Shark Hiking Trail


Our motto: Hike more, worry less…

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About

The Shark Hiking Trail slackpacking trail, centered around South Africa’s famous Great White shark cage diving and whale watching capital of Hermanus / Gansbaai, consists of one to seven days hiking (with alternative longer/shorter routes and catered as well as self-catering options).

Activities

Slackpacking, backpacking, cycling, running, geocaching, retreats and camps, private beaches, surfing, golfing, fishing, caves, whale watching, Scuba diving, shark cage diving.

Trails

The trail provides a 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.

  • On Day 1 the trail hugs the coast from De Dam to Buffelsjag with the option of walking to the Ghost Town.
  • On Day 2 the trail follows the beach to Franskraal to visit the museum and then back to Kleinbaai.
  • Day 3 runs from Gansbaai, along with the rocky coast, with its caves and excellent whale watching, to Die Plaat or take the shorter option of a short walk from Stanford’s Cove to De Plaat via the caves.
  • Day 4 & 5 are extensions of the standard 3-day trail and is a combination of wide open beaches alternated with beautiful rocky coastline and historical memorabilia.

The Itinerary For Our Most Popular 3-Day Trail May Look Like This:

Upon Arrival First Afternoon

Book in, unpack and settle into your guesthouse. Shark Trails hiking information session will follow after which you will have supper at one of our local restaurants.

Day 1

Hike through coastal fynbos, along rocky coasts, fascinating limestone and sandstone sea cliffs and outstretched sandy beaches, past Quoin Point lighthouse with lunch on the rocks at Buffelsjag. Encounter the legacy of the Flying Dutchman phantom ship (Ship in the Pirates of the Carribean – Dead Man’s Chest)’ Decide whether you want to do the longer – extra 7km – option, over easy flat terrain along the coast, including the OtariMaru shipwreck to visit the sand-engulfed ‘Spookdorp’ and swim in the tidal pool. Meet local fisherman en route. After the hike recline at your guesthouse with a cold beer / cool drink before visiting one of the local pubs/restaurants for supper while mingling with the locals.

Day 2

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 (Swart Tobie) and multitudes of other seabirds. We visit the little Strandveld museum (optional) where you can listen to the tragic stories of the Birkenhead and other shipwrecks of days gone by as told by the writer SD Fourie and her husband Oom Jan “Pyp” Fourie. Walk back to your guesthouse. Have supper at yet another local restaurant before returning to your guesthouse for a well-deserved rest.

Day 3

Walk from the Gansbaai harbor all along the unsurpassed scenic beauty until you arrive at the De Kelders cliffs with its world-class whale viewing. Visit easily accessible caves. Entering some of the caves is optional … for the more adventurous. The views over the coast at Die Plaat are unparalleled. Visit intimate coves for swimming along the trail and experience massive breakers thundering against the sea cliff.

Day 4, 5, 6 & 7

Day 4 and 5 are extensions of the standard 3-day trail. On these days you will pass an old shipwreck and visit the renowned Danger Point lighthouse from where the location where the famous Birkenhead sunk, can be viewed. The trail is a combination of wide open beaches alternated with beautiful rocky coastline and historical memorabilia. Day 6 is a beautiful mountain walk through the fynbos with stunning views. Day 7 (our Harbour to Harbour Trail) is the famous Walker Bay trail from Gansbaai to Hermanus

Alternative Options:

One Day Options (accommodation and meals available on request):

5 Caves Trail

Walk along the unsurpassed scenic beauty of the cliffs at De Kelders with its world-class whale viewing. Entering some of the caves is optional … for the more adventurous. The views over the coast at Die Plaat are unparalleled. Visit intimate coves for swimming along the trail and experience massive breakers thundering against the sea cliff.

Harbor to Harbour Trail

This area stretches along the coast from Gansbaai Harbour to Hermanus Harbour via the Hermanus Lagoon and the Walker Bay Nature Reserve. This 24 km walk hugs the coastline and there are several beaches and protected coves with a variety of mammals to be seen, such as the Cape clawless otter, bushbuck, duiker, and steenbok. Southern right whales can be spotted between August to November, and dolphins throughout the year.

Mountain Fynbos Walk

walk across the mountain crossing various private farms and conservancies. It has stunning views, very tough climbs with exhilarating, fast technical descents. The first climb is short and you have some lovely views over the dam before you start the first proper climb. This is a trail only for the very fit but it is worth the effort as you have views to Stanford, as well as over to Pearly Beach.

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Backpacking

The Tip of Africa backpacking trail, centered around South Africa’s famous Great White shark cage diving and whale watching capital of Hermanus / Gansbaai, to the ruggedly beautiful coastal plain of the southernmost tip of Africa in Agulhas, consists of three to six days’ hiking (with catering as well as self-catering options).

The trail provides a fascinating insight into the area – famous for its shipwrecks and infamous for its Perlemoen (abalone) poaching.

The Gansbaai and Hermanus side to the incredible natural offering, cultural heritage and fascinating history of the Agulhas, Struisbaai and Bredasdorp areas which includes a number of 15th, 16th and17th-century shipwrecks!

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 and the large extent of lowland and limestone fynbos and Renosterveld of the Agulhas National Park with its indigenous plants and the rich marine and intertidal life with breeding stiles of rare coastal birds such as the African Black Oystercatcher.

Many national monuments are also found in this area, such as the Gansbaai and the Cape Agulhas Lighthouses, and significant archaeological sites along the coast with discoveries of stone hearths and pottery, which, together with shell middens, dates back to the era of the Khoisan migration and settlements.

A Typical Program May Look Like This:

On Day 1 follow the beach from Gansbaai to Pearly Beach (20 km) where you can pitch your tent or sleep in one of the guesthouses.

On Day 2 the trail hugs the coastline to De Damme (30 km).

Day 3 is the start of your walk on virgin beaches as many of this coastline has never been explored. At the halfway mark ( 30 km) you will be able to rest, cook some food and have a good night’s sleep before starting on the last lap to Agulhas on Day 4.

After having a well-deserved rest in Agulhas, you can take the boardwalk on Day 5 and, at long last, walk to the spot which marks the merging of the cold Atlantic and the warm Indian ocean – THE SOUTHERNMOST TIP OF AFRICA!

Explore the area or do the Ghost trail or Rasperpunt trail before getting picked up by the Sharktrails transport to take you back to your vehicles

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Tags: Day Hikes Long Distance Trails Two Day Backpacks Western Cape
Price available on Request

Contact 082 663 6168 or 064 523 1807
info@ecotrail.co.za

Disclaimer
All information adapted with permission of owner