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 50km from Quoin Point to De Kelders, on the beautiful South Western Cape shoreline. We offer you the opportunity to hike the trail in its entirety, or if time is limited we offer a shorter 2 or 3 day trail experience.
The trail is suitable for anyone with a medium level of fitness. This is slackpacking so you only need to carry your day pack with you on the hike, and we offer different accommodation and meal packages to suit every group and budget – from 4-star guesthouse to a luxury private house or a budget self-catering option.
Beachcomber Guide's Perlemoen Trail
Each leg of the trail has a shorter lighter option if required
Day 1: Shipwreck Shore (Quoin Point Reserve) 12 km / 10 km
Day 2: Bantamsklip (Pearly Beach Reserve) 16 km / 14 km
Day 3: Abalone Amble (Uilkraal Reserve) 15 km / 12 km
Day 4: Walk with Whales (Walker Bay Reserve) 6 km
Each 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.
Day 1: Shipwreck Shore
Location: Quoin Point reserve – Die Dam – Buffejagsbaai
Rating: Medium: slight gradient over dune, medium fitness, 12km (Light version 10km)
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.
The 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.
Day 2: Bantamsklip
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 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!
Day 3: Abalone Amble
Location: Pearly Beach – Franskraal
Rating: Medium / Easy: 15 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.
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.
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 from owner, Jan.
Day 4: Walk with Whales
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.
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.