Wet start to a 4 day trail
Atrocious weather will not put an outdoor enthusiast off, but it might dampen their spirits a little.....
A 4-day journey exploring this magnificent coastline, unraveling its many secrets with a devoted marine nature guide.
Each leg of the hiking trail offers a remarkable view of this coastline, professionally interpreted with special insights into marine ecology, fynbos medicinal plants, and flowers, an in-depth understanding of Khoisan history and the many shipwrecks in these waters.
Beachcomber's Perlemoen trail can be done in sections as a 2, 3, and/ or 4-day slack-packing adventure.
Beachcomber’s Perlemoen trail follows the same dramatic route as the original trail but the unique nature experience and unmatched value for money positions Beachcomber as the number one guide to trail with.
"One of the most impressive trails in the world, this is a trail for leisure walkers as much as for serious hikers."
(Fiona McIntosh - International author of numerous books on hiking and editor of OUT THERE Magazine)
Trail Overview: Full 4-day trail 53km - Lighter 4-day version 40km
Located along the spectacular South Western Cape shoreline, Stretching from Quoin Point in the south, to De Kelders, just south of Hermanus.
Each leg of the hiking trail is professionally interpreted with special insights into marine ecology, fynbos medicinal plants and an in-depth understanding of Khoisan history and the many shipwrecks in these waters. The rich diversity of wildlife only found here, combined with the freshest air on the planet and spectacular natural scenery around every point, including an unforgettable gastronomic foraging experience, makes this a first class adventure for family and friends.
The luxury fully catered trail option accommodates the hikers in one of our recommended local guest houses, including a full breakfast, packed lunch, snacks and refreshments for the day, and in the evening, dinner - either at a colorful restaurant or a braai under the stars at your comfortable guest house.
The Self-Catering option is more rustic fisherman’s style cottage well situated but with no frills, bring own bedding all food and drinks, basic shop in Pearly for supplies.
Each leg of Beachcomber's Perlemoen Trail is offered as an independent day walk and each has a shorter lighter option if required.
Discover an area of the Cape coast that has been long neglected as a destination.
Day 1 Beachcomber's Perlemoen trail
Shipwreck shore section
The trail starts at the sleepy holiday resort of Die Dam following a jeep track into Quoin Point Reserve, the second most Southerly point on the African continent.
The trail cuts through pristine fynbos covered dunes leading to the coast. At the coast we take some time to observe a local Cape Fur Seal breeding colony, before hugging the shore towards the historical light station at Quoin Point.
Next is a 4km long open beach section backed by a spectacular wind carved sandstone cliff, a great place to cool off and swim in summer. The shipwrecks of the Fynd & Swona (1947) can be seen at low tide here.
The trail ends at the beautiful fishing boat launch site of Bufflesjagsbaai. We can also see the Overberg’s largest Abalone farm next to the village which brings much needed employment to this quiet part of the world. This small fishing village has some colourful characters and it is well worth stopping to have a chat.
Day 2 Beachcomber's Perlemoen trail
Location: Bufflesjagsbaai - Pearly Beach.
Rating: Medium/easy: medium fitness, 15km
(Light version 12 km)
We start where we left off at Bufflesjagsbaai heading towards Pearly Beach reserve. At Plaatjieskraalbaai a very popular Kabeljou fishing spot, we walk through this areas version of Kolmanscop ghost town, an abandoned holiday resort buried in sand, due to the drifting dunes.
A great photographic opportunity!
We follow the seashore around its many granite boulder protected bays, past Bantamsklip the controversial proposed site for a nuclear power station, to the shipwreck site of Otori Maru (1984). Much of the wreck remains and at low tide it is easy to explore.
The last section is Sweetfontain, and the long flat sandy beach provides great viewing of the whales and dolphins when they are here. We finish in Pearly Beach, at the Fynbos centre, a local conservation initiative where you can see an amazing diversity of local fynbos flowers in the garden and display area.
Whale monitoring has proved that between September and December this trail hosts more Whales than the De Hoop Whale Trail. Over 80 individuals sighted off Pearly Beach in one hour!
Day 3 Beachcomber's Perlemoen trail
Abalone amble section
Location: Pearly Beach - Franskraal, 15km
(Light version 11km)
Rating: Medium / Easy
We set out at the Marine Kiosk in Pearly Beach and the opportunity to gain extra insight into this amazing coastal ecosystem you are hiking through.
We then hug the rocky shore on the coastal footpath, great for whale watching in season. Pearly Beach is aptly named for its beautiful beaches which border the Uilkraal reserve.
We walk over long stretches of pebble shore backed by sandy dunes. Close to shipwreck of Un Hung (1989), an impressive 4 meter tall Khoisan shell midden hides behind the dunes.
The flat open section towards the Uilkraal river offers a view of Great White Shark cage diving operation boats a few hundred meters off shore.
Then we cross a river, between knee and waist deep, safely guided at the best spot along the river.
We finish the day at the Franskraal museum a private collection of artefacts well displayed and supported with an informative talk from owner, Jan.
Day 4 Beachcomber's Perlemoen trail
Walk with Whales section
Location: Gansbaai harbour - Walker bay
Rating: medium/ easy, moderate fitness, 8km
(Light version 6km)
We start at Gansbaai harbour, a traditional fishing harbour and walk the coastal trail towards De Kelders.
The trail turns into an impressive and safe cliff path with spectacular views over Walker Bay. Arguably the best land based whale watching spot in the world! The rock formations create deep plunge pools perfect to cool off on hot days.
Limestone caves dot the steep cliffs, and entering the caves is an experience for their natural beauty and historical significance. The Dripkelder is the only fresh water coastal cave in Southern Africa and it is possible to take a dip in its healing waters. For hikers not wanting to enter the caves the short wait outside offers a view that will not disappoint.
The trail ends after lunch with a spectacular view point at Die Plaat overlooking Walker bay and Klipgat cave where excavations found evidence of stone-age mans occupation dating back 80 to 100 thousand years.