5-day G!ano Coastline Hiking Trail

Day 1: Cape South Coast

All hikers are to meet by 17h00 at Pearly Shells guest house in Pearly Beach about 2.5 hours from Cape Town. Follow N2 past Somerset west, Take R43 to Hermanus, stay on R43. 21km past Gansbaai turn right into Pearly Beach. You are welcome to arrive earlier and settle in from 2pm. 

Activities and Services

Day 2: Cape South Coast

Shipwreck shore section                                                                                                                           
Location: Quion point reserve - Die Dam - Buffejagsbaai                                                                                           
Rating: Medium:  slight gradient over dune, medium fitness, 12km (Light version 10km).

The trail starts at the sleepy holiday resort of Die Dam following a jeep track into Quoin Point Reserve, the second most Southerly point on the African continent. The trail cuts through pristine fynbos covered dunes leading to the coast. At the coast we take some time to observe a local Cape Fur Seal breeding colony, before hugging the shore towards the historical light station at Quoin Point.

Next is a 4km long open beach section backed by a spectacular wind-carved sandstone cliff, a great place to cool off and swim in summer. The shipwrecks of the Fynd & Swona (1947) can be seen at low tide here. The trail ends at the beautiful fishing boat launch site of Bufflesjagsbaai. We can also see the Overberg’s largest Abalone farm next to the village which brings much needed employment to this quiet part of the world. This small fishing village has some colourful characters and it is well worth stopping to have a chat. 

Activities and Services

Day 3: Cape South Coast

Abalone amble section
Location: Bufflesjagsbaai - Pearly Beach.  
Rating: Medium/easy:  Medium fitness, 16km (Light version 14 km).

We start where we left off at Bufflesjagsbaai heading towards Pearly Beach reserve. At Plaatjieskraalbaai a very popular Kabeljou fishing spot, we walk through this areas version of Kolmanscop ghost town, an abandoned holiday resort buried in sand, due to the drifting dunes. A great photographic opportunity!

We follow the seashore around its many granite boulder protected bays, past Bantamsklip the controversial proposed site for a nuclear power station, to the shipwreck site of Otori Maru (1984). Much of the wreck remains and at low tide it is easy to explore.

The last section is Sweetfontain, and the long flat sandy beach provides great viewing of the whales and dolphins when they are here. We finish in Pearly Beach, at the Fynbos centre, a local conservation initiative where you can see an amazing diversity of local fynbos flowers in the garden and display area.

Whale monitoring has proved that between September and December this trail hosts more  whales than the De Hoop Whale Trail. Over 80 individuals sighted off Pearly Beach in one hour!

Activities and Services

Day 4: Cape South Coast

Abalone amble section.
Location: Pearly Beach – Franskraal.
Rating:  Medium / Easy: Medium fitness, 15 km (Light version 12 km).

We set out at the Marine Kiosk in Pearly Beach and the opportunity to gain extra insight into this amazing coastal ecosystem you are hiking through. We then hug the rocky shore on the coastal footpath, great for whale watching in season. Pearly Beach is aptly named for its beautiful beaches which border the Uilkraal reserve.

We walk over long stretches of pebble shore backed by sandy dunes. Close to shipwreck of Un Hung (1989), an impressive 4 meter tall shell midden hides behind the dunes. The flat open section towards the Uilkraal river offers a view of Great White Shark cage diving operation boats a few hundred meters off shore.

Then we cross the Uilenkraal river, between knee and waist deep, safely guided at the best spot along.(Don't panic no sharks!). We finish the day at the Franskraal museum a private collection of artifacts well displayed and supported with an informative talk from owner, Jan.

Activities and Services

Day 5: End of Itinerary

Walk with Whales section   
Location : Gansbaai harbour - Walker bay
Rating: medium/ easy, moderate fitness, 6 km 

We start at Gansbaai harbour, a traditional fishing harbour and walk the coastal trail towards De Kelders. The trail turns into an impressive and safe cliff path with spectacular views over Walker Bay. Arguably the best land based whale watching spot in the world! The rock formations create deep plunge pools perfect to cool off on hot days.

Limestone caves dot the steep cliffs, and entering the caves is an experience for their natural beauty and historical significance. The Dripkelder is the only fresh water coastal cave in Southern Africa and it is possible to take a dip in its healing waters. For hikers not wanting to enter the caves the short wait outside offers a view that will not disappoint.

The trail ends after lunch with a spectacular view point at Die Plaat overlooking Walker bay and Klipgat cave where excavations found evidence of stone-age mans occupation dating back 80 to 100 thousand years.  

You will be met here and transferred back to your accommodation in Cape Town or Cape Town International Airport for your onward travels.

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