The route will follow the well-established CapeNature 5-day hiking Whale Trail and is 35km with approximately 1200m ascent. After 13km you will be directed off the hiking trail and follow 7km of reserve management jeep tracks to Lekkerwater (CP4 of the 53km route), where you will rejoin the hiking trail for the remaining 15km. The route will be marked only where necessary. Deviations from the established hiking trail will not be allowed and it is mandatory to stay on the paths at all times. There will be one water table along the route (20km) and various checkpoints.
Route Overview (from Cape Nature Website): Here the route is broken down into the 5 day hiking sections.
- Potberg to Cupidoskraal hut – 13 km – It will take you to the top of Potberg at 611 metres with breathtaking panoramic views of Swellendam in the north, unequalled views of the Indian Ocean and the Breede River, Cape Infante in the east and Cape Agulhas in the west. You will also have a good chance of sighting the rare Cape vulture. The trail descends towards Cupidoskraal.
- Hamerkop to Vaalkrans Hut – 10 km – You are going to find it difficult not to swim in the turquoise rock pools. Please stay clear of the sensitive calcrete formations and look out for interesting seabirds like the shy oystercatchers and whitebreasted cormorants basking in the sun.
- Vaalkrans to Koppie Alleen Hut – 6 km – The trail goes through coastal thickets with ample time to soak up the last of the scenic landscapes, there are two alternative routes for high and low tide. Hippo Pools offers great swimming before the path leads up to Koppie Alleen where the trail ends. From here you will follow the marked course to the finish line and the much needed cold drink.