Whale Trail closed for maintenance until 2020

Posted by Christi Nortier on 7 May 2019

The Whale Trail has been closed for maintenance and construction work which is due to finish in 2020.

The trail is in the De Hoop Nature Reserve which is managed by CapeNature. It promise new overnight lapas and a safer and easier route to Stilgat for snorkelling and swimming. The cottages on the trail will be solar-powered and have filtered water.

They have recently finished renovations to the Noetsie cottages which hikers reach on the second day.

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magic overnight hut #noetzie

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The reserve is one of the largest managed by CapeNature – a whopping 34,000 hectares. The marine reserve stretches out to 5km at sea. CapeNature reports that this is one of the largest marine protected areas in Africa. Not only this, but it is also a World Heritage Site because of its plant diversity.


This stretch of coastline is considered one of the best places in the world to watch whales from land during the breeding season between June and November. CapeNature estimates that 120 whales return to this stretch of coastline each year to mate and calve.

On land, hikers can spot eland, Cape mountain zebra, caracal and even leopard. The reserve is the home of the only breeding colony of the Cape vulture in the Western Cape.

This slack-packing trail covers 55km over five days. Hikers traverse terrain that ranges from mountains to beaches, difficult to easy-going and 7km to 15km every day. They stay in self-catering accommodation that ranges from ‘Arniston-style units’ to A-framed thatched ‘kapstyl’ cottages which can all sleep 12 people.

Feature image: CapeNature.

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