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Whale Trail

The Whale Trail is a 6 day 5 night coastal wilderness hiking trail. The trail is situated in one of the planet’s most beautiful & ecologically diverse floral kingdoms, the De Hoop Nature Reserve in the Western Cape, South Africa. Our Whale Trail is professionally guided by FGASA Field and  Marine and Cape Tourism guides  husband and wife team Ralph and Gill. Both with 18 years of guiding experience, we have done over 15 Whale Trails for local and international guests with great success.



The  Whale Trail starts at Potberg – Welcome to De Hoop Nature Reserve! Your adventure begins. We all meet at Potberg Hut in the De Hoop Nature Reserve at around 14h00 on the set date. After checking – in,   you will have some time to orientate yourself and soak up the setting of the Potberg Hut. While sitting under the Southern Cross, enjoying the night sky you will treated to a traditional SA braai (barbecue) paired with regional wines.  The Southern Cross is a constellation not visible in the northern hemisphere. Thereafter a thorough briefing of the hike and what can be expected on the trail will be given by the guide.



15 Km

On the morning of the first hiking day we rise early for a hearty breakfast, fueling for our Potberg ascent on the first day of  De Hoop Whale Trail. The climb to the highest point of the trail is fragranced with fynbos of the Erica and protea species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world.  Keep your eyes peeled for the gliding Cape Vultures and at the top we take time out to marvel at the view over some well deserved refreshments.



15 Km

The second hiking day of the De Hoop Whale Trail follows the crest of the Potberg through mountain fynbos with unequaled views of the Indian Ocean and the Breede River. This is a very exciting day because we end the day at the sea. The route finally exits Potberg, and leads onto limestone hills with strikingly different fynbos, then  descends to the enchanting bay of Noetsie as we arrive at the coast.



7.8 Km

On day 4 or the third hiking day of the De Hoop Whale Trail, the breathtaking viewing of whales & dolphins from the cliffs, ancient shell middens and caves , make this stretch of coastline an adventurers’ paradise. We lunch at Stilgat and take time out to cool off in the rock pools & explore the caves.



10.5 Km

On day 5 of De Hoop Whale Trail, or the fourth hiking day. Most of the day is spent walking on the white beach sand. Spot the shy oyster catchers and white-breasted cormorants as they bask in the sun and observe the remarkable inter tidal pools, calcrete formations and blow holes. The last stretch to Vaalkrans ambles through diverse coastal vegetation before we reach our accommodation situated on top a cave .



7 Km

Because Day 6 of the  De Hoop Whale Trail is a short final day walk, we have ample time to admire the scenery, swim and explore the stunning Hippo Pools. In whale season anything up to 50 whales can be seen in this vicinity. From Koppie Alleen we are taken by  shuttle back to Potberg Hut at the start of  De Hoop Whale Trail, where we collect our luggage and say goodbye to the jewel of Cape Nature’s Floral Kingdom– The De Hoop Nature Reserve.

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What is the trail going to cost me?

Whale Trail Price. R11 950.00 per person, price valid until the end of 2021

Professionally guided by FGASA Field and  Marine and Cape Tourism guides  husband and wife team Ralph and Gill. Both with 9 years of guiding experience just on the Whale Trail, we have done over 15 Whale Trails for local and international guests with great success. Review your guides

At R 2390 per person per day – including accommodation, fully catered and and guided, its a steal.

Please send us your referred dates and contact us via our Reservation Query provided below.

Available dates

Because the Whale Trail Hike is so popular and difficult to book for, bookings must be made 1 year in advance.

Cape Nature has closed the Whale trail from the 1 January 2019 to 31 March 2020 for renovations and repairs. So unfortunately the Whale Trail is basically closed for the prime ‘whale viewing time’ in 2019.

We have been forced to make other arrangements to accommodate clients that want to experience the mountainous Fynbos hikes and the cliff and beach walks offered on the Whale Trail. We have done this in the Hermanus area – world renowned for the best land based whale viewing. We have taken it one step further with an option that the De Hoop Whale Trail cant offer. See our 2,3,4 and 5 Day Wine Rambles under Overberg Holiday.

Whale Trail video 2008

Whale Trail Video October 2018

GENERAL INFORMATION regarding the trail

De Hoop Nature Reserve is 230 km from Cape Town International airport. (Transfer to & from Potberg for your own cost, can be arranged). Please ensure that your flight arrives in the morning and get to Potberg at around 14h00.

The route stretches over 58km from Potberg to Koppie Alleen and includes 5 overnight stops.

Trail limit is 12 people per trip (10 guests) and is termed “slack-packing”, a term used when one has the convenience of a portage facility. Hikers need only to carry a small day-pack with water, camera, rain jacket, sun screen etc.

The trail is exclusive in that you will not meet other hikers on the trail.

The trail will be fully catered for and special dietary requirements met as far as possible.

Requirements: sleeping bag, day pack, hiking boots & clothing. (Hiring of equipment can be arranged)

Accommodation on the trail is in a series of cottages with mostly 3 bedrooms with 4 bunk beds each.

A 60 liter container is issued to each person for personal belongings and this is transported to the next overnight stop.


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WALKING TOURS - all year round

Hermanus Walks

A variety of short and long walks in the vicinity of Hermanus.

Fernkloof Reserve

Hikes in the Fernkloof Hermanus Reserve.

Kogelberg Biosphere

Kogelberg is a UNESCO World Heritage site now boasts stunning eco cottages that can be hired for overnight trails.


Explore the land of crazy rock formations!

Overberg Wine walk

Explore the beautiful reserves and estates and many of the numerous vineyards.

De Hoop Whale Trail

A 6 day 5 night coastal wilderness hiking trail.