Die Plaat beach

Beachcomber's Perlemoen trail (2/3/4 days)
rsz extraordinary hiking trail

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 experienced guide to trail with.

This is an unparalleled nature journey along a pristine wild coast.
"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 50 km - Lighter 4 day version 42km
Located along the spectacular South Western Cape shoreline, Stretching from Quoin point in the south, to De Kelders, just south of Hermanus.
                         Happily this coastline remains undeveloped and for the most part unexplored.
Beach shellsEach leg of the hiking trail offers a unique 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.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.
Khoisan Accommodation Options       
The luxury fully catered trail option accommodates the hikers in our recommended 4 star guest house, including a full breakfast, healthy packed lunch, snacks and refreshments for the day, and in the evening, dinner - either at a colourful local restaurant or a braai under the stars at your comfortable lodgings.

The Self-Catering option is more rustic fisherman’s style cottage well situated but with no frills, bring all food and drinks, basic shop in Pearly for supplies.   
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Each leg of Beachcomber's Perlemoen Trail is offered as an independent day walk and each has a shorter lighter option if required.  Slackpacking trail Beachcomber guide
Day 1 Shipwreck shore   (Quion Point Reserve) 12km / 10km
Day 2 Bantamsklip         (Pearly Beach Reserve) 16km / 14km
Day 3 Abalone amble      (Uilkraal Reserve) 15 km / 12 km
Day 4 Walk with whales  (Walker Bay Reserve)  6 km

Discover an area of the Cape coast
that has been long neglected as a destination.
Day 1 Beachcomber's Perlemoen trailHikingFoot prints down left
Shipwreck shore section                                     5.Primary.  Banded brittlestar
Location: Quion point reserve - Die Dam - Buffejagsbaai
Rating: Medium:  slight gradient over dune, medium fitness, 12km (Light version 10km)

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.Jessies bay and wall
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.
Fishermen BufflesjagsThe 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. dolphin Animation 
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Day 2 Beachcomber's Perlemoen trailHiking 2Foot prints down right

Bantamsklip section 
Ghost town
Location: Bufflesjagsbaai - Pearly Beach.   Colourful
Rating:Medium/easy:  medium fitness, 16km  
 (Light version 14 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!Broken walk way
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.starfish
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.Shipwreck Bantamsklip

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!Whale cut out 2

Day 3 Beachcomber's Perlemoen trailFoot prints down right Hiking 2
Abalone amble sectionMulticoloured topshell 3
Location: Pearly Beach – Franskraal, 15 km   
(Light version 12 km)
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.Giant shell midden 2
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 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.shark finshark fin
Leon crossing riverThen we cross the Uilenkraal river, between knee and waist deep, safely guided at the best spot along.(Don't panic no sharks!)
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 trailHikingFoot prints down left
Walk with Whales section   Whales blow
Location : Gansbaai harbour - Walker bay
Rating: medium/ easy, moderate fitness, 6 km 

We start at Gansbaai harbour, a traditional fishing harbour and walk the coastal trail towards De Kelders.Whale de kelders xxx
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.
Die plaat beachThe 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.  

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Pearly Beach stroll (short shoreline walk and rock pool investigation)
Pearly Beach stroll R 200 per person minimum 4 people (Ask for group discount) U12 free U18 R 50
Rating: Easy, 2km, 3 hours Foot prints down right    fishjumping

This short stroll is aimed at people visiting the area with a few hours to spare and offers a short interesting insight into the local marine ecology. Spend a few hours exploring the shore's Beach shellscolourful rock pools and their amazing creatures, discover Khoisan history and the many medicinal coastal plants on an investigative short walking trail

Take a slow 3km walk along the Pearly Beach village coastline
It is not called the pearl of all beaches for nothing!Whales blow
This pristine environment mixes rugged rocky shores, white sandy beaches with intimate turquoise swimming pools, fynbos covered sand dunes and great whale watching July to December.
Visit the beachcomber Marine kiosk for in-depth background on our coastal ecosystems, then stroll over to the Fynbos centre and fynbos garden where there is an informative display of fresh coastal fynbos.
If its lunchtime stay and enjoy Strandveld hospitality in our local pub  flowers close up
Fanworm                 Root mouth jelly
Walk includes special insights into local ecological systems, amazing marine and coastal animals, in the field medicinal fynbos information, coastal endemic birds, edible seaweeds and much more.

