside the lodge.
Throughout the lodge, the dramatic views do the talking. Each of the seven rooms has floor to ceiling glass doors which can be opened to let in the coastal breezes. The décor drew its inspiration from the environment and each room has a bespoke piece of art by South African artist Jemima Sargent.
The main area offers 180-degree views of the coastline with vast, panoramic windows which open up and blur the lines between outside and in.
The lodge was designed to leave as light a footprint on the environment as possible. Entirely solar-powered, the lodge has been built with as little cement as possible.
The bedrooms are exclusively built from commercially grown softwoods and are supported off the ground by just six foundation pillars. The greywater treatment plant is the latest technology so that the water that leaches back into the soil is as pure and as free of contaminants as is possible, and the lodge operations are striving to be single-use plastic-free.
Activities at De Hoop revolve around the tides and the thriving intertidal zone of the Marine Protected Area offshore that stretches 3 miles out to sea. Mornings can be spent exploring the rock pools and learning about the myriad of species which call the shallow waters home. From colourful starfish to urchins and octopuses, the rockpools support an astonishing variety of marine life
Afternoons are often spent exploring the fynbos ecosystem. De Hoop forms part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, a World Heritage Site of close on 9000 plant species, with De Hoop alone boasting around 1,500 species of plants and flowers – and 15 of those species are found nowhere else in the world. Birding is also rewarding for both amateurs and keen twitchers with over 260 species having been recorded. Relaxing with a book in the sunshine or strolling up the beach at your own pace is also an option.
The food at Lekkerwater is a celebration of South Africa’s traditional dishes. Home-cooked and hearty, everything is sourced locally and focuses on wholesome, tasty dishes. Bobotie is served one night and then the next night enjoy a beach braai (BBQ) with feet in the sand and South African lamb chops on the fire. Wines are also sourced locally, many from nearby Agulhas, Elim and the Hemel en Aarde valley and plains that make up the Overberg Region and home to South Africa’s finest pinot noirs and other fine wines.