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 Post subject: swimming at the otter
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:12 pm
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hi people.we planning to do the otter sometime next year,havent booked yet tho..im not a very good swimmer,actualy cant swim at all.question is,is it absolutely essential to be able to swim ,to cross the rivers?especially the bloukrans.or are the other rivers relatively easy to cross?than i could just take the escape route at bloukrans?


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 Post subject: Re: swiiming at the otter
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:05 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Can't help you, but I think its a good and essential question.

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 Post subject: Re: swiiming at the otter
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:37 am 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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As far as I can remember here is no escape route option at the Bloukrantz crossing , the walls of the gorge are pretty unclimable , just take a personal flotation device along in case the low tide is higher than average .

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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.


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 Post subject: Re: swiiming at the otter
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:47 am 
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I've done the Otter once, ten years ago. From what I remember, it all depends on the tides at your time of crossing. Both high/low and neap/spring etc.

Seeing as you haven't booked yet (good luck), it would probably be a good idea to try book your trip to give you a good crossing during a spring tide, with the low tide at a reasonable time during the day (so you don't have to leave too early). There's a fair amount of walking after the crossing too so you don't want it too late either.

I don't remember the tide situation when I did it, but I remember being able to walk most of it, with very little actual swimming. Others in the group (experienced backpackers) had some trouble towards the end of the crossing if I remember correctly.

It can also depend on rainfall upstream. If the river is in flood, it may not make a difference what the tides are doing.

As far as I remember (could be wrong), there weren't any other major crossings on the trail, certainly nothing like the Bloukrans.

To answer your question, if you time it nicely with the tides, then no you don't have to be able to swim to cross it. However I would be wary in attempting it without being able to swim. Rivers can be dangerous and are very unpredictable.

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 Post subject: Re: swimming at the otter
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:14 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:12 pm
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thanx guys..lets hope they build a bridge by than..else ill just have to take my noodle :P


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 Post subject: Re: swimming at the otter
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:06 am 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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I have just read an article on the Otter trail in the latest Weg! magazine ( English version is called Go!) where the Bloukrantz crossing is described , the river bed has been eroded by heavy seas and is much deeper than average , but that may easily change in the future .

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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.


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