Whale Hiking Trail – Spotting South Africa’s Marine Life
South Africa’s varying landscapes provides many stunning hikes for all those interested to participate in. One of these spectacular hikes is the new Whale Trail found in the De Hoop Nature Reserve, near Bredasdorp and Swellendam in the Western Cape. This Coastal trail contains a combination of mountain and coastal walking, so if you are an avid whale and dolphin lover make a note to self, as this is one hike you don’t want to miss - and don't forget your camera! The Whale trail certainly is diversified; one moment you are admiring the fynbos and the next you have the beautiful and inviting rock pools and bare dunes to admire.
South Africa’s Whale Trail starts at Potberg and stretches 54Kms to Koppie Alleen, containing five overnight stops. For those worried about how to make their way back to Potberg, don’t fear there will be no need to hitchhike, a shuttle service is provided to take your weary bodies back to your vehicles.
Then the fun begins with a challenging trail of 14, 7km long to get you straight into your 6day hike. An early start is suggested if you’re to complete this leg at an average hikers pace of 8hours which will take you to the top of Potberg. At 611metres high, the view is spectacular! From this position you can scan the North, where Swellendam is situated, the East for Cape Infante and Cape Agulhas positioned in the North, so take a few minutes to catch your breath. Eventually when you make your descent down to Cupidoskraal, you can take your rest in the lovely cool waters of the dam awaiting you. Once you leave the Potberg Mountains, you will hike through limestone hills taking you nearer to the Indian Ocean lapping the coast for that well deserved dip.
The “Kaapstylhuisies” or A-frame huts with thatched roofs give the hiker a good night’s rest after each gruelling day. Each hut can accommodate 12 people easily and all have, except Noetsie, a built in braai to make all the meals. Although it will be necessary to bring your own bedding for your nights rest warm water, mattresses, firewood and solar powered lighting make for a very comfortable Whale Trail hike.