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Otter Trail

Knysna, Tsitsikamma, Wilderness
samas12
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 3:32 pm

Unread postby samas12 » Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:36 pm

thanks Marike, this is what Sanparks said:

It is rather unfortunate that low tide would fall after dark during your hike through our trail of exceptional beauty.
Although the above said, in my opinion it would be rather dangerous to try and cross the river at night and continue on to Andre Hut. I would therefore suggest that the escape route E6 be used by
yourself/group. The escape route is quite difficult in the sense that it is relatively steep, but can be walked in app. 30-40 minutes from the trail up to the pick up point. Once you arrive at the E6 escape route, please contact either myself on the number below or alternatively contact my rangers on the following number - 0729174474.
I hope you enjoy the trail experience tremendously.
Regards
Owen Govender
Senior Section Ranger
Tsitsikamma National Park

Hennie
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 1:59 pm

Pity if you cant cross Bloukrans

Unread postby Hennie » Fri Jun 20, 2008 4:01 pm

The last night's hut is on an exceptionally beautiful rock beach with amazing rocks in the sea. I have nearly drowned in Bloukrans 2 years ago, it was too deep to walk through and I went out to sea!! It was the same time the N2 at Kaaimanspas was closed due to flood damage.

I feel that Sanparks can make this river crossing safer by at least providing a cable. Also, it is unfair to make a person pay for a 5-day hike if both low-tides are at night-time (due to the short days of winter). Certainly Sanparks can transport hikers from E6 to the wood-dropoff point near Andre hut - enabling them to continue the hike!

I would be willing to take E6, hike over the Bloukrans Toll bridge and by hiking back to the sea rejoin the trail on the other side. That would make for a real long day (still far easier than the Drakensberg where I hike frequently) but will allow one to hike the entire day 4 in daylight.

Is there such a foot path on the western side of the Bloukrans bridge?

ttapela
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:27 pm
Location: Cape Town

Otter Trail- winter hike & Bloukrans river crossing

Unread postby ttapela » Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:24 pm

1. Has anyone done the trail in July? What was it like? What do you recommend outside of the usual advice?
2. If I take escape route E6 at Bloukrans river am I able to walk back down on the other side and continue to Andre's huts or is that it for me, Otter trail done?
3. If I can continue how long is the entire detour (SANParks says it is 2hrs to the top)?
thanks

samas12
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 3:32 pm

Unread postby samas12 » Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:11 pm

I had the most amazing experience hiking the Otter trail last week. It is a tough hike (I'm inexperienced) with tough uphills, make sure that you have fair degree of fitness if planning to do the hike. For the Bloukrans, you will need survival bags. We crossed 2 hours before low tide and had to swim the last bit. Apparently the floods last year washed away some of the sand under the river, making it more difficult to cross. I ended up walking in the dark because of the precarious timing of low tide.
I also saw 5 Otters by the second hut and 2 right whales. A beautiful hike that everyone should try to do at least once.

delfinely82
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 3:23 pm

Storage facilities in Storms River Camp? -Otter Trail-

Unread postby delfinely82 » Sat Nov 22, 2008 3:40 pm

Hi everyone,

We're 2 people planning to do the Otter trail on January 2010 and as South Africa is part of a much longer trip throughout other countries, we'll be carrying stuff that wouldn't be of any need for the Otter trail and which will make our bag heavier than required. Is there any possibility that we could leave some of our things in Storms River that the park organization would leave at the end of the trail in Nature's valley, or do we have to come back to Storms river by our own means to have our stuff back? Is there any storage facility? We'll be travelling on a Baz Bus tour.

Many thanks for your help.

parkgirl
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:24 pm

Re: Storage facilities in Storms River Camp? -Otter Trail-

Unread postby parkgirl » Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:52 am

hi there
we have made contact with the Park Manager Darren Claasen for you, and this is his reply below:

We’ll store the additional equipment at Storms River reservations and transport it to Natures Valley when they finish the trail. Storage of the equipment and the transport thereof is at the owner’s risk.

Hope this helps!
will pm you the details
kind regards
parkgirl

delfinely82
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2008 3:23 pm

Re: Storage facilities in Storms River Camp? -Otter Trail-

Unread postby delfinely82 » Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:32 pm

Thanks so much for the info! Although I won't be doing the trail until january 2010, that helps me collect the necesary information well in advance... I can't wait to be there!!
Best regards.

