Due to the immense popularity of the Whale Trail, bookings are very difficult to secure and bookings need to be made 1 year in advance. If you select a date of your choice we will try to accommodate your date request by arranging a booking for you. Please give us a few date options to choose from because the bookings fill up extremely quickly.
This price is valid until the end of 2020, we have been informed that Cape Nature is increasing the trail price in 2021 because of the upgrade to the facilities.
Whale Trail Hikes start at Potberg – Welcome to De Hoop! 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. Sitting under the Southern Cross, enjoying the night sky you will treated to a traditional SA braai (barbecue) paired with regional wines. One of your guides Ralph, will discuss the night sky and the stars and constellations visible at the time of the trail, with no distracting town or city lights the stars appear unbelievably close. Thereafter a thorough briefing of the hike and what can be expected on the trail will be given by the guide.
Whale Trail Experience
The Whale Trail is a 6 day 5 night coastal wilderness hiking trail in one of the planets most beautiful & ecologically diverse floral kingdoms, the De Hoop Nature Reserve in the Western Cape, South Africa. 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, we have done 11 Whale Trails for local and international guests with great success. At R1750 per person per day – including accommodation, fully catered and and guided, its a steal.
Potberg to Cupidoskraal 15 km
We rise early for a hearty breakfast, fueling for our Potberg ascent. 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. We stop for a well deserved rest and coffee break at the ‘view point’ overlooking the Breede River and the Malgas Pont
Cupidoskraal to Noetsie 15 km
The trail follows the crest of the Potberg through mountain fynbos with unequaled views of the Indian Ocean and the Breede River. 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.
Noetsie to Hamerkop 7.8 km
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.
Hamerkop to Vaalkrans 10.5 km
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 .
Vaalkrans to Koppie Alleen 7 km
Due to the final day’s walk of the trail being relatively short, we have ample time to explore and swim in 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 where we collect our baggage and say goodbye to the jewel of Cape Nature’s Floral Kingdom– The De Hoop Nature Reserve.
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.