Race Location

Race Location

Probably the best land-based whale watching spot in the world! De Hoop Nature Reserve lies close to the southernmost tip of Africa, in the Western Cape of South Africa.
3 hours scenic drive from Cape Town or George airports, the Overberg region is a prime destination for discerning nature loving locals and tourists but remains free of crowds.
Protecting 340 square kilometres of fynbos, renosterveld and wildlife, De Hoop is one of the largest natural areas managed by CapeNature.

From June to October every year hundreds of Southern Right Whales migrate to calve in the waters of the Marine Protected Area. The famous 53km Whale Trail hiking route is booked up a year in advance for groups of 12 hikers and the annual Whale of Trail race weekend is the only opportunity for a limited number of runners to access the entire route without committing to the full 5 day hike.

    location Whale Of Trail Race
    Whale Of Trail Race
    De Hoop Nature Reserve

Race Day Transport Logistics

To facilitate the hosting of the Whale of Trail event, the RACE VILLAGE is situated at De Hoop Collection, which has a concession inside the large park.
The actual trail is linear. The Race provides complimentary bus transfers from the Race Village to the Race Start at Potberg (approx 45 min) and from the Race Finish – on the beach at Koppie Alleen – back to the Race Village (20 min)

Spectators can make use of the free shuttle service operating regularly throughout Race Day between the Race Village and the Finish.

Private vehicles may only travel the road between De Hoop Collection and Potberg. No access is allowed beyond Potberg to unauthorised vehicles.

If staying outside of the Reserve (eg in Malgas or Infanta), runners may be dropped off at the Start at Potberg on Race Day but note there is no transport provided from the Finish all the way back to the Start so one should not leave a car there.

Map De Hoop Race layout for website 1 Whale Of Trail Race

Directions to De Hoop Collection - Race Village

  • Drive from Cape Town: Take N2 to Caledon. From Caledon drive on the R316 through Napier to Bredasdorp. Continue on the R316 down Long Street and turn left at the Caltex Toyota Garage onto All Saints Road and take the R319 towards Swellendam After 6km turn right – sign posted De Hoop / Malgas / Infanta. After 33km on the gravel road turn right at the sign DE HOOP COLLECTION. Drive 7km from this turn off to the Main Gate of the Park and a further 8km to the office.
  • From Swellendam (coming from George): drive on N2 for 13km in the direction of Cape Town, turn left onto gravel road, signed Spitskop.  Continue for 32km until you reach a T-junction and turn left towards Malgas / Infanta for 2km before you turn right onto the De Hoop Pad signed DE HOOP COLLECTION. It is 7km from this turn off to the Main Gate of the Park and a further 8km to the office.

Attractions In The Area


The Waenhuiskrans Cave

At the southermost Tip of Africa, the Waenhuiskrans (wagon house cliff) is the highlight of a visit to Waenhuiskrans Nature Reserve in Arniston. What makes the Waenhuiskrans Cave so exciting is the low-tide leap-and-a-bit to reach it, over barnacle-encrusted rocks with one’s eye on the sea for the odd freak wave.

Meisho Maru Wreck at Cape Agulhus Whale Of Trail Race

Cape Agulhas National Park

Cape Agulhas is the southernmost point of Africa and the meeting place of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Housing the second oldest lighthouse in the country, as well as plenty of shipwrecks, the park also protects hundreds of fynbos species found only in this small area.

bontebok in de hoop nature reserve 2021 08 26 16 30 15 utc Whale Of Trail Race

Bontebok National Park

Bontebok National Park is a species-specific national park in South Africa. It was established in 1931 to ensure the preservation of the Bontebok. It is the smallest of South Africa’s 18 National Parks, covering an area of 27.86 km² The park is part of the Cape Floristic Region, which is a World Heritage Site.

MuddyLane Whale Of Trail Race

Muddylane Pottery Studio

77 Sarel Cillers St, Napier – Open from 9-5 Mon-Sat (and Sun after the race)
Stop in the delightful village of Napier on your way to or from Whale of Trail and meet Madeleine, the ceramic artist who made each of your finisher’s medals. The gallery and studio are one creative space, filled with unique, practical and beautiful pieces, all inspired by local South African flora and quirkiness.

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