signageNormal exclusive trail rate R 150 per person min 4 people (ask for a group discount) animated octopus
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Marine kiosk Pearly Beach Meet at Marine kiosk Pearly Beach main road (on left look for 2 rocks with Foot print and white arrow)
Starting time tide dependant! 
Start 9.30am and 3pm    Finish 12.30 and 6pm    Book to avoid disappointment
Southernmost Tip of Africa hiking trail
Blue crains 2Extra trailHikingFoot prints down left
Tip of Africa trail.
(maximum 5 hikers)
Location: Cape Agulhas - Brandfontein  
Rating Medium / Easy, 10km – 17km

For visiting hikers what better feather in your cap than having hiked from the Southernmost point of the African continent.Cape Agulhas lighthouse
Meet early at Pearly Beach
You are then transported to Cape Agulhas where we visit the historical Cape Agulhas light-house museum and southern-most tip of Africa
We set off on the trail from Suiderstrand where the road ends or from the Southernmost tip of Africa (7km extra).
Meisho maru 1982  Tip of AfricaAt low tide we see old Khoisan fish traps at Rasperpunt on the rocky shore section of the hike and the shipwreck of the Meisho Maru (1982).
The beach section has outcrops of limestone rock pools to explore marine life or plunge into on hot days and there is a sweet water spring on the beach to drink from.
A Shell midden in the dunes offers a rare glimpse of our stone-age past.

The last section of the trail is a deserted long flat open beach backed by tall white sand dunes ending at Brandfontain, where we meet our pick up and are transported back to Pearly beach.Tulip chiton 2

Walk includes special insights into local ecological systems, amazing marine and coastal animals, in the field medicinal fynbos information, coastal endemic birds, edible seaweeds, shipwreck sites and much more.
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What to bring

  • Wide brimmed sun hat
  • sun-cream
  • swimsuit and towel
  • light windbreaker (4 season weather)
  • Reasonable shoes (not flip flops) 
  • camera and binoculars (bird / whale watching)
  • water (1.5 / 2l  Hot Days)
  • daypack (lightweight rucksack).
  • sleeping bag (if budget self catering)
  • Torch (visiting caves)
  • Beer, Gnt for pre-supper drinks

Not an ordinary hiking trail

Walking Rocky pools bantamsklip 4 optTrails are tailored to your specific interests and needs and will at all times be in harmony with the natural environment so that we leave only our footprints. Trail Video link video

Group sizes are kept small so that the hike remains intimate with minimal environmental impact.
I am passionate about this area's marine ecology and always happy to share and demonstrate the uniqueness of the environment.
I learn something new every time i am out there which adds value to the group and the experience.
dolphin Animation

Sea Spider
      The yellow sea spider is not a true spider,but has similar characteristics, sometimes found hunting and feeding on prey with its pincer-like appendages (chelifers) they have four pairs of legs with claw-like ends used to hold on in strong currents, other slender ovigerous legs hang below the head which the male uses to carry fertilised eggs.  

The unmistakable Columbus crab on the left, a pelagic species identified by Christopher Columbus during his first voyage to the New World. The blue colour hides the animal from predators and prey in the deep ocean. On the right believed to be the same crab in its megalopa larval stage.

Columbus crab 2 opt

Blue eyed crab

About your guide Jason Stonehewer

   15 hikers opt

I am a qualified F.G.A.S.A. nature guide, studying coastal ecology and our fascinating interconnected natural world.
From 2012 to 2014 i was lead guide on the Perlemoen Trail, I started my guiding career guiding river rafting trips in 1994 for Felix Unite.
In August 2014 I received the mayors award for excellence for setting up a marine kiosk in Pearly Beach and my contribution to environmental awareness.
I am chairman of the Pearly Beach conservancy and take part in volunteer environmental educational work for the Vision Foundation lecturing in some of the more remote destinations in Southern Africa. 

 Nature guiding and studying our amazing inter-coastal marine environment is a dream come true for me and it gives me great joy to share this with others.

 rsz jason picture   Join me in a world of discovery.   animated octopus
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  Call +27 (0) 728904317

Slackpacking with a Beachcomber Guide across the universe ... and beyond.

"This was such a highlight during my recent visit to the Whale Coast.
Jason Stonehewer reminded me of Neil DeGrasse Tyson ... in an old Landrover". 
The Good Holiday & My slow journey

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Sea swallow 2 opt                     The sea swallow is a nudibranch a sea slug that has lost its shell. They float on the surface tension of the ocean hunting blue bottles, the sea swallows defence against predators is to secret toxic chemicals reusing stinging cells derived from their own prey. Washed up by onshore winds along with many other pelagic species we encounter.