We know the way!


Due to its immense popularity, the De Hoop Whale Trail is very difficult to secure. Bookings are made 1 year in advance through Cape Nature.


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



De Hoop Whale Trail start is  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.  Thereafter a thorough briefing of the hike and what can be expected on the trail will be given by the guide.




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.




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. 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.




Day 3 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.




On day 4 of De Hoop Whale Trail 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 .




Because Day 5 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.


What is the trail going to cost me?

Whale Trail Price. From  R13 000.00 per person.

Professionally guided by FGASA Field and  Marine and Cape Tourism guides  husband and wife team Ralph and Gill.

Ralph has guiding since 1992, both with 9 years of Whale Trail guiding experience, we have done over 15 Whale Trails for local and international guests with great success. At R 2180.00 per person per day – including accommodation, fully catered and and guided, its a steal. 

Southern Right Whale info




Available dates

Because the Whale Trail Hike is so popular and difficult to book for, bookings must be made 1 year in advance. If you have have a preferred date in mind we will try your best to secure a booking for you, or slot you onto one of our existing booked trails.

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 time to 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 only need to carry a small day-pack with water, camera, rain jacket, sun screen etc. The rest of your belongings are transported by vehicle to the next overnight accommodation. 

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.

WALKING TOURS - all year

We have the following walking tours you can choose from throughout the year

Hermanus Walks

Walks in and around the Hermanus/Overberg region.

read more

Fernkloof Reserve

Experience the unrivaled Fynbos of Fernkloof Reserve

read more

Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve

The unspoiled World Heritage Site

read more


The Cederberg is a treasure trove of Bushman art 

read more

Overberg Wine walk

The Hemel en Aarde valley is home to our wine walks

read more

De Hoop Whale Trail

The solitude of five nights in the De Hoop Reserve

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