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Exciting Whale Hiking Tour South Africa

Along the Cape Whale Coast, there is incredible marine life all year including Bryde Whales, dolphins, seals and you may even see Orcas. The well-known Southern Right Whales visit between June and November each year. The team has created the ‘Walk with Whales’, slightly east on exactly the same coastline as The Whale Trail - where the whales travel past from Hermanus to the Garden Route. Wild Wellness has taken a year and a half to discover the best walking routes, water points, accommodation stops, daily distances, and more. There is also a deep understanding of the logistics of the hike and will make sure that you have an incredible experience and a memorable walk. Wild Wellness takes care of all of the details so that you can soak up the magic. The Whale Trail ends at Koppie Alleen, which is just 30 kilometers up the beach from where your Walk With Whales begins. The beauty and scenery are similar, the terrain is easier and the whales come in closer! View the marine life from the coastal paths, beaches, and mountain peaks. The whale watching in the winter months is spectacular. This is also a fabulous summer hike.

Highlights

  • All permits, park fees, conservation fees, admin fees, and booking fees
  • Comprehensive packing list and packing guidelines emailed 4 weeks before the hike
  • Cartage of your luggage between houses
  • Dedicated ‘back up’ in Hermanus during the hike
  • 6-week fitness program leading up to the hike
  • Safe parking for your car while you are on the hike
  • 5 nights accommodation in either chalets or self-catering houses
  • Daily breakfast and dinner as well as coffee, tea, and wine

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

6 days with instruction
Group size: 10-12 participants
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Accommodation

During this hiking trip, you will stay in three locations during your five nights. The emphasis of our accommodation is location, comfort, cleanliness, and most importantly - what type of accommodation you would like to sleep in. The accommodation included is either chalets or self-catering houses. This means that you will share common spaces, rooms, and bathrooms. You are welcome to upgrade if you would prefer your own space and private en-suite bathroom.

Program

Fitness

You have to be able to be on your feet for at least 6 hours a day, and walking fit. Quite simply, the fitter you are, the more you will enjoy the hike. To help with this, Wild Wellness will supply you with a free 6-week fitness program run on WhatsApp, carefully designed for the hikes, to specifically build you up to a level that you will be able to enjoy the whole experience, be walking fit and strong around your knees and thighs.

Luggage

This is a slack packing experience, which means that your luggage is taken between houses by us, and you only hike with your day pack. Wild Wellness will send you a detailed packing list and requirements.

Arniston to Agulhas

Route A: 55 kilometers

This walk takes you past the Southern tip of Africa where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, passing turquoise seas, pristine beaches, and calcrete rock formations found only along this coastline. You will explore caves, harbors, nature reserves, small coastal villages, protected wetlands with incredible bird life, shipwrecks, farmsteads, and the second-oldest lighthouse in South Africa.

The majority of the walk is along the coast, and therefore essentially flat. On this route, you stay in four locations over the five nights, that have been carefully selected. The locations are all close to nature. This walk is remote and you will see very few people not in your group. This walk is for nature lovers.

Day 1: Day of arrival (4 kilometers)

Arrive in Arniston around 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. where there is safe parking for your cars for the duration of your walk. Let Wild Wellness know if you need an airport transfer or a lift from Hermanus. Your will start off with an interesting orientation walk of the Strandlopers (beach walkers). You will see their fish traps, and shell middens, and have a chance to understand how they lived.

If the tide allows, you will also have an opportunity to explore a large and beautiful sea cave only accessible at low tide. Dinner with the local fishing community in Kassiesbaai. A wonderful, authentic, traditional dinner and a night of song, stories, and laughter, that you will never forget. Your accommodation overlooks the ocean, harbor, and all the charms that Arniston has to offer.

Day 2: (12 kilometers)

An early departure with breakfast en route. From there you venture along the beach for 12 kilometers before reaching a river mouth. At certain times of the year, this entire stretch of beach is known for whales venturing as close as 20 meters to the shore. The team will fetch you and take you to your accommodation where you will spend the next two nights.

These are Cape-style fishing cottages with white walls and thatch roofs, and beautifully appointed. They are right next to the turquoise, flat ocean where you will continue to hear the music of the Southern Right Whales through the night. It’s magical. A delicious dinner is served where you can relax in the comfort of your cottage.

Day 3: (13 kilometers)

A leisurely start around low tide, after a lovely continental breakfast in your cottage. Being on the Indian Ocean the water is warmer and the swims are glorious. Back to the river mouth where you left off, and then along the beach which is once again pristine and you are unlikely to see other people. Dinner in a fabulous trattoria.

Day 4: (16 kilometers)

After breakfast, straight from your cottage, you head west to the local fishing harbor - a working harbor with many colorful fishing boats. You may even see the resident Stingray, Parrie, who was released from the Two Oceans Aquarium a few years ago and has become the ‘town’s mascot’.

