Walk with Whales
Wild Wellness, Whale Coast, Western Cape
Along the Cape Whale Coast there is incredible marine life all year round, but between July and November, the Southern Right Whales visit the shores – as well as Bryde’s, Humpbacks and occasionally Orcas.
Introducing our exclusive “Walk with Whales”, situated just 30 kilometeres sout along the same unique coastline as the The Whale Trail, a path we’ve proudly trekked over 20 times since 2007.
Here the whales travel between Hermanus and the Garden Route. We have taken a year and a half to discover the best walking routes, water points, accommodation stops, daily distances etc. We also have a deep understanding of the logistics of the hike and will make sure that you have an incredible experience and a memorable walk.
Duration: 5 days / 4 nights.
The walk: Moderate 53 km in total
Departure and return location: Hermanus. We have safe parking for your cars at a minimal fee.
Group size: Minimum of 6 and a maximum of 12. If you want your own exclusive group, you must book for 12 people.
Larger groups are available on request.
Solo travellers, couples, and small groups? Let us know and we will fit you into suitable group.
What if the minimum is not reached? We will transfer your booking to a date suitable to you or refund you.
Travelling from out of town? No problem. We help with airport transfers and additional transport or accommodation.
Day 1: Day of Arrival (4 km)
Our transport leaves Hermanus at 13h00. If you need, there is safe parking for your cars at a minimal fee.
Once checked in to your accommodation in Arniston, we go for an interesting orientation walk of the ancient Strandloper (beach walker) OR the oldest fishing village in South Africa, depending on the tides. You may also have an opportunity to explore a large and beautiful sea cave.
Your accommodation overlooks the ocean, harbour and all the charms that Arniston has to offer. A welcome dinner with your guide who will tell you what to expect over the next four days.
Day 2: (14 km)
Departure time depends on the tides, and you start with a 3km walk through fynbos and then venture along the pristine beach for 9 km before reaching a river mouth. This entire stretch of beach is known for whales venturing as close as 20 m from the shore. A quick 2 km easy walk takes you to your nights’ accommodation in an old farmhouse, with a hearty dinner.
Day 3: (11 km)
A leisurely start around low tide and an easy walk to your Cape style fishing cottage with white walls and a thatch roof – beautifully appointed. You are right next to the turquoise, flat ocean where you will continue to hear the music of the ocean. It’s magical. Being on the Indian Ocean the water is warmer and the swims are glorious. Weather and time permitting, you may be able to go on a Whale watching boat (optional extra). A traditional braai, fresh bread and a variety of salads are served on the beautiful patio.
Day 4: (16 km)
An early start after coffee and rusks, you walk west past the local fishing harbour – a working harbour with many colourful fishing boats. You may even see the resident Stingray, Parrie, who was released from the Two Oceans Aquarium a few years ago and has become the ‘town’s mascot’.
From there you continue along the coastal paths, have breakfast en-route on top of a hill looking down onto the area. A visit to the second oldest working lighthouse in South Africa (after Green Point) and then continue to the Southern tip of Africa, where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. There are very few places in the world that you can have a foot on two oceans – it’s a surreal experience. Further along the coast you pass a shipwreck, a testament to the rough seas of the Cape of Storms. Check into a private nature reserve with surreal views. Between you and the ocean is a private turquoise lagoon, safe for a dip or a wonderful place for a sundowner before dinner.
Day 5: (10 km)
An early start for an exciting day with breakfast before we transport you to an incredible coastal path, where the elevated views over Walker Bay along the greatest stretch of land-based whale watching in the world. You will then head down to a cave which is an incredible archaeological site. In 1960, it was discovered that Middle Stone age man had been there 70 000 – 80 000 years ago, and many of the tools are now on display in the Cape Town Museum. End your experience with a farewell lunch before heading back to Hermanus.
Let us know if you need help with an airport transfer to Cape Town. Please book flights departing from 19h00.
If you would like to spend another night in Hermanus, and possibly go on a whale watching boat or sea kayak trip and fly out the following day – we can arrange that as well, and then take you to the airport the following day.
What is included?
- 5 days / 4 nights.
- All permits, park fees and conservation fees.
