The Whale Trail is located in the De Hoop Nature Reserve between Cape Agulhas and Cape Infanta. The trail is a little under 60km over 5 days. We offer this on a fully catered basis for a group of up to 10 people, with two support guides who both lead the hike and are in charge of preparing the evening meals. All your luggage is transported, so you only carry a day pack. The trail has recently been upgraded with solar supported electricity and refrigeration. The cost is R7500 per person, with an immediate deposit of R4000 to confirm your place. The deposit covers the cost of the trail itself and is paid to Cape Nature to confirm the booking.
Extras not included: Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. A limited amount of drinks can be included in your own luggage for your own account.
Day 1: Arrive Potberg – Overnight at accommodation there before the start. Welcome braai and briefing.
Potberg to Cupidoskraal
14,7 km – Moderate to strenuous ± 8 hours
This is the toughest stretch of the trail and an early start is recommended. It will take you to the top of Potberg at 611 metres with breathtaking panoramic views of Swellendam in the north, unequalled views of the Indian Ocean and the Breede River, Cape Infante in the east and Cape Agulhas in the west. You will also have a good chance of sighting the rare Cape vulture. The trail descends towards Cupidoskraal where a swim in the dam offers a refreshing end to the day.
Cupidoskraal to Noetsie
15 km – Moderate ± 8 hours
The trail follows the crest of the Potberg through mountain fynbos with unequalled views of the Indian Ocean and the Breede River. The route finally leaves the Potberg and leads onto limestone hills with strikingly different fynbos, then descends to the enchanting bay of Noetsie at the coast.
Noetsie to Hamerkop
8.5 km – Easy ± *6 hours (4 hours of actual walking with 6 hours suggested for several break periods
This short distance allows a leisurely start to the day and ample time for exploring the coastline. Stilgat, with its clear tidal pools and abundant marine life will provide an unsurpassed opportunity for snorkeling and swimming. Several whale watching points lie ahead until you reach a lovely sandy beach stretching all the way to Hamerkop.
Hamerkop to Vaalkrans
10,5 km – Moderate ± 6 hours
It is well worth the long walk on the beach as the views and turquoise rock pools that you eventually reach are splendid. Please stay clear of the sensitive calcrete formations and look out for interesting seabirds like the shy oystercatchers and whitebreasted cormorants basking in the sun. Hikers are requested to respect the privacy of the guests staying at the remote Lekkerwater Lodge which is on this route.
Vaalkrans to Koppie Alleen
7 km – Easy ± *6 hours (2 hours of actual walking, with 6 hours suggested for several break periods)
This is a short hike through coastal thickets with ample time to soak up the last of the scenic landscapes, there are two alternative routes for high and low tide. Hippo Pools offers great swimming before the path leads up to Koppie Alleen where the trail ends
The group are collected by bus for the 45 minute journey to the start at Potberg where the vehicles are parked.
For any additional information or questions, please contact Frank Dwyer on 0828824388 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org