Stilbaai, Western Cape
A wonderful coastal slackpacking trail in the Stilbaai, Blombos and Jongensfontein area of the Southern Cape coast
The Alikreukel Trail offers you guided slackpacking of three day’s hiking along the coast and half a day of easy kayaking on the Goukou River at Stilbaai. This stretch of coast is one of the least developed in South Africa, with great variety and scenic beauty. Be part of the following experiences along this trail:
- Hike along the rugged coast near Blombos, where people lived and developed more than 70 000 years ago
- Learn about how these people lived and that they are actually our ancestors
- Get fascinating information and involved experiences on natural and cultural features along the way
- Walk through a variety of fynbos, coastal vegetation, rock formations and a melkhout tree forest
- See whales or dolphins near the coast in season
- See the impressive stone fish traps that the Khoikhoi people built more than 2000 years ago
- View the museum exhibition about the Blombos Cave and see actual artefacts excavated in the cave
- Paddle a kayak along the scenic Goukou River and visit an olive farm with a tasting Sleep in very comfortable accommodation, with all meals and snacks supplied
- Local transport and transfer of kit included in the package
- Be fascinated by the mysteries of the past, while experiencing the delights of the present
The Alikreukel Trail runs along a beautiful stretch of coast with wild rocky shores, lonely beaches, fynbos-covered coastal dunes, caves, amazing sea life and intriguing cultural heritage. As a variation to the hiking theme, there is also a paddle on the breath-taking Goukou River.
Authentic experiences during the hike:
Listen to a talk by an expert on the excavations done at the Blombos Cave
Learn more about inter-tidal sea life and fascinating facts about the octopus – also see it in its’ natural environment. See what the semi-petrified sand dunes, formed during the last ice age, reveals about local conditions back then Taste a variety of olive products and become olive-wise on an olive farm
Learn about the importance of the Alikreukel (giant periwinkle) during early inhabitation
Taste the alikreukel shellfish in a starter to one of your meals
“Once upon a cave”
- Distance: 17 km
- Grading: average to somewhat difficult, with rough terrain in places
See the beautiful coastal area where stone-age people dwelled more than 70 000 years ago, with explanations on how these people lived. See ancient shell middens with hundreds of alikreukel shells and other food-providing shell remains. Get fascinating information on what the landscape looked like when these people lived in the area.
Good vantage points to spot whales and dolphins beyond the huge waves of this area
Nice and safe places to swim during the warm season. Overnight in the Seesig Chalets in Jongensfontein again.
“Whales and walls”
- Distance: 12 km
- Grading: easy to average
Hike from Jongensfontein to Stilbaai, past scenic places like Jongensgat Cave, Noordkapper Point, the ancient fish traps and Skulpiesbaai Nature Reserve.
Scenic coastline with a variety of natural and cultural features. Whale and dolphin vantage points. Learn more about the sea life of the area. See the ancient fish traps (a National Heritage Site), built with stones by Khoikhoi people more than 2000 years ago, and get interesting information on it. Walk through a milkwood tree forest. Enjoy the best view of Stilbaai, before retiring to the Still Life / Lieflappie Guest House.
“Up the River”
- Distance: 3 km walking & 4 km paddling in a kayak:
- Grading: easy walking; easy paddling
Walk past the famous Stilbaai stilt beach houses and Goukou River mouth. View the excellent display on the excavations done at the Blombos Cave and listen to an informative talk by an expert on this important archaeological site. Paddle in a very stable kayak up the most scenic part of the Goukou River. Have an olive tasting, informative talk, and lunch at Kransfontein, a productive olive farm. Enjoy some free time in Stilbaai during the afternoon.
"The Sands of Time”
- Distance: 12 or 16 km (group decision)
- Grading: rather easy walking
Hike on the eastern side of Stilbaai from the Preekstoel towards Geelkrans (and further to Rooikrans, if desired). This is a beach walk with fascinating scenery and formations, totally different from the first two days. It is a there-and-back walk.
Semi-petrified dunes eroded into cliffs with fascinating textures and shapes. Aeolianite formations dating from the last ice-age, with explanations of its’ origin. Interesting, eroded stones and pieces of shells that you will want to take home. More fish traps built by the early inhabitants. A wild and lonely stretch of coast – you will love this walk.
What should I take along?
You need a day pack to carry your food and drinks for the day, as well as other essential items like a windbreaker, rain jacket, sun hat, sunblock, personal medication and a water container. A lunch pack with snacks and fruit juice will be supplied, as well as purified water.
We recommend the following items for the trip:
- Good, comfortable hiking/trail running shoes, and old tekkies/aqua shoes (for the kayaking) Good hiking socks
- Comfortable hiking clothes and a good rain jacket
- Swimming costume and towel
- Snorkel and goggles (if you like snorkeling)
- Walking stick (if you prefer it)
- Sun hat, sunblock and sunglasses
- Warm, comfortable clothing and shoes for the evenings
- Personal items like toiletries
- Personal medication
- Water container(s). Purified water will be available at your overnight places
- Note: All your kit needs to fit inside a 110 liter portage box (60 x 40 x 40 cm)
Min group size is 8 and maximum 14
For groups larger than 10:
R6400.00 pp sharing
R7200.00 single room
Group size 8 – 10 people:
R6800.00 pp sharing
R7600.00 pp single room.
Group size less than 8 people:
R7200.00 pp sharing or single room (limited single rooms available)
The rates include four nights’ accommodation in comfortable overnight establishments, guide fees, all meals (and snacks along the trail), lunch packs, purified water, an alikreukel starter, visit to the Blombos Cave museum exhibition, the paddle on the Goukou river, olive tasting with lunch, all local transport during the trip, and luggage portage. You will only have to pay for your alcoholic drinks, your own preferred snacks along the trail and what you order extra.
A deposit of 50% is required to secure a booking – to be paid within 14 or 30 days of the booking (depending on how long before the hike you make the booking). For bookings more than 6 months in advance, the initial deposit is only 25%.
The minimum group size is 6, and maximum 14. Small groups will be combined if the same dates are booked. Single rooms are limited.
Should you want to be an exclusive group – let’s work out a special rate for you.
We also offer a self-catering option for hiking the trail, where you provide your own food and arrange your own accommodation. We still guide you and offer all the rest. Please inquire.
Dates:Only selected dates are available to hike the Alikreukel Trail (please see the list lower down).
We have selected the optimum tide dates for walking the trail. This is for your comfort (not walking on soft sand during high tide) and to make the best use of what the coast offers – in tidal rock pools, seeing the fish traps and appreciating the coastal ecology.
Note: Hikers must arrive the afternoon before the hike starts and will be accommodated in Jongensfontein in private holiday houses. Dinner included.
We have selected the optimum tide dates for walking the trail. This is for your comfort (not walking on soft sand during high tide) and to make the best use of what the coast offers – in tidal rock pools, seeing the fish traps and appreciating the coastal ecology.Note: Hikers must arrive the afternoon before the hike starts and will be accommodated in Jongensfontein at the Seesig Chalets. Dinner included.
The trail is closed During the December holiday season, until mid-February.
DATES FOR 2022 first semester
- Saturday 19 – Tuesday 22 February
- Saturday 5 – Tuesday 8 March
- Saturday 19 – Tuesday 22 March (long weekend)
- Saturday 2 – Tuesday 5 April
- Tuesday 19 – Friday 22 April
- Saturday 30 April – Tuesday 3 May (long weekend)
- Tuesday 17 – Friday 20 May
- Tuesday 31 – Friday 3 June
- R55.00 once off per reservation.