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Run, Hike, Bike

The trails at De Hoop Nature Reserve will unlock much more than your online  app rewards this season, with 4 unique trails to choose from, ranging from a leisurely 12km, to a more challenging 30km route for the truly experienced – there is something for everyone.

Check out the trails

Discover Unlimited Beauty

Positioned on the Western Cape’s coastline and extending an almighty 340 square kilometres, De Hoop is one of the largest areas managed by Cape Nature, and one of few parks to boast such a large diversity in marine and land animals, birdlife and vegetation!

Stretch your legs and explore this incredibly diverse landscape up close, and all it has to offer.

Home to epic events such as De Hoop Vlei MTB Stage Race & Whale Of Trail, you now get to explore this incredible landscape at your leisure.

Whether you choose to RUN, HIKE, or BIKE, let us take a closer look at what is on offer. 


Trail 1 - The Dassie 10km

Distance: 10km

Elevation: 110m

Sightings: Water Birds & Large Game

First up, a 10km circular route that follows some rocky terrain to the southern end of the vlei (hello birders!) and back. Expect some short up and downhill stretches. This trail runs through an area that was burnt in 2006. Larger mammals such as Bontebok, Eland and Grey Rhebuck are often seen in or near depressions in the landscape where they graze. Ostrich is also common. Bring your camera for this one, there are some great views.

Good to Know! In times of high water, parts of the trail may be flooded and not negotiable. The abandoned house, half way through the trail is a study site for honey bees. Do not approach or enter!

Trail 2 - The Fynbos Trail 12km

Distance: 12km

Sightings: Rare Fynbos, Birds, Cape Mountain Zebra

The start and end of this trail runs along the same route. It’s a fairly rocky option with a long gradual uphill in the circular section, but easy downhill coming back. A detour of 2,6 km can be made to Tierhoek Picnic Site at the edge of the vlei for some relaxation and birding.

The fynbos vegetation along this 13km route is very unique, and quite rare. The plants here grow on Limestone and include species such as Protea obtusifo/ia (red cup-shaped flowers in winter) and Leucadendron murii (medium­ sized bushes with large whitish grey cones). Birders can keep their eyes peeled for Cape Sugarbirds and Orange-breasted Sunbirds – both endemic to Fynbos are also common in winter. Cape Mountain Zebra and Baboon can sometimes be seen along the route.

Trail 3 - The Eland Trail 18km

Distance: 18km or 27km ( Koppie Alleen loop)

Elevation: 150m or 260m ( Koppie Alleen loop)

Sightings: Large Game and Whales in season

Note route 3 requires a high level of technical skill. This route is very rocky

After leaving the main road this path winds its way through open grazing fields – great for spotting game such as Eland, Bontebok, Cape Mountain Zebra, Grey Rhebuck, Baboon and Ostrich; thick stands of Cape reeds and rocky terrain. There are no notable long up or downhills. A detour of 8 km can be made to Koppie Alleen at the coast. This detour runs parallel to pure white sand dunes and the coastline offers spectacular views of Southern Right Whale (July – November) as well as beautiful rock pools and sandy beaches. (Yes, remember we said pack the camera!)

A BIG THANK YOU to Kirsten & Craig of The MSA Travel Africa Group, Specialists in Motorcycle, 4×4 Overland Travel, Rentals & Tours in Southern Africa for the data for the Google Maps. Should you require the .gpx data, please ask our team at check in.


These unique trails are available all year round for you to explore, train and enjoy at your leisure. Gather a group of friends, training partners or your local trail group and package your own outdoor adventure.

Accommodation Options:

We offer a variety of accommodation options from campsites to suites, as well as the opportunity to book your group into our Melkkamer Manor – ideal for private groups, on the oppposite side of the Vlei where you can opt for us to cater for you or enjoy your own self catering options.

Own Risk:

Please take all necessary precautions to ensure you are fit and able to partake in any of these activities, as you would any of your self arranged training runs or rides.

These trails are used at your own risk, they are not marshalled. Should you wish for us to arrange a guide for you , please let us know at time of booking.

Are you interested in MTB Tours & Training Camps. Take a look at De Hoop Vlei MTB.

Come train in the one of the most beautiful locations in the Western Cape, De Hoop Nature Reserve. Whether you are putting in base miles or sharpening your skills for a big event De Hoop’s plethora of tracks, trails and long district gravel roads feature everything you’ll need to take your mountain biking to the next level. Plus you’ll get to enjoy the fantastic hospitality of the De Hoop Collection while you’re not riding, ensuring you’re well rested and nourished to perform to your best during each training session. Drawing on the vast knowledge of Lance Stephenson, one of South Africa’s few UCI accredited cycling coaches, the De Hoop MTB Training Camps will feature programmes designed using the latest sport science research principles.  Get a group together and contact Anneke Jacobs on to book.

Trail Run Groups or Guided Trail weekends. 

De Hoop Collection is delighted to offer a special Run Wild Group Package, in conjunction with Mel and Ronny of Running Wild. This fabulous three nights/four days Run Wild Group Package offers groups of runners – family, friends, and clubs a unique opportunity to experience the magnificence of De Hoop Nature Reserve. With its indigenous Fynbos Trail, protected Wetland and Vlei Trail, 51 kilometres of protected coastline, the beach and cliff paths that include 7 kms of the iconic Whale Trail, plus close-up encounters with Bontebok, Cape Mountain Zebra, Eland, Baboons and Ostrich in its vast open spaces, De Hoop is a stunning trail running area.

The four-day Package includes: Day One – lunch, afternoon Fynbos Trail loop (10 km), sundowners and a braai. Day Two begins with a sunrise run around the vlei cliff path (12 km), followed by a champagne breakfast, an eco-boat trip, a sunset Fynbos Run (10km), ending with a 2-course dinner at the Fig Tree restaurant. Day Three includes breakfast, a beach run (26km or shorter on request) and return to Hippo Pools to snorkel, beach picnic, lunch and a 2-course Potjie dinner. Day Four includes breakfast and check out.

Subject to availability. Rates available on request. Get a group together and contact Melanie Boender on to book

What are you waiting for?

The trails are calling


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