Lekkerwater Beach Lodge

South Africa

Lekkerwater Beach Lodge

  As we drove over the rise, Lekkerwater looked just like a shipwreck on the shore. Its grey timber frame sat perched above the waves, dwarfed by a magnificent coastline. We’d arrived in a very special corner of the Cape’s Deep South.
  Lekkerwater started life as the holiday cottage of the Green family in 1939. Much of this coast was expropriated for an Armscor missile testing range in 1983. After part of the land  was given to De Hoop Nature  Reserve, Lekkerwater became President FW de Klerk’s ‘Camp  David’, where many discussions on the future of SA took place.
  After 1994, the house was returned to CapeNature and rented to the public. Then, in 2015, it burnt to the ground during a lightning storm.  Natural Selection (a new company co founded by Colin Bell, formally of Wilderness Safaris) submitted a successful proposal and the result is a 16 bed lodge in one of the most spellbinding locations on the Southern African coast.
  We’d arrived on a dreamy autumn day with light mist ghosting the shoreline. Managers Mariclaire and Burt Day showed us round.As part of the lease agreement, the lodge has stuck to the original  footprint of the old house. It’s entirely off grid with borehole water and solar power.The main building is elegantly done in natural woods and pale blues, with a plunge pool and wrap around deck.
  A stay at Lekkerwater is all about full immersion in nature. There are fynbos walks to learn about the flora (mesems, geophytes), fauna (eland, bontebok) and birds (Karoo prinia, black harrier and the  world’s biggest breeding colony of Cape vulture). At low tide, there are walks to rock pools to learn about the intertidal zone and search for octopus and fat fingered starfish.Guests don masks and snorkels to bob about in kaleidoscopic ponds. As this is a Marine Protected  Area, sea life is impossibly rich.
  In the evenings, you gather for drinks on the beach or the rocks, ringed by lanterns and the roar of surf. Dinners in the odge are communal affairs featuring local cuisine and Overberg wines. Conversation is sure to turn to the room’s large mural that depicts the history of Lekkerwater, from early hunter gatherers to the present  day. Then it’s back to your room, to slide open the doors and let the ocean inundate your dreams.
  Best feature its beguiling relationship with the shoreline. Bottlenose dolphins were so prevalent we surmised they might be receiving a share of  profits.There were hourly performances of sleek bodies etched in translucent green.The southern right whales had not yet arrived, but the double act is sure to keep guests entertained.
  Cost from R2 950 pp sharing, including all meals, activities, most drinks and transfers from a private parking lot in De Hoop. African residents can join the Natural Selection Explorers Club (R1 000) which entitles members to 20% off the rate.

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