- Shared accommodation in beautiful locations which includes two people per room. If you prefer to have your own room, a single supplement of 30% is applicable. These rooms are limited.
- Delicious, fresh and nutritious catering including breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner.
- All dietary requirements are catered for (meat lovers, vegetarians, vegans) as well as special dietary requirements (gluten free, dairy free, allergies etc).
- Wines, non-alcoholic wines, standard and non-alcoholic beers and ciders, waters and cool drinks.
- Transport between Hermanus and the start and end of the hike.
- A guide (you are welcome to hike without a guide if you prefer.)
- First aid kits in the houses and a mini kit for the hike.
- A comprehensive packing list and packing guidelines emailed through to you 4 weeks before the hike.
- Cartage of your luggage between houses giving the ‘slack packing experience’, so that you only must hike with a light day pack.
- Dedicated ‘back up’ during the hike, in case of an emergency on the hike, or at your home.
- Safe parking for your car while you are on the hike, at a minimal fee.
- Our 6-week fitness program leading up to the hike.
What is excluded?
- Airport transfers, additional accommodation before or after the hike in Hermanus.
- Any items of a personal nature.
- Any transport, food or beverage not listed above.
- Emergency evacuations and related costs.
Our chef of choice is Megan of Nutmeg’s Kitchen for the following reasons:
- She is a qualified Silwood chef and therefore has a deep understanding of all dietary requirements and food allergies.
- She has spent years working with ethical local farmers, and sources the best local, in season ingredients.
- Her meals are therefore nutritious and delicious.
- By the age of 23, she had hiked the Whale Trail twice, the Otter Trail once and the Transkei and the Drakensberg, and so her planning is based on experience.
- Our clients love her food!
You have to be able to be on your feet for at least 6 hours a day, and walking fit.
Quite simply, the fitter you are, the more you will enjoy the hike.
To help with this, we will supply you with a free 6 week fitness program carefully designed for our hikes, to specifically build you up to a level that you will be able to enjoy the whole experience, be walking fit and strong around your knees, ankles and thighs.
This is a slack packing experience, which means that your luggage is taken between houses by us, and you only hike with your day pack.
We will send you a detailed packing list and requirements.
- Gear rentals:
- Daypacks (R200)
- Trekking poles (R200 per set).
Activities in the area
If you would like to fit any additional activities in while you are in the Cape Whale Coast, let us know and we will help arrange it for you.
- Boat based whale watching
- Sundowner cruises
- Sea kayaking
- A visit to an abalone farm
- Fat bike riding on a beach
- Horse riding on a wine farm or on a beach
- Shark cage diving
- Quad biking
- Kite surfing rentals or lessons
- Zip lining
- Wine tours and tastings
- Scuba diving
- Yoga or pilates classes
- Spa treatments
What if you have to cancel?
- More than two months prior to your start date: We will refund you your full deposit.
- Less than two months prior to your start date: Our team will try their best to resell your places and encourage you to try and resell them too. Once your booking has been confirmed and secured under a new name, we will transfer your booking and refund you. In the event that no one can find a replacement for your booking, all monies paid to date, are unfortunately then nonrefundable – due to the logistics of the hike.
What if our team has to cancel?
We reserve the right to cancel if the minimum number is not reached. In the event that this happens, we will transfer your booking to a suitable date or refund you.
In the event that we have to cancel the hike for any other reason whatsoever, a full refund will be issued.
Prices quoted are per person sharing and depend on the experience you choose.
- R6 500.00 pp – Dorm-style rooms. Food and drinks: Tea, coffee, cereal and fruit for breakfasts. Welcome local dinner in Arniston, dinner on one other night and farewell lunch.
- R 8 900.00 per person sharing. R 10 900.00 single supplement
Shared Accommodation. Food and drinks: Teas, coffees and all breakfasts. A welcome local dinner in Arniston plus dinners on all other nights. Wine, beers, cool drinks and water. Evening snacks and a farewell lunch.
- R 11 500.00 per person sharing. R 13 800.00 single supplement
Private en-suite. Food and drinks: Teas, coffees and all breakfasts.
A welcome local dinner in Arniston plus dinners on all other nights. Wine, beers, cool drinks and water. Evening snacks and a farewell lunch.
- R55.00 once off per reservation
Walk with Whales