Whale Trail, De Hoop Nature Reserve

The Whale Trail is one of the slackpacking trails in South Africa, running through a World Heritage Site, The Cape Floral Protected Region. It is one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done. Whales, Dolphins, precious fynbos, great bunch of hikers, fantastic accommodation and even 2 days of sunshine! What more to ask for?

I was so lucky because I was on the waitinglist for this hike. Sean had already made a booking about a year ago and 12 people signed up within a day. And I REALLY wanted to do this hike. 2 weeks before the start, Sean phoned me: I was in, if I still wanted. Of course! What a question! I was so excited and happy. Also nice distraction from whatever else was going on in my life. No cell phone for 5 days, I was looking forward to it.

Packed with enough food, wine and clothes for at least a month, we all arrived late afternoon at the first overnight accommodation at Potberg. Beautiful! The next 2 days we each hiked about 15 km and these were the toughest days of the trail. These days were fillend with sites of beautiful fynbos and flowers.

Beautiful flower of which I forgot the name...

Beautiful flower of which I forgot the name...

From day 3 you start walking along the coastline and then obviously you spot the wonderful whales and we also saw many schools of dolpins. See here my favourite spot.

Braai area at Noetsie beach

Braai area at Noetzie Beach


Lovely place to stay at Noetzie Beach

Lovely place to stay at Noetzie Beach

It’s really not a difficult trail as all your luggage is transported and you only need a day pack. We soon learned though that it was quite a good idea to keep some ‘essentials’ in your day pack because the boxes would often arrive much later than us. Especially the day when we were soaking wet from the rain and we all had to warm up by the fire, no clean clothes, no sleeping bag…Day 3 and 4 we had to suffer quite a bit from the rain and wind. Best was just to keep walking not to get cold. We didn’t even sit down for lunch.

See the whales...

See the whales...

During Whale Season (june – november) this trail is booked out about a year in advance. It’s about ZAR 1700 per person including transportation of your luggage. You can either make a booking for 6 or 12 but I would recommend to make a booking for 12 otherwise you’ll need to share rooms, kitchen etc. with another group which is not very convenient.

The last 2 days you’ll walk along beautiful rock pools. I brought my snorkling gear but unfortunately the weather was not so great that we could snorkle. We might come back in Feb and just come to relax and chill and enjoy the warm water.

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