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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 3:32 pm
Posts: 11
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


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 Post subject: Pity if you cant cross Bloukrans
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 1:59 pm
Posts: 7
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?


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 Post subject: Otter Trail- winter hike & Bloukrans river crossing
Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:27 pm
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Location: Cape Town
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


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:11 pm 
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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.


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 Post subject: Re: Otter Trail
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:31 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:00 pm
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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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 Post subject: Re: Otter Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:45 pm
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Location: southern gauteng
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 .

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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.


Last edited by ndloti on Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Otter Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:52 pm 
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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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 Post subject: Re: Otter Trail
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:49 pm 
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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.


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 Post subject: Re: Otter Trail
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:03 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 4:44 pm
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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...


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 Post subject: Re: Otter Trail
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:07 pm
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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...


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 Post subject: Re: Otter Trail
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:33 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:04 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Secunda
: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

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 Post subject: Re: Otter Trail
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:08 pm 
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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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 Post subject: Re: Otter Trail
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:20 pm 
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Location: Secunda
We got up at 3am and started hiking at 3h30 (with headlamps)....great experience try it at least once in your life...lol

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 Post subject: Re: Otter Trail
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:53 pm 
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Hi there,
We finished the Otter Trail about 3-weeks ago and I'd like to share a few things:

1. Take Water Purification drops. The water at Huts 2 and 3 was discoloured so you feel safer with the drops (plus there is a huge drought on at the moment so the water at the huts is old).

2. Whatever you hear, TAKE PROPER SURVIVAL BAGS FOR THE BLOUKRANS CROSSING. We only had two bags in our group and the Bloukrans Crossing was hectic. We got there 20-minutes BEFORE low tide and our first crossing at the exact time of low-tide was neck deep and then we had to swim for all our other crossings. I have heard that the floods have changed the shape of the rivers down there (not sure how true this is), but I pooh-poohed the Bloukrans crossing and reading this forum just a few days before the trail, I thought some of the posts were exaggerated. They are not. You MUST take the crossing seriously. Have a plan in your group of how you're going to do it. When you get to the other side (Option B) you will be on a rockface and you cannot tread water while trying to push your bag up onto the rocks. You will need a point person retrieving the bags at that end, and you will need to float your bags over. On our crossing we had several sand sharks cruising around us, (I have heard that there are Zambi's at the river mouths because of the drought situation...not sure why this would make them congregate there??!) which can cause some panic. Our group was made up of calm, very fit and seasoned hikers, and we were all panicking and yelling towards the end of our crossing. Make sure you have a plan A and a plan B.

3. Do the Otter tradition of swimming in each and every body of water that you can safely swim in! We did and it made the days longer, but I'm so glad we did....it was awesome! We had two snorkels and masks in our group which was fab. We snorkeled in the bay at Hut 3 and saw so much there. Really lovely.

4. Oh check that your bags for the crossing do not have holes in them BEFORE you leave. One of our bags had a hole in it.

5. Stargaze. The last hut has a rocky bay and there is a huge flat rock in-front of hut B which is lovely to lie on after sunset to stargaze. We saw some amazing things. The light pollution from Plett isn't great, but this flat rock on the ocean is such a stunning place to stargaze.

Hope this helps...
Susan.


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 Post subject: Re: Otter Trail
Unread postPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 10:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 11, 2009 10:46 pm
Posts: 1
Location: UK
Hey guys,

I have a blog article about the otter trail, I walked it last August. If anyone is interested it is at...

http://laurassouthafricanadventure.blog ... trail.html


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