De Hoop Nature Reserve
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|De Hoop Nature Reserve|
African black oystercatchers at De Hoop
Location of De Hoop Nature Reserve
|Location||Western Cape, South Africa|
|Area||34,000 ha (84,000 acres)|
|Website||De Hoop Nature Reserve|
|Official name||De Hoop Vlei|
|Designated||12 March 1975|
It lies three hours from Cape Town in the Overberg region, near Cape Agulhas, the southern tip of Africa. Approximately 340 square kilometres (130 sq mi) in area, it is one of the largest natural areas managed by CapeNature.
De Hoop Nature Reserve's climate is Mediterranean, with warm summers and mild winters. The reserve gets 380 mm of rain annually. August is the wettest month. In summer, winds blow in from the east, west and southeast, whereas winter has westerly and southwesterly winds.
The vegetation De Hoop Nature Reserve is part of the world's smallest and most threatened plant kingdom, known as the Cape Floral Kingdom. The reserve also contains one of the largest areas of the rare lowland fynbos.
De Hoop is haven for both terrestrial and marine animals. Numerous species inhabit these habitats. The reserve has a total of 86 mammal species. These include the rare bontebok and Cape mountain zebra, eland, grey rhebok, chacma baboon, yellow mongoose and caracal. Leopard, although rare, are also found in the reserve.
The waters within the De Hoop Reserve support good populations of marine mammals such as dolphins and seals. The bays of De Hoop are the breeding grounds for southern right whales. The marine protected area of the reserve has a total of 250 species of fish.
De Hoop supports a large number of resident and migratory bird species. The reserve's total bird species count is 260. Several water birds breed in the reserve. The reserve is also home to the only remaining breeding colony of the rare Cape vulture.