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 Post subject: Otter, food & & &....
Unread postPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 8:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 4:08 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Wierda Park, Centurion
Hi there

My hubby and I are goiing on the Otter in Nov :D . Is there anyone that can give as a good idea of what to take and what not :huh:. We know about the survival bags ect. But like food, what would you suggest or anything else that people forget to tell you. This would be a first trail for my husband but not for me, I know it is a bad one for a firstimer :big_eyes: , but he wants to do it. So any ideas that might help, please help? :?

 Post subject: Re: Otter, food & & &....
Unread postPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 8:06 am 
Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:37 pm
Posts: 7460
Location: Daar waar die bobbejane hul borshare kam
Hi Coenel, I envy you! Wish I could explore that rugged coastline some day (Hubby and I love the Tsitsikamma region):

Pistol-Pete had this advice (uhm, ten years ago...):

Having done the trail 7 times (1st one at the age of 5!) I can hopefully give you a few pointers when planning for it.

Accommodation on each night is in two log cabins with 6 beds (1 inch mattress), so just the old sleeping bag will do - no mattress. Rubbish bins, fire wood, braai areas and grids are provided at each hut, making a braai a good idea for the first night. Vacuum packed meat seems to last quite some time and can be taken for nights 2 and 3.

Crossing the Bloukrans River (Day 4) should only be attempted at low tide, so check the tide table for that day - waking up at 3 in the morning to make the low tide is sometimes necessary! Rain can be quite frequent, and can pose problems for crossings of the Bloukrans (Day 4), Lottering (Day 3). On one occasion we had to swim the Haartenbos (Day 3) and even Natures Valley! (Day 5). Take a survival bag to float the old rucksack through difficult sections, should you be caught. Be very aware of currents at the mouths of these rivers. Also don't hesitate to use the numerous escape routes marked on the map should the crossing appear to be dangerous in any way. Check that all the people on the hike can swim - we have been caught out like this before! Watch out for the accent up to the plateau about 7 km into day 4.

There is evidence of people missing the path and continuing along the coast to the mouth of the Bloukrans. Fill up the water bottle at the last water point before the overnight hut. There are asbestos rain water tanks, but these are often dry especially in the dry months. Try to use water sparingly from these tanks, as the next group of hikers will appreciate your consideration. Candles seem to be a good idea for night time in the huts, just clean up any mess they make. The otter is a very shy little guy and if you see one, consider yourself lucky.

Bottle nosed dolphins are a common sight and often come in close to the shore and play in the surf - look out for them at Oakhurst hut. The Knysna Loerie can quite often be seen jumping about in the upper forest canopy, and are full of character. Do not rush to get to the next hut, as you will end up missing a lot along the way. Take time to explore river mouths, swim etc.

Before and after the trail, Forest huts are available at Storms River Mouth and at Vasselot and accommodate two, with bedding and braai facilities - communal camping ablutions. They are good value for money and are very welcome to the tired and weary hiker. Book them through the National Parks Board. The restaurant at Storms River Mouth used to be excellent for a slap-up dinner, but we have found that recently the food and the service is appalling and you would be better off braaiing.


- sleeping bag
- pillow slip (to make a reasonable pillow using clothes as stuffing)
- survival bag (cape union mart)
- good, comfortable pair of boots or running shoes if you don't like boots
- waterproof Anorak
- sox
- underwear
- warm top
- tracksuit bottom
- 3 x T-shirts (1 for evenings)
- 3 x shorts (1 for evenings)
- costume
- light running shoes/slops for evenings
- hat - sun cream
- 1 box matches/lighter
- sense of humour.

- small biodegradable soap
- toothbrush
- little tube of toothpaste
- 1 roll loo paper
- whatever blows your hair back (no hair dryers)
- hand towel .

- Game isotonic powder drink: try 1 litre at least per day
- biltong
- dried sausage
- peanuts, raisins
- super C's

- Provita/Ryvita, sliced bread
- margarine (in a well sealed small Tupperware container as this stuff leaks when molten)
- Sardines, mussels, potted meat spread
- chips, although they take up a lot of room and are liable to get squashed. Try Pringles
- fruit, not too much as it is heavy
- two minute noodles (emergency rations, also good bachelor food at home)

Really up to you - flask of whisky/brandy whatever. They still have to invent dehydrated beer

- water bottle 1 - 2 litres
- plate (plastic preferably, as it is light and doubles as a frisby if bored and still full of energy)
- pen knifes come in handy, especially when opening beers at the end of the trail
- fork, spoon
- 1 candle
- a light torch with new batteries
- gas stove
- 2 gas bombs per hut
- billy
- First Aid kit

- 2 x wooden huts (they aren't heated like some of our local jails)
- balcony, braai area in front
- bunks with about a 1 inch mattress
- wood is supplied in reasonable quantities at the huts for general fire dancing and cooking purposes

Good luck and I hope this helps you.


There are plenty of other sources that you might like to visit, including the Sanparks site: ... /otter.php


“Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about those who don’t.” - Harvey MacKay

 Post subject: Re: Otter, food & & &....
Unread postPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 8:23 am 
Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:37 pm
Posts: 7460
Location: Daar waar die bobbejane hul borshare kam
Hi Coenel

Maybe this general advice will also come in handy:

Dressing for Safaris

On safari, most people wear shorts and a T-shirt during the day and put on long sleeved shirts and long pants in the evening for warmth, as well as protection from mosquitoes. Should you be particularly sensitive to the sun a loose cotton shirt is essential during the day. Khaki, brown, olive and beige colours are best for and safaris and game walks.

White is not a suitable colour for these activities, as it increases your visibility to wildlife you want to get a closer look at and it will get dirty very quickly. ... Remember that layering your clothing will keep you warmer than relying on one thick item.

Clothing to Pack for Safaris

# 2 pairs khaki cotton pants
# 2 pairs khaki shorts
# 2 long sleeved shirts/ blouses (for sun protection as well as warmth)
# 1 light sweater or sweatshirt
# 1 lightweight, waterproof windbreaker
# Swimming costume
# Sturdy walking or hiking boots
# Sandals
# 3-5 short-sleeved shirts or T-shirts
# 5 changes underwear and socks
# Hat with a brim (baseball caps might cover your nose but not your ears and neck)
# Gloves (if you really feel the cold)
# Down vest or jacket (if you really feel the cold)
# A sarong or kikoi type garment
Most lodges and safari camps offer laundry as part of their service. Hotels all offer laundry, at additional cost.


# Toilet kit including shampoo and soap
# Insect repellent (probably not needed in Tsitsikamma?)
# Good quality sunglasses plus protective case
# Hand wipes or 'Baby wipes'
# Stuff-sacks or plastic packets; to compartmentalise items within your travel bag
# Repair kit: needle and thread, nylon cord, rip-stop tape
# Camera, film or memory card
# Spare batteries. Film and batteries can generally be obtained at lodges, but at a price of course, so please be sure to have sufficient supplies for your needs
# Binoculars
# Paperback reading, writing material (keep weight at a minimum)
# Sunscreen or block
# Moisturizer, lip balm
# Personal first-aid kit (headache pills, antihistamine cream etc)
# Large towel and washcloth (thin, quick-drying) – if required for camping/overland safari

If you take prescription medication, be sure to bring a sufficient supply with you. If you are on a lengthy holiday, we suggest that you carry a copy of your prescription with you.

Source: ... abona.html

“Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about those who don’t.” - Harvey MacKay

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