The Otter Trail
Undoubtedly the best known and most popular of the South African hiking trails, the Otter Trail must rank alongside the best trails in the world.
The Otter Trail follows the spectacular Garden Route coastline from Storms River Mouth to Nature's Valley in the Tsitsikamma National Park, in the Eastern Cape. The trail takes 5 days to complete and follows the rugged, rocky shoreline ranging in elevation from sea level to a height of more than 150m. Most of the trail follows cliff tops returning to sea level to cross rivers.
Though only 42.5 kms long, it is not an easy trail. Bookings for the trail can be made through the South African National Parks. The Otter Trail is popular with locals and foreigners alike, and more applications are received for bookings than can be accommodated. It is however, well worth the perseverance needed to obtain a booking.
For an in depth account of The Otter Trail visit our article on Hiking the Otter Trail - A Visitors Perspective.
South African National Parks on telephone +27 (0)12 426-5111
As this is not the easiest of trails, with some steep sections, some rough terrain and up to 13.8 km of hiking per day, a fair degree of fitness is required. Children over 12 are welcome.
Distances and Durations:
The trail is 5 days / 4 nights long and covers a total of 42.5 km, as follows:
Day 1: 4.8 km (approx. 2 hours)
Day 2: 7.9 km (approx. 4 hours)
Day 3: 7.7 km (approx. 4 hours)
Day 4: 13.8 km (approx. 6 hours)
Day 5: 6.8 km (approx. 3 hours)
Where to StayRelated Links
Attractions / Activities nearby
One of the few remaining steam trains in the country. Steam enthusiasts are in their element and everyone enjoys the splendid views of lakes, forests, beaches and cliffs on the train's coastal route between George and Knysna. One-way 3 hour trip, Monday to Friday and ... more information
The Tsitsikamma National Park is situated at the heart of the picturesque tourist region known as the Garden Route, found in the Southern Cape of South Africa. Tsitsikamma is a Khoisan word meaning, “place of much water". The Park incorporates 80 km of rocky coastline with spectacular sea and... more information
Almost 30 kilometres outside of Outshoorn in the Klein Karoo, and certainly one of the main reasons for placing this little town on your itinerary, other than the prospect of riding an ostrich, lie the Cango Caves, some of the biggest stalagmite formations in the world set in Precambrian times ... more information
Visiting the Garden Route?
Also see Things To Do in Garden Route to view activities by category, including watersports, sightseeing activities, arts & crafts and many, many more.