Natural Selection’s first property in South Africa, Lekkerwater Beach Lodge in the De Hoop Reserve, is now open. The property sits on a 4-mile stretch of beach in the De Hoop Reserve, east of Cape Town.
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 are perched on a cliff offering panoramic views of the ocean with dolphin and whale watching right from the bed. There are seven guestrooms, including one family unit with a second bedroom in a loft area.
The lodge was designed to leave as light of a footprint on the environment as possible; entirely solar-powered, it was built with as little cement as possible. The bedrooms are made of commercially grown softwoods and are supported off the ground by just six foundation pillars. The gray water treatment plant is the latest technology so that the water that leaches back into the soil is as pure and free of contaminants as is possible, in addition the lodge operations are striving to be single-use plastic free.
The property also has a very strong sense of historical place. The summer house and “Camp David” of the former South African president FW De Klerk, this is where he negotiated the end of apartheid and debated quietly behind closed doors the country’s new constitution.
Activities at De Hoop revolve around the tides and the thriving intertidal zone of the Marine Protected Area offshore that stretches three 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 colorful starfish to urchins and octopuses, the rock pools support an astonishing variety of marine life.
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, guests 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. Natural Selection’s ethos is rooted in conservation, and 1.5 percent of all revenue from Lekkerwater Beach Lodge goes straight back to conservation projects.
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