ColinP
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:00 pm

Re: Otter Trail

Unread postby ColinP » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:31 am

We finished the trail about a week ago, and it was great. The huts are in very good condition, the mattresses are much thicker than I remember them, so a comfortable night's sleep is easy. The trail itself is also well maintained, although you can see the evidence of recent erosion in places. The only time we went astray was when we plodded up a new unsignposted escape route, and even this was only because some cretin had piled branches across the trail itself and drawn a big arrow pointing up the escape route.

We were surprised to have to wade through chin deep water (I'm 6'3") to cross the Elandsbos river, but then that was at high tide. The Bloukrans (at low tide) was also interesting, the channel is deeper and wider than it used to be, and we need survival bags to keep our kit dry, but it is crossable. We used the B route, with a short rock scramble on the other side. Unless the spring tide is a whole lot lower than the tide we had, I'd guess the A route is always going to be tricky.

The only criticism I have is that the maps are pathetic. It is impossible to deduce whether you are about to go up or downhill, there is no indication of vegetation, and a couple of the water points marked are a joke - how far do you need to swim up the Bloukrans to get fresh water? It was unanimously agreed that the University of Pretoria's Geography department must be pretty poor if that is the best they could manage. What was wrong with the old maps? They were a better scale, far more accurate, had more detail (vegetation and so on) and even had a cross section, so you could tell what climbs were coming up, and how high and steep they were. Personally, I would be happy to pay good money for a good map, and it would have made far more sense to update the old ones (if they even needed it) than to go and make the new and inaccurate ones.

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ndloti
Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:45 pm
Location: southern gauteng

Re: Otter Trail

Unread postby ndloti » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:01 pm

I read that the huts areas also now have under cover kitchen areas , allows more space for cooking , great in the case of inclement weather .
Last edited by ndloti on Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

ColinP
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:00 pm

Re: Otter Trail

Unread postby ColinP » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:52 pm

That's right, each hut has a roofed gazebo type of thing with benches, a fire place and a small basin. We didn't use them much, we just cooked in the hut on out stoves. But if we'd taken along a bit of wors...

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ndloti
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Location: southern gauteng

Re: Otter Trail

Unread postby ndloti » Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:49 pm

Also paved shower areas , when I spent new year at Andre in 1999/2000 (also walked in 1996) I would have welcomed these improvements .
Time to go again .
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

Richtk
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 4:44 pm

Re: Otter Trail

Unread postby Richtk » Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:03 am

Did the Otter Trail a week ago. We had to exit on the third day!! The river bed next to second days cabins was 3 metres high in sea foam. We almost lost 9 of our guys. This was after the big storms...

oppikoffi
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:07 pm

Re: Otter Trail

Unread postby oppikoffi » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:40 pm

What a pity you couldn't finished. Try to do it again. I've done my third otter hike 2 weeks ago... every time I think to get fitter for the next, but... the older I get (and "unfitter") the better I enjoy it :-) because when the uphill is too steep, it gives me energy when me and my sister moaned togehter :-)
The rivercrossings was nice this time around, although I don't think that the Bloukrans will ever be without survival bags (and we also crossed it together with 3 sharks :-) )
I've prayed for a blessed hike - sister and brother-in-law and aren't experience at all - and the Lord favoured us with cool weather, no rain and enough energy for all the up hills! And the little sip of OBS at the end of each day helped a lot!

Don't quit trying to do it again...

prinslft
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:04 pm
Location: Secunda

Re: Otter Trail

Unread postby prinslft » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:33 am

:dance: We have done and completed the Otter trail,last week. What an amazing hike, especialy the 4th day..... We started the 22nd Jan 2009 and finished the 26th Jan. We crossed all the rivers without even taking of our boots, except for the Bloukrans :shock:

We lost in total 6 survival bags to the rocks, thus rocks 6 humans 0. It was realy an enjoyable hike (if you are fit and prepared) Regrets we were not..... :redface:

All information we gathered was valuable but the tides did not work with us with Bloukrans. We were at the crossing from 8h30 and had to cross 9h35, the water did not recede. Can someone please explain this to me???? :roll:

Still, everything was good....We are alive...

Regards
Frik
Take only Photo`s from nature and leave only footprints

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Herman
Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 6:51 am
Location: Vanderbijlpark

Re: Otter Trail

Unread postby Herman » Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:08 pm

8:30 at Bloukrans already ??!! What time did you start to get there so early ? Must be awful to walk in the dark.


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