Frequently Asked Questions
The Perlemoen Trail covers a remote section of the Whale Coast which boasts outstanding wild beauty and a unique biodiversity, your guides are highly qualified in various fields of nature and without doubt the best hosts to accompany you on this journey. Please read Beachcomber Guide reviews on Tripadvisor to see what others say about their experiences with us.
You’ve heard of unwashed, malnourished hikers doing the Fish River Canyon. You’ve encountered backpackers with tons of gear, pots, pans, and a folding stove — eating some gritty dried paste and raving about it.
This is not for you? But you love hiking. In fact, nothing suits you more than a day in the wilderness, except perhaps, a day in the wilderness followed by a slap up meal in a local restaurant. You’d enjoy weeklong expeditions, if only you could jump in a car at the end of the day and head off to a comfortable bed.
Congratulations, you are a confirmed Slackpacker.
“Slackpacking” was originally coined to describe a day’s worth of thru-hiking unencumbered by a pack, after which the hiker would hop in a car and drive home — then drive back some time in the future pick up wherever one left off. The idea was to string together enough of these daytrips to eventually “complete” a much longer trail, without the burden of backpacking. A number of people, for example, “slackpack” the 2,000 mile Appalachian Trail, adding sections like puzzle pieces to their personal trailmap.
Today the definition has expanded, and “slackpacker” has come to represent anyone that fits in between the casual day hiker and the backpacker. On occasion, the slackpacker will indulge in those practices as well, but doesn’t make a habit of lengthy backpack trips. As for the typical National Park Service nature loop, the slackpacker prefers to opt for a longer, more difficult trail to avoid the masses.
Enjoy the Perlemoen Trail!
No, but a medium level of fitness is required, each full day we walk between 12Km and 16Km on the longest day, we stop often and there are no hills or soft sand to trudge up or through.
For your comfort, I have selected the optimum tide dates for walking the trail. These dates are worked out to prevent us walking in soft sand at high tide. As my passion is Marine and coastal ecology this also gives us a great opportunity to see what’s happening in the rock pools at low tide. See our Dates & Rates for upcoming trails.
Yes, children of 7+ are welcome, medium fitness levels. Group dynamics are very important and we would not mix a family with young children with a separate booking of adults.
The trail runs with a minimum of 4 hikers up to a maximum of 12 hikers, this is dictated by what best suits the accommodation, however if you are 1 family or group of friends with a few extra friends we can accommodate a few more. I can offer an exclusive trail experience for a group of 8 or more hikers.
My prices for the trail are worked out on a sliding scale, (see Dates & Rates) the price for a group booking of 6 or 8 is less per person, however a booking for 2 people individually joining the trail is treated as an independent booking, requiring a separate booking process and additionally should any part of the group postpone to a different date the remaining booking group price is not compromised.
Breakfast is a 7.30am and we start the trail at 8.30am finishing at about 3.30pm.
Weather in the Cape is difficult to predict, even in mid-summer we can experience cold days and rain, we also seldom have unbearably hot weather, so anytime between September to May. There is always an abundance of nature to see and experience at any time of the year but seasonally the Whales are from September to early December, and the best flowers are in spring. The trail is closed from June to August.
We stay in one private luxury house in the middle of the trail, located in Pearly Beach.
Hikers arrive in Pearly Beach for an information session the afternoon the day before the trail starts. The evenings the hikers will dine at one of our local restaurants or a braai at the house they are staying in. The next morning after breakfast the hikers are transported to the start of the trail. After the days hike at the end of that section of the trail, the hikers are then transported back to their accommodation and so that process continues. We stay in one location due to the remoteness of the trail, the advantages of this are, should the wind change direction we can reverse that day’s trail section and walk with the wind. Trust me this makes a big difference! You can relax and settle in, you don’t need to pack and unpack each morning moving from 1 accommodation to the next, (somebody always forgets something!). This house is used exclusively for this trail and is the perfect venue for guests to enjoy and relax.
For catered groups, you need to bring along only your day pack with a water containers (1.5 litres) there is no fresh water available while walking on the trail, the tap water in Pearly Beach is perfectly good for filling canteens. Light refreshments, breakfasts and lunches are provided by us, and dinner at a local restaurant or braai at Lucky Fish.
Comfortable clothes and good quality “tekkies” are ideal. Heavy hiking boots are not necessary (light weight is better) I wear boots to help keep out the sand. For crossing the Uilkraals River it is advisable to prepare for knee to waist high water level. As the bed of the river is fairly smooth you can cross bare foot (long stretches of beach barefoot is also recommended).
The weather along the coast can change very unexpectedly; so bring warm clothes even in summer as the evenings are cool. Rain gear or wind breaker jacket is also necessary as we can get rain even in mid-summer in the Cape environs. The spring and summer are notorious for very strong S.E. winds!
We do enter an exciting cave, you will need a torch. Camera and Binoculars for watching the multitude of birds and studying the seals and whales (in season) can be very handy.
We have no bottle store in Pearly Beach and a limited selection of wine in our shop! Please bring sundowner etc. of your choice.
A 50% deposit confirms your booking.