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Essential data

Group size:

Minimum 6 Maximum 12 people. Age > 8yrs.


[3] - Easy for regular hikers, strenuous if you are of average fitness and do not hike often.
Neville rating [24.04]


5 days 5 nights 55Km

Typical day:

4-8 hours average day covers between 7 and 15 kilometres.


Luxury cape style cottages including solar lighting and water, kitchen, living areas and bathrooms.


Firewood and excellent braai facilities with NO pots

Departure point

Potberg, Bredasdorp

Finish point:

Koppie Alleen, De Hoop Nature Reserve, Bredasdorp (transfer back to Potberg included)

Getting there:

Take the N2 to Caledon, turn off to Bredasdorp,turn right onto gravel for De Hoop and Potberg, continue to Potberg.

Best time of year

Whales: July-November
Birding: September-April
Winter rainfall: June-August

Trail operator

Cape Nature
Tel : 27 (0)28 425 5020


In addition to the basic equipment list please view the hiking list.
Trails for Africa Whale trail, De hoop reserve
This is a SELF ORGANISE trail!    Please make your own bookings for this trail using trail operator details at bottom of left hand column

The new five-day Whale Hiking Trail that has been developed by Cape Nature at the De Hoop Nature Reserve near Bredasdorp. The trail traverses one of the Western Cape's most unique and diverse nature reserves, while providing nature lovers and those who love the outdoors with unique comfortable overnight accommodation situated at spectacular locations.

The route stretches over 55 km from Potberg to Koppie Alleen, and includes five overnight stops. The trail offers the opportunity to explore the unsurpassed natural diversity of the De Hoop Nature Reserve, where the fragrance of fynbos on the Potberg mountains and the unique limestone fynbos plains intermingle with the salty sea air of the marine protected area. Along the way, hikers can marvel at the abundance of indigenous plants while looking for members of the last remaining vulture colony in the Western Cape,numerous other bird species and small antelope.

And, yes, of course the whales! De Hoop is world-renowned as one of the best whale-watching spots. Between June and December, this coastline is transformed into one of the world's most important nursery areas for southern right whales.

Whale watchers regularly stand in awe at the sight of more than 50 of these sea giants lying a mere kilometre from the coast.

The cottages - ranging from Arniston-style houses to A-framed thatched "kapstyl" cottages - are located at the foot of the Potberg mountains, nestled along the coastline and perched high on a sea cliff. "Roughing it" wasn't part of the package when the overnight accommodation was planned. The five cottages all have a kitchen and living area, modern bathrooms and toilets, warm water, mattresses, firewood and solar powered lights. Most of the overnight facilities have built-in braais.

The trail is designed to attract nature lovers with a moderate degree of fitness. Unfortunately, no children under eight years are allowed.

Portage can be arranged between the overnight cottages for a fee.

Please note that water is not always available between overnight stops, especially during summer months, and you should always start the day with a full water bottle.

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Potberg to Cupidoskraal (15km)This is the toughest stretch and an early start is recommended. You ascend the Potberg under the watch ful eyes of gliding Cape vvultures and clumb up to the highest point of the trail where you are rewarded with spectacular views. The trail descends along the watershed above Grootkloof where you will find erica and protea species that grow only here and nowhere else in the world!

Day 2: Cupidoskraal to Noetsie (14.7km)The trail follows the crest of the Potberg through mountain fynbos with unequalled views of the Indian Ocean and the Breede River. The route finally exits Potberg and leads onto limestone hills with strinkingly different fynbos, then descends to the enchanting bay of Noetsie at the coast.

Day 3: Noetsie to Hamerkop (7.8km)There is ample time for exploring the coastline on this stretch. Stilgat is a most enjoyable stop. Several vantage points lie ahead until you reach a beach stretching a short distance to Hamerkop Cottage.

Day 4: Hamerkop to Vaalkrans (10.5km)The long beachwalk can be quite strenuous. Allow time to rest. On the way you pass Lekkergat Lodge. Please respect the privacy of the guests. Look out for the shy oystercatchers and whitebreasted cormorants basking in the sun. The intertidal pools on the wavecut rock platforms and coral reeds are remarkable sights. the last stretch to Vaalkrans ambles through diverse coastal vegetation.

Day 5: Vaalkrans to Koppie Alleen (7km)This is a short hike through coastal thickets with ample time to soak up the last of the scenic landscapes. there are two alternative routes for high and low tide. Hippo Pools offers great swimming before the path leads up to Koppie Alleen where the trail ends.

We are not liable for any loss, damage or injury on your side; your travel insurance should include accident, health cover and emergency rescue.

Please Note:Terms and conditions apply. We reserve the right to change prices if necessary.

File images
Beach at Noetsie
Beach at Noetsie

spectacular coastal erosion
spectacular coastal erosion

Vaalkrans cottages
Vaalkrans cottages

Cupidoskraal cottage
Cupidoskraal cottage

No need to hurry
No need to hurry

another day on the trail
another day on the trail

Fynbos for Africa
Fynbos for Africa

Southern right whale breaching
Southern right whale breaching

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