Whale Trail

De Hoop Nature Reserve – Augulus

Moderate

This is one of South Africa’s iconic trails in an important natural area. It’s claim fame is that it is one of the best places to view the Southern Right whales that migrate from the Southern Ocean to this part of the world between July and November. It is difficult to get a booking on the trail at this time, because of it’s popularity. The trail is offered as a ‘slackpacking’ option by Cape Nature, who operate the trail – meaning that they provide an option to transport the overnight luggage and food from one venue to the next – hiker only need to carry their day packs.

Wholly within the De Hoop Nature Reserve, the trail starts at the Potberg Rest Camp, where groups overnight before starting the trail in the morning. It is a 4½ day walk with the first two days being inland, arriving at Noetzie, the overnight accommodation on the coast at  at the end of the second day. The last 2½ days are along the coast, with a variation of cliff paths, rocky coastline and sandy beaches and one or two swimming opportunities.

Underfoot the trail varies considerably between firm well defined path, rock bands, stony and uneven and sandy. A good level of fitness and robust footwear is recommended.

Platteklip Tours and Trails supports this trail by offering the additional services of catering, guiding and logistical support in getting to the start. The trail accommodates a maximum of 12 people, so groups are usually between 8 and 10 (2 guides) and booking has to be made and paid for a year in advance. Occasionally there may be vacancies in the off peak season of January to June.