The Perlemoen Green Flag trail, centred around South Africa’s famous Great White shark cage diving and whale watching capital of Gansbaai, was originally started by Prof. Leon Hugo as a hobby when he retired. He then employed and trained Ricardo Plaatjes from Blompark and Jason Stonehewer from Pearly Beach. Current owner of Perlemoen Trails, Karen Anderson joined the team in 2013 to manage the business. She immediately saw the need for more trails and options and looked at trails to Hermanus and Agulhas but was told that the logistics were too difficult.
Never one to back down from a challenge, Karen took the business over earlier this year and immediately started making changes, offering more options such as the Perlemoen Harbour to Harbour (the Walkerbay Trail with a few different variations) which now forms part of the Perlemoen Slackpacking Hiking Trail.
She also opened up the very popular Perlemoen Cycling Trail and the Perlemoen Running trail which took off like a house on fire and already booked up until mid January 2015.
And now, after months of planning and hard work, the Perlemoen Trails also offers the Perlemoen Backpacking Trail from Gansbaai or Hermanus to Agulhas (the Tip of Africa) where hikers have a choice of sleeping in tents or in guesthouses. Backpackers who don’t feel like carrying their belongings all the way to Agulhas, also has the option of having someone transporting their goods and setting up their next camp every day.
The Perlemoen Trails adds, as part of the package deals to their hikers, activities such as shark cage diving, quad bike riding, horse riding, wine routes, etc. Also other hiking routes like the Platbos and Grootbos trails. ‘We all want Gansbaai to succeed as a popular tourist destination while keeping the unique village feeling. After all, the more money coming in to Gansbaai, the less unemployment and crime. At Perlemoen Trails, we really try and support as many businesses as we can by letting our hikers utilise the different local establishments’, says Karen.
Prof Hugo is still very much ‘on call’ with advice when needed. He freely admits that selling the business was a very sensitive issue. ‘The Perlemoen was my baby that I nurtured and protected, but I was very happy when Karen decided to buy as she is the only person I felt I could entrust my ‘baby’ to, feeling as passionate about The Perlemoen Trail and Gansbaai as she does. I know she will make a big success of it as she has already showed what she is capable off by not only increasing the hiker percentage visiting The Perlemoen Trail but also in meeting problems head on and sorting it out as quickly as possible, as her decisive handling of the odd unprincipled individuals who cannot make a success of their own businesses but prefer to prey or ride on the back of another, more successful business such as The Perlemoen Trail, showed.’
The Perlemoen 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 limestone caves.
The Perlemoen trail offers various packages consisting of catered or self catering accommodation together with a choice of outdoor adventures and is now offering a slackpacking trail from Gansbaai to Hermanus and a backpacking trail to the southernmost tip of Africa!
The Slackpacking Hiking Trail: Do our very popular one day hikes – The 5 Caves Trail in De Kelders or the Harbour to Harbour Trail from Gansbaai to Hermanus. Or choose one of our two to seven days hiking trails where the trail hugs the coast from De Damme to Hermanus, visit the Ghost Town and the Strandveld museum - a truly stunning combination of our beautiful coastline, scenic mountain route and historical memorabilia
The Backpacking Hiking Trail: Walk 5-6 days from either Hermanus or Gansbaai to the Southernmost Tip of Africa (Agulhas) on virgin beaches, with the lowland and limestone fynbos of the Agulhas National Park and its indigenous plants, rich marine and intertidal life with breeding stiles of rare coastal birds such as the African Black Oystercatcher. View the many national monuments found in this area such as the Gansbaai and Cape Agulhas lighthouses.
The Running Trail: A 1-3 day running trail from the unspoilt beaches of De Damme to the stunning views at De Kelders. Take a break at the Strandveld museum or swim in the tidal pools.
The Cycling Trail: A 3 day mountain bike trail in the Gansbaai area with its stunning views, tough climbs and exhilarating, fast technical descents and tough beach cycling
Additional days can be added with exciting activities, organised by Perlemoen Trails, like an Ocean Trip by rubber duck to view the thousands of seals around Dyer Island or an Inland Trip consisting of a guided walk through the renowned indigenous Platbos Milk wood forest as well as a quad bike or horse rides. Other options are cage diving, wine route, an abalone farm visit and many more ...
Choose your own activity and days, even mixing and matching our different trails, for a once in a lifetime adventure!