6 Coastal multiday hikes to add to your bucket list

Posted on 12 September 2023 By Jordyn Johnson

Not much can compare to the sound of the ocean, the views of blue stretching onto the horizon, and the spray of the waves.

If you are a hiking nerd with a passion for adventure, these six coastal multiday hikes should definitely be added to your bucket list.

READ: Top hiking trails around Pretoria

Pondo Trail

One of the few ocean-tumbling waterfalls in the world. Credit: Matthew Sterne

‘The Pondo Trail is not a hike; it’s a journey, an experience, an adventure,’ as Wild Child Africa describes it.

The Pondo Trail has been carefully chosen to give hikers the best possible experiences. It is a guided four-night hike fully catered for, allowing guests to ‘travel light’ and explore the unique environment. The ground crew ensures hikers’ bags are at the overnight stops each night, the fire is warm, and the champagne is cold.

If the tide allows, oysters are harvested, or crayfish are caught and cooked for a lunchtime braai beneath the milkwoods. The trail guides are extremely knowledgeable and will take time to point out the endemic animals, birds, and plants you come across along the hike.

Wild Coast Hike

The Wild Coast Hike is another of the coastal hikes that offers views of rolling hills splattered with colourful huts and untouched beaches frequented by cows. It usually starts in Port St. Johns and ends by Coffee Bay, stopping in rural villages each night.

The hike is a 61-km four-night trail led by local guides and porters. There are six river crossings generally done in rowboats, although some can be waded across during low tide.

The guides offer insight into local daily life, traditional cooking, and the Xhosa language and can even give a surf lesson or two. The Wild Coast Hike is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the diverse South African cultures and ways of life that occur in this country.

READ: 12 best South African multi-day hikes that should be on everyone’s wishlist

Whale Trail

coastal hikes

The Whale Trail is a 55 km hike between Potberg and Koppie Alleen in the gorgeous De Hoop Nature Reserve, one of the world’s ‘best land-based whale-watching spots.’

This trail is slack-packing at its finest, where your luggage is transported to your next accommodation each night. The five overnight stops are spent in beautiful and unique accommodations in the reserve.

Along the trail, you will enjoy views of the Breede River Valley and the Indian Ocean. If you are lucky enough to hike the Whale Trail between June and November, southern right whales migrate to this coastline to breed and care for their young.

De Hoop Trail – Vlei To Whales

coastal hikes

De Hoop Trail is also situated in the De Hoop Nature Reserve. Qualified marine/nature guides lead this 38-km 4-day hike.

It is a fully-catered hike that includes all meals and even local House wines. Each evening is spent at the luxurious De Mond Villa alongside a bird-rich Vlei.

Learn more about this spectacular nature reserve and the flora and fauna it homes while hiking through it.

Walker Bay Diversity Trail

This five-day, four-night slackpacking hike takes you along South Africa’s south-west coast and through forests and fynbos.

An experienced Diversity Trail team will ensure that you are treated to some of the best locally sourced cuisine at each meal, that the finest wines in the region will be available to you at the end of each day, and that you get a good night’s sleep at Bellavista Country Place each night.

A FGASA-qualified guide will accompany you on your daily hike, giving you exclusive access to private Walker Bay trails, taking you to the archeological Klipgat Cave, and hopefully helping you spot a whale or two along the way.

Oystercatcher Trail

coastal hikes

Hike the Garden Route along one of the world’s best coastal hikes, the Oystercatcher Route, placed in the top 50 hikes in the world by the BBC.

The trail is set between Mossel Bay and the Gourikwa Private Nature Reserve and takes you across the Gouritz River. It is a professionally guided walking tour that takes hikers along dunes, cliffs, beaches, and fynbos as you walk along the rugged coastline of the South Cape.

The Oystercatcher Trail is a slackpacking pleasure, as your bags are transported to your comfortable overnight accommodation each evening. With only a day pack, you’ll have more capacity to explore the area you’re hiking through.

Pictures: Getaway Gallery

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