“This Green Flag slackpacking trail is not to be missed. Set out on a 3 day hike with your next visit to the Western Cape.”
Hiking Trail Description
This Green Flag slackpacking trail, centred around South Africa’s famous Great White shark cage diving and whale watching capital of Gansbaai, basically consists of three days’ hiking (with alternative shorter as well as self-catering options). The trail provides fascinating insight into the area – famous for its shipwrecks and infamous for its Perlemoen (abalone) poaching! This is a trail for whale watchers, fynbos lovers and cultural enthusiasts with wide open beaches, intimate coves for swimming, sea cliffs with pounding waves and amazingly unknown limestone caves.
On day 1 the trail hugs the coast from De Dam to Buffelsjag (15km) with the option of walking to Pearly Beach (another 7 km). On day 2 the trail follows the beach to Franskraal (12 km) and day 3 runs from Gansbaai, along the rocky coast, with its caves and excellent whale watching, to Die Plaat (8km).
DAY 1 (15km): Hike through coastal fynbos, along rocky coasts, fascinating limestone sea cliffs and outstretched sandy beaches, past Quoin Point lighthouse with an unique fisherman’s lunch (with alikrekel pastries and abalone specially prepared for the hikers) at Buffelsjag. Visit the sand-engulfed ‘Spookdorp’ and swim in the tidal pool. Meet local fisherman en route and after the hike recline at the Pearly Beach B&B with a cold beer/cool drink alongside a swimming pool while potjiekos or braai is being prepared. A longer – extra 7km option, over easy flat terrain along the coast, is also available – including the Otari Maru shipwreck.
DAY 2 (13km): Follow the rocky coast and remote white sandy beaches along the ‘Gruis’ where there is ample opportunity to swim in rock pools or surf the waves. You are bound to see dolphins playing in the surf, seals scattering over rocky shores as well as the endangered Black Oyster Catcher and multitudes of other sea birds. The hike ends at the Uilkraals Nature Reserve and a visit to the little Strandveld museum where you can listen to the tragic stories of shipwrecks of days gone by as told by the writer SJ Fourie and her husband Oom Pyp Fourie. Overnight in a luxury B&B in Kleinbaai.
DAY 3 (8km): Walk along the unsurpassed scenic beauty of the cliffs at De Kelders with its world class whale viewing, crawl into limestone caves not accessible to the general public (some of them optional for the more adventurous); unparallel views over the coast at Die Plaat with intimate coves for swimming along the trail and massive breakers thundering against the sea cliffs… and then finally rounding off the experience with a dinner at the vernacular Buitesteen Pub.
NOTE: A two day option is a small version of the renowned Whale trail: the Walker BayWhale Walk (alias Whale petit). It is a combination of Day 1 and 3 of the Perlemoen trail described above.The three day option is the Perlemoen trail described above. Budget (self-catering options) are also available.
Nearby Guesthouses: Pearly Shells B&B, Pearly Beach, (www.pearlybeachguesthouse.co.za), The Ark, P/Beach.(www.the-ark.co.za), Haus Giotto, De Kelders, Gansbaai (www.hausgiotto.com), Aire del Mar, Kleinbaai, Gansbaai. (www.airedelmar.co.za)