UPCOMING HIKES

6-11 March 2022 (SOLD OUT)

12-17 April 2022 - with Chef Lush Zelewitz (SOLD OUT)

Deal Summary

Includes: Accommodation, hiking permits and hike facilitator. All meals and transport from end to beginning point. One 70litre container per person for personal belongings.

Excludes: Transportation to and from De Hoop. Drinks and Snacks

THE WHALE TRAIL

The Whale Trail is an unforgettable experience, taking you through one of the Western Cape’s most unique and diverse nature reserves. The route stretches over 55km, from Potberg to Koppie Alleen, with five overnight stops (hikers spend the first night at Potberg before starting the trail). The unspoiled natural beauty on this trail is unsurpassable, leading through lush fynbos and offering stunning views of the coast. De Hoop is known as one of the best land-based whale-watching spots in the world. Between June and November, the coastline is transformed as southern right whales migrate here to breed and look after their young.

ITINERARY
Potberg hut.jpg

Potberg to Cupidoskraal

Trail distance: 15km
Estimated time: 8 hours
Get up early to tackle the first, and toughest, stretch of the trail. Hikers will walk to the top of Potberg (611m), which has breathtaking panoramic views of Swellendam, the Indian Ocean and the Breede River, Cape Infanta, and Cape Agulhas. Keep your eyes open for the rare Cape vulture. The trail descends along the watershed above Grootkloof towards Cupidoskraal, where you will find erica and protea species that grow only here and nowhere else in the world! You can end your day by cooling off in the refreshing dam.

Intention: Day 1

07:00 Morning circle. First check in.

Breakfast and departure.

Potberg Hill process. Intention. Grounding. Meditation.  

Evening check out before dinner.

Cupidos Kraal.jpg

Cupidoskraal to Noetsie

Trail distance: 14.7km
Estimated time: 8 hours
On the second day, hikers walk to the Noetsie cottages. The Noetsie cottages have been rebuilt on the footprint of the old cabins, with minimum ecological impact in mind. Day Two’s trail follows the crest of the Potberg through mountain fynbos with unequaled views of the Indian Ocean and the Breede River. The route finally exits Potberg and leads onto limestone hills with strikingly different fynbos, then descends to the enchanting bay of Noetsie at the coast.

Intention: Day 2

07:00 Morning circle. Morning check in.

Breakfast and departure.

Intention. Reflection. What do you need. (For yourself and/or from others).

Reflection. One thing that you learnt about another person. (Nothing personal). One thing you learnt about yourself. (Can be personal)

Any other reflections.

Check out and dinner.

Whale-Trail-New-Noetsie-hut.jpg

Noetsie to Hamerkop

Trail distance: 7.8km
Estimated time: 6 hours (3 hours of actual walking with the rest suggested for several break periods).
There is ample time for exploring the coastline on this stretch, as day three takes you along the coast, with the Marine Protected Area on your left. Stilgat is a most enjoyable stop. Several vantage points lie ahead until you reach a beach stretching a short distance to Hamerkop Cottage.

Intention: Day 3

07:00 Check in circle on the rocks. Facing East. Sunrise meditation.

Intention. Inward orientation. How are you feeling right now?

Mantra – I receive renewal and energy in abundance from the rising sun.

Intention. Rejuvenation.

Today is a solo walk. Walk with yourself, in silence. You may pass another person. Greet in silence. You can reconnect and chat when you arrive at camp.

Reflection. What was your solo walk like?

Any other reflections.

Check out and dinner.

Hammerkop.jpg

Hamerkop to Vaalkrans

Trail distance: 10.5km
Estimated time: 6 hours
The long beach walk on day four can be quite strenuous. Allow time to rest. On the way, you pass Lekkerwater Lodge. Look out for the shy oystercatchers and white-breasted cormorants basking in the sun. The intertidal pools on the wave-cut rock platforms and coral reefs are remarkable sights. The last stretch to Vaalkrans ambles through diverse coastal vegetation. 

Intention: Day 4

*Start earlier and cross before low tide

07:00 Check in circle on the beach. Mother Earth Meditation.  

Intention. Connect with nature and the collective consciousness.

Beach walk – take a break for a breathing exercise.

Intention. Energy through breath. Breathing exercise.

Reflection.

Check out and dinner.

Vaalkrans-Hut.jpg

Vaalkrans to Koppie Alleen

Trail distance: 7km
Estimated time: 6 hours (3 hours of actual walking with the rest suggested for several break periods).
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.

Intention: Day 5

07:00 Circle on the beach.

Intention. Blessing. Giving and receiving. Bless another person.

Hippo Pool cold water swim. Intention. Wash off negativity and claim positivity.

Cleansing ceremony. What part of yourself are you leaving behind? Everyone states what they are leaving behind. What am I claiming for myself from the last four days? Statement.

Final check out and anchoring on top of the hill at Koppie Alleen.

 

ACCOMMODATION:

​There are five comfortable cottages along the Whale Trail, which accommodate up to 12 people.
They consist of mostly 3 bedrooms with 4 bunk beds per room and a well-equipped kitchen with a 2-plate gas hob.
The following items are also provided at each hut: induction kettle, pots, pans, cutlery and crockery, sunlight liquid, candles, matches, toilet paper and 45 pieces of wood. We do not supply or sell firelighters.
Other than Noetsie where there is only an outdoor braai, all the other huts have indoor and outdoor braai facilities (grids provided).
Gas geysers supply hot water for both the kitchen and showers.
There are ports for cell phones to be charged.

PACKING GUIDELINES

Comfortable shoes for walking on uneven ground

Hat and sunblock

Insect repellent (between October and April)

Long trousers for walking

Small cooler bag

Swimming costume and towel (November to March)

Torch and spare batteries

Warm clothes

Water bottle

We recommend that you also bring your own toilet paper and a small spade for the trail itself.

Hikers need to bring their own bedding.

We will provide a suggested packing list timeously.

Process work

Clive and Pieter are tourism professionals and hiking enthusiasts. They are also fans of process work learned in the Entrepreneurs' Organization and the Mankind Project. As such, a gentle but powerful daily process of mindfulness and setting intention will be followed in the morning and evenings. This will require respecting technology abstinence at mealtimes and full engagement with the group work.

 

FITNESS

The Whale Trail is a slackpacking experience, which means the bulk of your gear is transported from one overnight stop to another. We do however suggest going for a 5-10 km walk/hike at least twice a week, no less than four weeks prior to the hike (depending on your general fitness). You don’t have to do these walks with any weight, however including hills at least once a week would be very beneficial for the legs.

 

SIGN UP AND PAYMENT

A 50% non-refundable deposit is required to participate. Balance of payment required 30 days before the event. Should you be unable to come on the walk due to personal reasons, we will endeavor to fill your spot with a like-minded individual and facilitate a refund.

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