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Otter Trail

Knysna, Tsitsikamma, Wilderness
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
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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
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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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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
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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: 9
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
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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.

prinslft
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:04 pm
Location: Secunda

Re: Otter Trail

Unread postby prinslft » Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:20 pm

We got up at 3am and started hiking at 3h30 (with headlamps)....great experience try it at least once in your life...lol
Take only Photo`s from nature and leave only footprints

suescott33
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Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:37 pm

Re: Otter Trail

Unread postby suescott33 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:53 pm

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.

lauriedelrey
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:03 pm

Otter Trail: Surviving the river crossing

Unread postby lauriedelrey » Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:23 pm

We did the Otter Trail at the end of February 2009 and despite some rain on a couple days, the conditions were great overall. I flew in from Los Angeles for the hike knowing very little about the trail or how difficult it was. As a non-athletic type I suffered a lot but felt all the more satisfied when we reached the end. Memories that will last a lifetime! And don't throw away your boots at the end of the trail like I did because there is a special tree you can hang them from at the bar where you get your certificate and do your shot of "Otter's A**hole"

The story of our river crossing on Day 4 is a bit long to post here but can be found at:
http://unrulytravels.blogspot.com/2009/03/floating-backpack-across-river-judgment.html

Daltonator
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon May 11, 2009 10:46 pm
Location: UK

Re: Otter Trail

Unread postby Daltonator » Tue May 12, 2009 10:44 pm

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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