Where to stay


The Merrell Whale of Trail entry fee is exclusive of accommodation – which gives you the freedom to book a bed that suits your needs and pocket! On a first-come-first-book type basis, and with roughly four months to go before the 2017 Whale of Trail, accommodation options are dwindling. Don’t be caught having to sleep in your car, which a) is never recommended before a 53km ultra and b) isn’t actually allowed, and book your spot now! Choose from these options still *available.

Inside De Hoop Nature Reserve

Your best option would be to stay inside the reserve at the De Hoop Collection, as not only do they offer special rates for Whale of Trail runners and supporters, but it’s also located either at or close to the reception and race village area. These are the options still available:


There are seven suites available over the Whale weekend. Each suite sleeps a max of two people and has an ensuite bathroom plus breakie included. With all other meals taken care of by Mountain Runner Events – this is the best option if you’re a ‘just arrive and run’ type traveller. Suites are also the closest to the race village area and the collection spot for the busses on the morning of the race.

  • Cost: R2995/room/night (max 2 people)
  • For more information and to book, send an email here

Rooms in Shared Houses

Roughly 40 minutes from the race village area at De Hoop Collection reception are two houses, the Melkkamer Manor House and the Melkkamer Vlei Cottage. Both have eight rooms and are fully self-catering. You can book a two-sleeper room in either house, or book the entire house if you have a big enough crew. The Melkkamer Manor house rooms are all ensuite, while the Vlei Cottage only has two bathrooms. In case it is not clear, if you book a room in one of the above houses, you are likely to share the house with people you don’t know, but hey, that’s what the event is all about: meeting like-minded people!

  • Cost:    Melkkamer Manor House R1995/room/night (max 2 people per room)

Melkkamer Vlei Cottage R1320/room/night (max 2 people per room)

  • For more information and to book, send an email here.

Boat ferry: Over the Whale of Trail the owner of the Melkkamer Manor House and Vlei Cottage will be running a boat ferry across the river for runners, which will cut 30min of your journey to the race village and bus collection. The 10 minute boat ride schedule will be confirmed closer to the weekend, as well as the cost, and runners will be able to book their spots on the boat if they’d like – to save time.

Camping pitches

For the outdoor adventurists and camping enthusiasts, De Hoop Collection also offers tranquil campsites along the vlei. A five-minute walk from De Hoop Collection reception and the race village, the campsites are private and have access to clean, decent ablution blocks. Bring your own camping gear!

  • Cost: R325/campsite
  • For more information and to book, send an email here.


Roughly 40 minutes in a different direction (to Melkkamer House) from the De Hoop Collection reception area and race village, and still inside the Reserve, is Potberg Environmental Centre. This year the team from Mountain Runner Events has arranged to make the dorm beds in the centre available to runners and supporters. Not only is it fantastically affordable, it’s also the ‘sleep in’ option as it’s situated on the start line, diminishing the need to catch the 4am busses from De Hoop Collection. Of course, to get home after the run you’ll have to arrange to leave at least one car at the race village! It sleeps 40 people in two large dorms, has hot showers, a microwave, fridge, stove and braai area – utensils and pots and pans are available on request. Pack your own bedding and basic utensils.

  • Cost: R200/person/night
  • For more information and to book, send an email here.


Outside De Hoop Nature Reserve

If for an unfortunate reason you’ve missed out on the accommodation options available inside the reserve, do not despair – an incredible weekend still awaits. The next closest town or option is Malgas and the surrounding area, between 11 and 20km from the turn off into De Hoop Nature Reserve. Remember, if you’re booking outside of the reserve, be sure to leave enough time to travel to the start at Potberg or the busses at De Hoop Collection. Here are a few self-catering options that might tickle your fancy.

Tides River Lodge

Tides River Lodge is situated roughly 16km from the De Hoop Nature Reserve turn off on the banks of the Breede River, near Malgas. Accommodation is offered in four lodges, each with river views, a veranda and braai area. You can expect fully equipped kitchens, comfortable beds and braai facilities – for if the weather holds out!

  • From R2400/room/max 2 people/self-catering/min 2 nights
  • For more info and contact details, click here.

The Cottage

Slightly closer to the turn off into the reserve, The Cottage is a comfortable self-catering cottage on a working farm, located 12km from De Hoop Collection. The rustic cottage has two bedrooms, a comfortable living room, a fully equipped kitchen and a large old fashioned fireplace. Guests can make use of the braai facilities in the outside lapa and relax in the swimming pool.

  • Cost: From R360/person (1 x double bed, 2 x single – 2 rooms)/self-catering
  • For more info and contact details, click here.

Breede Riverine Chalet

Lining the banks of the Breede River (that’ll you’ll be gazing over during your run), the Breede Riverine Chalet is roughly 12km from the De Hoop turn off. A large four-bedroomed chalet that sleeps eight, it is fully self-catering, has a beautiful braai area and access to a jetty on the river!

  • Cost: From R2000/cottage/night for 8 people/self-catering
  • For more info and contact details, click here.


*Disclaimer – all information regarding accommodation based inside De Hoop Nature Reserve confirmed beginning March 2017 and is subject to change without notice. All information and booking availability outside of De Hoop Nature Reserve was sourced from Safari.com at the beginning of March 2017 and is subject to change without notice.

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