Situated in the breathtaking Nature’s Valley Reserve along South Africa’s famed Garden Route, the Pig’s Head Trail offers an easy linear hike through dune forests. The highlight of this trail is the ‘Pig’s Head,’ a rocky outcrop midway along the path that resembles the shape of a pig’s head. From this outcrop, the trail gently guides you back down through the dune forest, ultimately leading you full circle back to the trailhead.
- Technical Details about Pig's Head Trail
- How to get to Pig's Head Trail
- Pigs Head Trail starting from Nature's Valley lagoon
- Pigs Head Trail from the Kalander Hut Entrance
- Where to stay in Nature's Valley
- Other hikes in Nature's Valley & surrounds
Technical Details about Pig’s Head Trail
- Level: While generally easy, there is a brief, steep ascent of about 200 meters to reach the Pig’s Head.
- Time: 1 – 2 hours
- Distance: 2km total (linear)
- Safety: It’s generally safe to walk, but just be aware of your surroundings. Also, watch out for wildlife like snakes, spiders and baboons!
How to get to Pig’s Head Trail
The Pig’s Head Trail has two starting locations: you can begin your hike at either the Nature’s Valley Trust Center or the parking lot at the lagoon. For directions to either of these starting points, simply click on the respective map links below.
TOP TIP: If you leave from the Natures Valley Trust Center, you have to pay a conservation/entrance fee. However, if you park and walk from the parking lot at the lagoon it is absolutely FREE!
Pigs Head Trail starting from Nature’s Valley lagoon
Setting out from the parking lot by the lagoon, the views are already breathtaking as you make your way towards the trail.
The beach itself has a wild ruggedness that seems to stretch for miles into the distance.
From the parking lot, the rocky outcrop that gives the trail its name is clearly visible. With a little imagination, you can actually see the shape of a pigs head and snout in the distance. That’s where you’re heading for!
Here, I’d recommend removing your sneakers and wading across the river since you’re likely to get wet. Don’t worry about checking the tides; the water is only ever ankle to knee deep.
Continue walking to the ‘pile of rocks’ in the sand with the National Park Sign Board.
Afterward, continue for another 20 meters, keeping a watchful eye out for the trail entrance signs that direct you into the forest on your left. We entered the forest at the ‘OTTER’ sign, even though there’s another entrance called ‘KALANDERS’ before that. I’ll delve into the details of the ‘KALANDERS’ entrance later in the post, but for now, let’s concentrate on the entry point at the ‘OTTER’ sign.
Continue up the wooden log steps until you see ‘Kalanders’ hut to your right.
At the top of the stairs, turn left so that Kalander hut is now behind you. You will then walk about 10 meters to a sign for Bloukrans hut. Turn right and head upwards here.
The terrain gets steep (and sometimes slippery) at this point, so be sure to watch your footing.
Continue up this path until there is a distinct left fork in the road that leads up to a light brown rocky outcrop! That’s it! You have reached Pig’s Head!
Behold the Pig’s Head!
I regret not bringing a picnic to enjoy our time there even more, but the wind was almost blowing us off the rock as it was! I suppose on a calm day, you could venture even higher to the ‘Pig’s Head.’ Unfortunately, it was a bit too risky on the day of our visit.
Following the Pig’s Head Trail back down to the lagoon
Simply follow the same route back down. Going downhill is much quicker, and you should reach the parking lot in around 30 to 45 minutes from the top of Pig’s Head.
Pigs Head Trail from the Kalander Hut Entrance
You can also access the trail from the Kalander Hut sign, situated approximately 30 meters behind the Otter entry point.
After entering the forest, continue up the stairs and then turn right.
Then, about 10 meters before Kalanders Hut, turn left up the incline at the sign for ‘Bloukrans Hut’.
As per the Otter entrance trail description prior, continue up this path until there is a distinct left fork in the road. This incline leads you to the wondrous Pig’s Head.
In conclusion Pigs Head Trail is a fantastic short little hike in Nature’s Valley that takes you up to an amazing viewpoint over both the beach and lagoon!
Where to stay in Nature’s Valley
Your closest accommodation option to Pig’s Head Trail is within the Natures Valley Village region:
Nature’s Valley Rest Camp: This is the primary accommodation option within the Tsitsikamma National Park. They offer a range of self-catering accommodations, including chalets and camping facilities. Booking in advance is highly recommended, especially during peak tourist seasons. Alternatively, accommodations within the village can be found on Booking.com. However, I found that doing a direct search on Google Maps can be more helpful because not all accommodations are listed on Booking.com.
If you don’t find what you are looking for within Natures Valley itself, venture to the Crags region. There are plenty more options here for accommodation. I can’t recommend Natures Way Farm Stay enough. It’s only a 15 minute drive from Nature’s Valley and the start of Pig’s head. Situated on a working farm, it’s an absolutely stunning location to explore the region from.
A bit further out, are places such as Plettenberg Bay and Storms River Village. Plettenberg Bay is just 25km west and has a plethora of accomodation options, while the Storms River Village is about 45km east.
Other hikes in Nature’s Valley & surrounds
Check out one of our other favorite hikes in the region, the Salt River Mouth hiking trail.
Robberg Nature Reserve isn’t too far from Natures Valley either, just a 45km (44 minute) drive in a Westerley direction towards Plettenberg Bay.