This short walk in the Waenhuiskrans Nature Reserve brings you to the little lighthouse of Arniston, an excellent place to see the African Black Oystercatcher and other seabirds. Unwind with the magnificent views of the ocean and relaxing sounds of the waves and the birds.

At the lighthouse of Arniston there is a good chance to see the African Black Oystercatcher.
Oystercatchers and other seabirds at the lighthouse.


This walk is in the Waenhuiskrans Nature Reserve on the south side of Arniston, a pretty fishing village. The hike starts at the Roman Beach car park. It takes about 2.5 to 3 hours and 209 km to reach Arniston from Cape Town via the N2 and R316.

Trail Route

3.4 km | 1 hour | 90 m up | 90 m down | 16 m high | 0 m low

We went on this short hike as the last activity on a weekend trip from Cape Town to Agulhas and Arniston, see our detailed trip report. This was our second hike in Arniston, after the first hike which started from the centre of the historic fishing village.


  • Take a sunhat and sunscreen to stay cool and safe.
  • There are a few options of where exactly to hike here, there is no real set route.
  • Only at low tide, you can visit Waenhuiskrans Cave.
  • If you have a 4×4 and are short on time or lazy, you can drive all the way to the lighthouse.
  • For fisherfolk, this is a good place for you as well.
  • Find more great hikes in South Africa.
Single Oystercatcher with many other sea birds.
A single oystercatcher with many other seabirds.

After our village hike, we drove through the village to park at the Waenhuiskrans Nature Reserve at Roman beach. From here, we set off, first along a jeep track, with great views of the ocean. We cut down to the beach and walked along the sand to the far point in the distance.

Beach with Arniston lighthouse in the distance in Waenhuiskrans Nature Reserve, South Africa.
To the beach!


The waves were very fierce at the end, but the shoreline was protected by rocks, and this was where all the birds were. There were many cormorants, terns and other seabirds that I don’t know the name of. Most special was the African Black Oystercatcher, which is a wader that only inhabits parts of the coast of Southern Africa. It is a near-threatened species with about 6000 of them left.

The end of the hike.
At the far point.
three oystercatchers.

After this short hike, we went back the way we came to the car and drove back to Cape Town. An exciting trip completed!

Oystercatchers flying away.
A panorama of Oystercatcher.

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