Si Mac wrote:
We are hiking the otter trail in January . I have heard many conflicting stories about crossing the bloukrans river mouth. Some people say that taking a survival bag to float your backpack accross is essential , while others say that if you time the tides right you should easily be able to walk accross with your backpack on.
Please could someone help with some advice on what we should be taking with us for this crossing. we will aim to be at the crossing at least an hour before low tide.
any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Dear Si Mac
I have forwarded your question to my colleagues at Tsitsikamma and include Andre Riley's, (Section Ranger at Tsitsikamma National Park) response herewith:
The crossing of the Bloukrans River on the Otter trail is influenced by three factors; the tide, sea conditions and river flow. All three of these factors could make the crossing difficult. A combination thereof could make it even more difficult. However under normal conditions at low tide the river is easy to cross. I would certainly recommend that you take along a survival bag as one cannot predict the conditions on the day. It is better to have dry cloths on the hike, and secondly it is very dangerous walking across a river with a backpack completely strapped to you back.
As mentioned above, should you cross the river at low tide and the conditions are normal, the crossing might not even require a survival bag. However a survival bag might certainly come in handy on other parts of the trail, especially if it rains.
I trust that you and your party will have an enjoyable hike.
Tsitsikamma National Park
P. Bag x 1
Tel/Fax: +27 (0)44-5316792