53km Race Route + Map

Race Route - 53km

Following the iconic 5-day Whale Trail, the route is 53km long with 1900m of ascent. The race route will be marked only where necessary. Deviations from the established hiking trail are not allowed and it is mandatory to stay on the paths at all times. There are four watertables along the race route and five checkpoints that you will need to pass.

WHALE of TRAIL - 53km Ultra Race
2019 - Johardt van Heerden - 4:30:20
2019 - Toni McCann - 5:28:36
Cut Offs
23.5km – 4h45, 46km – 9h30
Merrell Whale of Trail Map 53KM 2024 Whale Of Trail Race
Whale of Trail 53km 2024 predicted times Whale Of Trail Race

Route Overview

  • START Potberg to CP 1 (near Cupidoskraal hut) – 14 km – After a short loop around Potberg Enviro Centre to allow for self seeding the trail plunges into single track for your first small stream crossing and a long but runnable uphill to the top of Potberg mountain at 611 metres with panoramic views of Swellendam in the north, the Breede River below, Cape Infante in the east and Cape Agulhas in the west. You will also have a good chance of sighting the rare Cape vulture as they have a breeding colony in the cliffs. After a beautiful ridge and winding valley the trail descends towards the first watertable.

  • CP1 to CP2 – 9,5 km – Climbing up again to the crest of the Potberg past sculpturesque rock formations and through mountain fynbos with unequalled views of both the Indian Ocean and the Breede River. The route finally leaves the Potberg with a steep descent to CP2 and water table.

  • CP2 to CP3  – 4,5 km – Now off the mountain, the trail leads onto limestone hills with strikingly different fynbos, towards the enchanting bay of Noetsie at the coast. This Checkpoint serves only to confirm you have reached the furtherest point and now turn sharply to your right.

  • CP3 to CP4 (near Lekkerwater) – 10 km – With the ocean on your left the trail is now hard underfoot along the rocky cliffs with many interesting coves below. The whales, and likely dolphins too, will wave and cheer you on your way. This section also gives you the first, and longest, stretch of sandy beach to navigate and the well stocked watertable is a welcome respite.

  • CP 4 to CP 5 (Vaalkrans Hut) – 8 km – On and off the beach and coastal trails to arrive at your final watertable.

  • CP 5 to FINISH at Koppie Alleen – 7 km – Now through coastal thickets with the waves crashing on one side and the tide dictating your choice of path. Take a dip in Hippo Pools, if you’re not focused solely on the finish line, before the final boardwalk leads up to Koppie Alleen where the trail ends to the welcoming cheer of the finish line, well deserved medal, fresh hot meal and drinks.

Interactive Race Map - 53km

Tips for using map below:

  • Change the distance measurement to Km’s on the bottom of the black border
  • Press “play” on the screen for route and menu
  • Select Map, Satellite or Path on the top right to chose your background layout. Satellite is the best.
  • Click on menu and select “”Downloads” to download GPX, KML or TCX files
  • Click on menu and select “Hills” to show the Elevation graph on the bottom
  • Click on menu and select “Directions” to show route notes and important information
  • Zoom in / out – Scroll over the route to get an understanding for the route and the important points.
Go to the Map on the site in order to see more detail and DOWNLOAD GPS tracks.

Get In Touch

We would love to hear from you. Drop us a message and we will get in touch with you shortly.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies on our website. Visit our Privacy Policy