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.
THE FOLLOWING IS A GENERAL GUIDE AS TO WHAT YOU SHOULD PACK... YOUR PACK SHOULD WEIGH A MAXIMUM OF 1/4 OF YOUR BODY WEIGHT, SO TRY TO PACK AS LIGHTLY AS POSSIBLE!.
- 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
- warm top
- tracksuit bottom
- 3 x T-shirts (1 for evenings)
- 3 x shorts (1 for evenings)
- light running shoes/slops for evenings
- hat - sun cream
- 1 box matches/lighter
- sense of humour.
- small biodegradable soap
- 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
- 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
- First Aid kit
WHAT IS AT THE HUTS?
- 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: http://www.sanparks.org/parks/tsitsikam ... /otter.php