From there you continue along cliff paths past the second oldest working lighthouse in South Africa (after Green Point) and continue to the Southern tip of Africa, where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. There are very few places in the world where you can have a foot on two oceans - it’s a surreal experience.

Further along the coast, you pass the visible wreck of Meisho Maru, a testament to the rough seas of the Cape of Storms. Check into a private reserve and stay either in a beach house or individual thatch chalets. Between you and the ocean is a private turquoise lagoon, safe for a dip or a wonderful place for a sundowner. A nutritious and delicious dinner is served.

Day 5: (10 kilometers)

A leisurely start for an exciting day with breakfast before you head to the hills, through the fynbos, giving you an elevated look over the entire area. A light lunch en route, and as much time to explore as you want. Tonight’s accommodation is back in Arniston, where you will enjoy a celebratory farewell dinner as you reflect on the unique, sometimes untouched, secluded walk with whales!

Day 6: Day of departure

A leisurely morning, with a full breakfast and check out at 10h00, where you head back to Hermanus. Let Wild Wellness know if you need help with an airport transfer to Cape Town. Please book flights departing from 3 p.m. If you would like to spend another night in Hermanus, and possibly go on a Whale Watching Boat or sea Kayak trip and fly out the following day - they can arrange that too.

On the last day or the day after you have finished: Wild Wellness has established relationships with people who find out if and where the whales are closest to the shore. If your whale senses are still heightened and you need a little more - their team will take you there with pleasure. We can also book you on a whale boat trip or a kayak trip too and manage these bookings while you are walking (ie: stay informed re: sea conditions/weather etc).

Location

This trip will take place from Arniston to Agulhas.

Food

Wild Wellness' chef of choice is Megan of Nutmeg’s Kitchen for the following reasons:

She is a qualified Silwood chef and therefore has a deep understanding of all dietary requirements and food allergies. She has spent years working with ethical local farmers, and sources the best local, in-season ingredients. By the age of 23, she had hiked the Whale Trail twice, the Otter Trail once, and also the Transkei and the Drakensberg. Her meals are therefore nutritious and delicious, and her preparation and planning for the hike is based on experience. The clients love her food!

On two or three of the nights, you will support local restaurants in the seaside villages and go out for a meal. There is nothing nicer than arriving at your destination after a day’s hiking than a long, cool refreshment of your choice. (Seasoned hikers can attest to this!). For an additional cost, you can get these refreshments. Everyone has their own preferences, and Wild Wellness makes sure that these are waiting for you when you get to your accommodation. DIEMERSFONTEIN wines are included every evening. All other spirits, beers, ciders, or cool drinks work on an honesty bar system, which is settled at the end.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

If you would like to fit any additional activities in while you are here, let Wild Wellness know and they will help arrange it for you. Adventure activities (dependent on weather, season, and availability).

  • Boat-based whale watching
  • Sundowner cruises
  • Sea kayaking
  • A visit to an abalone farm
  • Fat bike riding on a beach
  • Horse riding on a wine farm or on a beach
  • Shark cage diving
  • Quad biking
  • Kite surfing rentals or lessons
  • Zip lining
  • Wine tours and tastings
  • Scuba diving

Leisure activities:

  • A night with fire dancing and drumming on a beach
  • Massages
  • Yoga or pilates classes
  • All spa treatments

What's included

  • All permits, park fees, conservation fees, admin fees and booking fees
  • 5 nights accommodation in either chalets or self catering houses
  • Delicious, fresh, and nutritious catering including breakfast, and all dinners (Two in local restaurants, both supporting locals)
  • Ceylon Teas, herbal teas, plunger coffee, instant coffee, and rusks
  • Diemersfontein wines at dinner
  • First aid kits in the houses and a mini kit for the hike
  • A comprehensive packing list and packing guidelines emailed to you 4 weeks before the hike
  • Cartage of your luggage between houses giving the ‘slack packing experience’, so that you only have to hike with a light day pack
  • Dedicated ‘back up’ in Hermanus during the hike, in case of an emergency on the hike, or at your home
  • 6-week fitness program leading up to the hike
  • Safe parking for your car while you are on the hike
  • Transport back to your car at the end of the hike, and on to Hermanus if required

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers
  • Evening refreshments
  • Lunch packs for en-route
  • Any items of a personal nature
  • Additional activities listed below
  • Emergency evacuations and related costs
  • Additional transport not included in the itinerary
  • Additional accommodation before or after the hike
  • Upgrades on your accommodation
  • Daypacks (R200)
  • Trekking poles (R200 per set)
  • An experienced field guide with knowledge of the trail, timing, flora and fauna and the best spots for a rest (R1200 per day for the group to share = R100 per person per day)
  • Sweeper for the back of the group, to keep the group together and hike with the slower walkers. (R1200 per day for the group to share = R100 per person per day)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
6 days / 5 nights
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Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 10 participants

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