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Hikings Trails of Buffalo City: Bat's Cave Trail

The Bat’s Cave Trail is the most popular walk in the Nahoon Point Nature Reserve and follows in the spirit of the early beachcombers. It passes an excavation site, where human fossil footprints (dated at 124000 years old) were found in 1964.

The trail starts at the Coastal Education and Visitor Centre boardwalk and leads down to a sandy beach. After a short distance along the beach, you encounter the first of a number of quiet sandstone coves - the home of rock hyraxes and the nesting sites of giant kingfishers. Walkways and stairways made from recycled plastic snake over and around the fascinating sandstone formations, which makes entering and exiting the coves easier.

The trail has one steep climb as you leave the third cove, gaining height over a large wave-cut platform. From here, the route contours above steep sandstone cliffs before descending to Bat’s Cave itself (about 1,1 kilometres from the start). There are a number of look-out points which are great spots to watch dolphins playing in the waves and to observe the gannets, sharks and whales that frequent this coast during the annual sardine run in June and July.

Bat’s Cave is accessible only when the tide is low so plan the walk accordingly if you want to explore the cave and look out for the large Egyptian fruit bats living in the weathered ceiling above.

From Bat’s Cave, the route cuts up through a dune forest (or you can backtrack along the coast for a different perspective of the trail), where a great variety of bird species may be seen and blue duiker are often spotted feeding during the early mornings and late afternoons. Follow the pointers back to the Coastal Education and Visitor Centre.

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