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Whale Trail


25th - 30th January 2023 - FULLY BOOKED

One of the most iconic multi-day slack-packing adventure to grab a spot on, is The Whale Trail. It starts at Potberg, about 30km from Bredasdorp in the Western Cape, and winds 55km down to and along the shore of some of the most beautiful coastline in the World. Reputed as being one of the best land-based places on the planet for whale watching. This is a truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

If you've been dreaming of hiking the Whale Trail, but don't have a group of friends to do it with, or you simply don't want to tackle the planning and logistics, then this adventure is for you.


Homed within De Hoop Nature Reserve, the  Whale Trail starts at Potberg. Breaking this gorgeous route down into easily manageable segments this 5 day slack-packing adventure comes with full catering, or self-catering options. 

whale Trail route overview

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What to pack (minimum packing list)

  • 1 x Backpack (Min 5litre with capacity for 2.5 litres of water plus personal snacks/nutrition)

  • 1 x Emergency whistle & space blanket

  • 1 x Plastic emergency poncho

  • 1 x Headlamp 

  • Sunscreen

  • Camera

  • Binoculars

  • Appropriate clothing

    • Windproof & waterproof layer

    • Sun protection

    • Buff, gloves, beanie 

    • Trail shoes or Hiking boots 

  • Personal medication with instructions (if relevant)

A fully comprehensive list will be provided.


Day 1 ~ Potberg

Meet, greet and settle! Settling into Potberg Hut around 2pm, we will relax into the adventure and prep for our first day of hiking early in the morning. We will share a briefing on the route, ways of operating for everyone’s comfort and what to expect each day on the trails.


Day 2 ~ Potberg to Cupidosraal (15km/6-8hours)

We’re off! With most of the ascent tackled on this first day, it is considered the toughest of the lot. We’ll journey through unique fynbos up to our second overnight stop where the views, sometimes shared with Cape Vultures riding the thermals, are phenomenal and well worth the climb!


Day 3 ~ Cupidosraal to Noetsie (15km/4-8hours)

Following the ridge of Potberg we journey down to the Sea! The views of the Indian Ocean and Breede River are spectacular with fascinating limestone hills and noticeably different fynbos vegetation. Spotting some of the local wildlife is very possible as we descend down to Noetsie bay on the shoreline. 

Day 4 ~ Noetsie to Hamerkop ( 7.8km/3-6hours)

One of the shorted days, stopping at StilGat with time to enjoy the magnificent rock pools and caves along the coast. Walking along the cliff tops offer unparalleled views proving that this trail offers one of the best land-based whale-watching opportunities in the world. 


Day 5 ~ Hamerkop to Vaalkrans (10.5km/3-6 hours)

Today is a beach day - wandering along the white sand for most of the day we’ll be on the lookout for all the local birdlife! Spotting white fronted plovers, cormorants and the shy oyster catchers is a delightful distraction from the incredible tidal pools, rock formations and blow holes that dot the coastline. Our final destination is perched atop a cave.


Day 6 ~ Vaalkrans to Koppie Alleen (7km/3-6hours)

Not wanting to rush this final (short) hike day, we’ll take time to explore the Hippo Pools, swim and enjoy the scenery. Once we reach Koppie Alleen our shuttle will be ready to take us back to Potberg Hut, the end of this enchanting adventure!

Southern Right Whale breaches on Western Cape coastline, South Africa.jpg

Self catering Option ~ R7,500pp

  • Certified Guides

  • Hiking Permit & Conservation Fees

  • 5 Nights Accommodation

  • Shuttle from finish to start​

  • All luggage portering 

Fully catered option ~ R9,500pp

  • Certified Guides

  • Hiking Permit & Conservation Fees

  • 5 Nights Accommodation

  • All dinner and breakfasts

  • Shuttle from finish to start​

  • All luggage portering

Optional add on

- Pick-up and return from CPT International Airport (R1500pp)

~ Daily snack packs (R420 for 5 packs)

Leave No Trace and safety principles


Nyati-X follows the Leave No Trace principles (LNT) and this extends to all those who join us on our adventures. We do this because it


  • Protects the environment for you and future generations 

  • Improves your experience - An unspoiled area allows for a richer and improved experience for everyone. 

  • Following the laws and rules ensures the sustainability of the resources


~ I love hiking, but am I fit enough?

This trail is broken down into 5 stages, the longest being on Days 1 and 2, and the toughest of those being on Day 1 where we climb to the highest point in the trail. This is not a race, it’s an adventure so there is no rush and each day we have the entire day to make our way from hut to hut. So, if you can hike for 3-4 hours - you will be fine. If you’d like a training plan, nip on over to our Shop and pop one in your Cart. We’re happy to provide you with guidance on how to feel confident and strong enough for this adventure.


~ Remind where the Whale Trail starts and ends?

The trail starts at Potberg Hut in the De Hoop Nature Reserve. This is about 30km outside of Bredasdorp. We end at Koppie Alleen where a shuttle will transport us back to the starting point for transfer back to Cape Town. 


~ What about my stuff? How does that get moved around?

The awesome staff of De Hoop NR will move our luggage from hut to hut each day while we slack-pack along the segments. Each person need only carry their day pack with water, snacks, sunblock and phone/camera. Each person will get a 70-L container to use for all the other bits and pieces - this is what will be transported every day between huts. No additional boxes/bags or containers will be allowed (so pack lightly!)


~ Tell me about the accommodation? 

There are 5 overnight huts or cottages along the route. This is shared accommodation with dorm rooms sometimes sleeping up to 4 people. Bunk beds are common and you’ll need to bring your own towel, sleeping bag and pillow.


~ What are the facilities like at each hut or cottage?

While each overnight stop is unique, there are some common denominators:

  • All the cottages are solar powered with solar fridge and/or gas geyser.

  • Gas stove

  • Ablutions (toilets)

  • Braai grid and wood 

  • Cutlery, crockery and kettle


~ Can you tell me about water - do I need to bring any?

You can expect to carry your drinking water from each hut to the next (there is no natural water sources along the route) but all the water at each hut is perfectly drinkable.


~ Is this the best time to go?

The ‘best time’ depends entirely on your preferred weather conditions - although the weather is always a little unpredictable in the Cape. The Whales are active from June to October with the most beautiful protea displays between the end of April and the start of July. May through September are the cooler months which is lovely for hiking, while December through February are great for dips in the ocean and tidal pools along the route.


~ Can I bring my kids?

Sorry, but we are best suited to guide Adults. Kids under 18 will need to stay at home.


~ Do I need to opt for the Guided, full catering option?

Absolutely not! Both options are guided, but if you would prefer to sort your own food or meet us at De Hoop Nature Reserve (skip the shuttle!) that is absolutely no problem. Choose your preference when booking.


~ I want to join but would like to split the payments - do you offer a payment plan?

Yes, no problem. You may reserve your spot with a min deposit of R2,500 and pay the balance by 20th December 2023.


- What equipment do I need?

You'll need trail shoes, a day pack pack (for snacks and water),a waterproof layer and emergency poncho incase the weather turns wet. We will send you a full packing list with your Briefing Doc closer to the Adventure.

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