Escape on a getaway to a pristine marine and fynbos conservancy with multi-award-winning musician, Lady Zamar as she refreshes her perspective at Lekkerwater Beach Lodge.

De Hoop Nature Reserve is a 34,000 hectare conservancy regarded as the Jewel of The Western Cape. It’s here, amongst the unspoilt beaches and verdant rolling hills that we find the Lekkerwater Beach Lodge. The Insider SA joined one of our country’s most popular artists, the chart-topping Lady Zamar as she unwound at this magical summertime retreat.

Colin Bell, a co-developer of Lekkerwater, shares his passion for the lodge and how it all began back in 2015 after a lightning storm. “There was this huge fire in De Hoop and an ember caught on a thatch roof. Soon after that, the old building was gone. We had to develop a new lodge on the exact footprint. There’s not one centimetre on either side have we extended into pure, pristine fynbos. The whole focus of Lekkerwater is to provide a pristine location in the middle of nowhere, but be environmentally-sensitive as well”.

The South Atlantic Ocean dominates the landscape and in winter the Southern Right whales arrive in the hundreds, congregating offshore to calve, mate and generally cavort in the warm seas in front of the lodge.

De Hoop is also renowned for its paleontological significance, with the nearby Klipdrift cave showing evidence of human habitation dating back 64 000 years. This predates similar discoveries in Europe and North America by more than 20 000 years. In essence, some of our earliest ancestors walked the shoreline and dunes that surround Lekkerwater. 

Now a nature reserve, De Hoop offers tranquillity in the untouched wild. While there, a team of naturalists are available for guided walks, exploring either the inter-tidal ecosystem or going inland over hills and into deep ravines to experience the area’s wealth of biodiversity.

Alongside the carefully protected marine reserve and remarkable fynbos vegetation, the reserve has also recorded over 260 species of birds, including a very rare African Black Oyster Catcher. 

To experience this escape into nature, multi-award-winning musician and chart-topping hit-maker, Lady Zamar retreats to Lekkerwater. Born to a Malawian father and a South African mother, Lady Zamar is known for her hits including Collide, My Baby, and This is Love. Lady Zamar’s first solo project, King Zamar, was released in 2017 and has since gone double-platinum. Her sophomore album, Monarch was released in March this year.

On her arrival, Lady Zamar comments, “When you see so much of the sea, you realise how small you are”. As a creative, Lady Zamar needs fresh experiences and new perspectives to create her music. “You only produce what you take in. You cannot write or sing outside of your experiences. So coming to a place like this means I can now incorporate this experience into whatever project I’m busy with”.

As her new muse, Lady Zamar plans on getting to know De Hoop a bit better. A guided walk amongst the fynbos and along the beach highlights the beauty and usefulness of our indigenous plant-life. 

Afterwards, Lady Zamar and her friends are treated to sunset on the beach with a uniquely South African gin tasting. Assistant Manager of Lekkerwater, Ryan Harrison, explains, “We collect different fynbos, we take it down to the beach in the evening, and we do sunset with a gin-chest. We fill this beautiful, antique chest with the different fynbos and a selection of gins”. Lady Zamar adds, “There’s no better way to enjoy a sunset than by listening to the ocean, hanging out with my people, and having this delicious gin with local herbs!”.

Simple and hearty meals featuring a fusion of local and international dishes are often eaten outside with the sand between your toes. Ryan shares, “We braai for you and we might do a little bit of bobotie. Every meal we do here has a story behind it”.

For Lady Zamar – this was a chance to escape familiar everyday life, and to build new memories and shape new perspectives. “While I was here, there were moments where I was just on my own, where there was no one around, and I didn’t have to wear a metaphorical mask. While listening to the ocean, it kind of reminds me that even if the world is at a bad place, there is still so much beauty around us we can celebrate. Being away from everything has made me feel more connected to myself”.