De Hoop Collections’ Merrell Whale of Trail 2023

Merrell Whale of Trail

The De Hoop Collection in the De Hoop Nature Reserve is again hosting the hugely popular Merrell Whale of Trail, scheduled for the weekend of 4 to 6 August 2023, with the main race on Saturday 5 August.

“We’re delighted to again be hosting the premier Merrell Whale of Trail event – ” trail running at its best” says William Stephens, the owner of De Hoop Collection, and chairman of Cape Country Routes, “last year’s Whale of Trail was such a great success – do yourself a favour, enter this race  for an experience of a lifetime!”

The Merrell Whale of Trail’s 53km Ultra event on De Hoop Nature Reserve’s Whale Trail hiking route, with its spectacular mountain fynbos, technical rocky ridge lines, sandy beach stretches and unlimited beautiful vistas, is a ‘once-a-year must-do’ for athletes wanting a challenge, and it offers pretty much the only opportunity each year for a limited number of nature loving athletes to run hard on the trail while treading lightly on the earth. With only 1900m of elevation gain over 53km, it’s the perfect introductory trail ultra! While for those not quite ready for an ultra-distance but wanting to be a part of the incredible atmosphere, there is the less challenging 35km route.

A short three hour drive from Cape Town or George, the race route starts at the base of the Potberg Mountain, winds up and along fynbos covered peaks past the Cape Vulture colony, with spectacular views of the Breede River Valley and then descends to Noetsie Bay, turns west and winds along the rocky shores of the Indian Ocean to end on the beach at Koppie Alleen in CapeNature’s flagship De Hoop Nature Reserve.

This pristine World Heritage Nature Reserve is an ideal destination for hikers, walkers, cyclists and families. It offers unique outdoor experiences like no other – the sea, deserted beaches, a Ramsar listed vlei, wide open spaces, coastal fynbos, diverse animal and bird life, including the endangered Cape Vulture, and the very best whale watching.

An ideal family getaway, The De Hoop Collection situated alongside the Ramsar vlei offers guided nature drives, bird and marine walks, mountain biking trails, bike rentals, eco boat trips on the Vlei, whale watching and its newest Trail Experience – the De Hoop Trail -‘Vlei to Whales’ that promises a memorable walking experience (+-38km covered over four days) with the brand-new De Mond Villa providing accommodation for a fully catered and guided experience; and a wide range of accommodation options designed to suit all budgets. There are special rates for the Merrell Whale of Trail 2023 runners and families and Tented accommodation for luxurious camping aka glampingis available at R2 600 for two people for two nights.

All accommodation bookings are to be made directly with De Hoop Collection – res@dehoopcollection.co.za

Race entries: whaleoftrail.co.za, race information: www.whaleoftrail.co.za