An unparalleled nature journey along a pristine wild coast

Full 4 day trail 50 km - Lighter 4 day version 42km

The Perlemoen Trail is a spectacular hiking trail stretching 50 km from the wild Quoin Point nature reserve to the dramatic
Walker Bay nature reserve located 2.5 hours drive from Cape Town 

This 4 day trail is suitable for anyone with a medium level of fitness.  This is slackpacking so you only need to carry your day pack and each night is spent in the very comfortable guest house Lucky Fish

Perlemoen Trail hiking trail route map

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

The Perlemoen Trail

Trail Day 1:  (Quoin Point Reserve) 12 km / 15 km
Trail Day 2: (Pearly Beach Reserve) 14 km / 16 km
Trail Day 3: (Uilkraal Reserve) 12 km / 14 km
Trail Day 4: (Walker Bay Reserve) 4 km / 6 km

7.30 am each morning a selection of Breakfast buffet favourites is served. After breakfast we set off for the days trail. About midday we stop for a healthy and delicious packed lunch along with fruits an nuts and home made crunchies as energising snacks. We finish each days hike at 3.30 / 4 pm back at Lucky Fish  leaving 3 hours to relax before a hearty dinner either at the guest house or at our local restaurant a short walking distance from the house
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Each leg of the trail varies in character and offers a unique view of this beautiful 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.

Hiking gif

Day 1: Perlemoen Trail

Location: Quoin Point reserve – Die Dam – Buffejagsbaai
Rating: Medium:  slight gradient over dune, medium fitness, 15km (Light version 12km

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 house 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.

Jessie's Bay

We end the day 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.

Footprints gif

Day 2: Perlemoen Trail

Location: Bufflesjagsbaai – Pearly Beach.   
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!

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 graphic

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!

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Day 3: Perlemoen Trail

Location: Pearly Beach – Franskraal
Rating: Medium / Easy: 14 km (Light version 12 km)

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.

Bantamsklip rocks

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.

Giant shell midden Walker BayWe walk over long stretches of pebble shore backed by sandy dunes. Close to shipwreck of Un Hung (1989), an impressive 4 metre 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 metres off shore.

Then 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.

Footprints gif

Day 4: Perlemoen Trail

Location : Gansbaai harbour – Walker Bay
Rating: medium/ easy, moderate fitness, 4 km / 6 km 

We start at Gansbaai harbour, a traditional fishing harbour and walk the coastal trail towards De Kelders.

Rocky coastline at De Kelders South Africa

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.

Klipgat Cave De Kelders Walker Bay