The Whale Trek/Hike-in winter
Whale Trail hike in winter
The Whale Trek or Hike in the De Hoop Nature Reserve 5 night slack-packing trail.We recently returned from hiking the Whale Trek or Trail on the Cape coast of South Africa in the De Hoop Nature reserve.. I now feel “qualified” to write this trip report on hiking the Whale trail within the De Hoop Nature Reserve during winter. The Cape Coast winter is renowned for windy wet weather and we advised our clients to come prepared for all 4 seasons. As it turned out we did encounter a variety of temperatures and weather conditions. The majority of the hike was walked under superb sunny skies with a fresh cooling breeze along the coastal cliff section.
Day 1 POTBERG
Day 1 & Day 2 of the whale trek or trail are the tougher longer distances over the Potberg mountain but also has spectacular landscape views. The unique fynbos vegetation provided us with a beautiful spread of wildflowers at every turn. The first trail hut is Cupidos. A welcome site after 16km.
Noetsie Bay, De Hoop Whale Trek/Trail
This is my favourite place on the whale trail . After 2 days of fairly serious mountain hiking we descended
to the bay of Noetsie, a little piece of paradise. Lovely new facilities, not another soul for miles except for
the baboon visiting our kitchen and liberating a bag of apples .
It rained overnight at Noetsie and we walked for an hour or two in the rain after we left the bay. We were prepared so it wasn’t a problem. Some of the best coastal scenery on the whale trail is from these cliffs.
The path is well marked and undulating, a lot easier than the previous 2 days , the scenery is breathtaking!
Its a 7-8 km walk to Hamerkop with a short beach walk before reaching the whale trail’s overnight house.
Hamerkop to Vaalkrans
10 km trail mostly on the beach. This time round there was more plastic pollution that had washed up onto our shores than I had seen before but otherwise the beach was clean and white. On route we passed the burnt out ruins of Lekkerwater Lodge, large colonies of basking white-breasted cormorants and inter tidal pools. The last stretch of the trail before Vaalkrans is through coastal fynbos vegetation.
Lovely cottage built on a cavernous cliff side, home to many cormorants . The whale trek/trail overnight huts are all unique in layout and position.This cottage is magical.
Vaalkrans to Koppie Alleen
This part of the Whale trek is 7 km of easy walking along the beach and tidal pools if the tide permits or along the ridge if its high tide.
We enjoyed a coffee break before heading for the pick up point after passing Hippo Pools. What a great time we shared with our Californian guests Christine and Jerry. Well done on completing the Whale trail at this stage of your lives.