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Otter Trail- Info and Advice

Knysna, Tsitsikamma, Wilderness
Gunsmoke
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Otter trail Bloukrans crossing

Unread post by Gunsmoke » Tue Jan 08, 2008 9:49 am

Hi there,
We have finished the Otter yesterday 07 Jan...With regards to the Bloukrans river crossing...A survival bag is an absolute must...There is no way that you can walk or wade through without your bag getting wet. You WILL DEFINITELY need a survival bag to float your bag and a fair distance of SWIMMING is required! Good luck. We had to escape because we did not have bags and were most disappointed, esp since the other group of hikers managed very well with their bags.
4 Otters and 2 Beavers

Gunsmoke
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Bloukrans River Crossing - Otter Trail

Unread post by Gunsmoke » Tue Jan 08, 2008 10:03 am

Hi All,
We completed our Otter trail yesterday and is still in awe of our wonderful experience - saw some awesome sightings such as 23 sharks in a gulley at low tide on day 3...a Seal catching a fish and numerous birds and bokkies!!
Do not be fooled - you need a survival bag to cross the Bloukrans river. We had to learn the hard (and dispappointing way!!) by being forced to use Escape E6 because not all of us had survival bags. The river is full, but even at low tide it is impossible to walk through. A fair amount of swimming is required and your bag has to float in a bag!! The crossing was safe to do but we had to abandon because we did not have bags! (UURGH, pure frustration!!) Some other small rivers also in flood like the Kleinbos river where again you need the bag!
4 Otters and 2 Beavers

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Herman
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Unread post by Herman » Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:32 pm

Just shows you how unpredictable nature can be - last year in January the rivers were much lower and the Bloukrans crossing was a breeze at low tide. I'm surprised to hear that even the Kleinbos could be difficult to cross. Here I'm crossing the Bloukrans at low tide - which incidentally slotted in perfectly at 2pm. ( I only realise now how lucky we were !! )
Image

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Gazza777
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Weather Conditions in April

Unread post by Gazza777 » Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:31 pm

Hi all,

We're doing the Otter in the beginning of April 2008. This will be my 4 attempt, while only actually finishing once. Bailed out twice - food/water poisoning (not at all pleasant and warning to USE the water purifications tabs) and last time we pulled out due to an inaccessible Bloukrans - was low tide, but simly too dangerous to cross.

Anyway, so we're doing it again, and I'm wondering what sort of weather to expect in April?

Thanx
Gazza

tigerclaw
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Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 6:22 pm

Unread post by tigerclaw » Thu Jan 24, 2008 4:30 pm

We did the trail in Sept 2007, Bloukrans was an experience :lol: Some of our party walked across with their bags on their heads and used "route B" which has got a climb over some rocks, because some of us had survival bags we decided to use them for fun and go "route A" (the recommended route :roll: ) which goes a little way into the mouth and turns up a "runway" out of the water. The river was at its lowest and was waist deep, however three waves hit us as we were rounding the point to the runway. The third wave went over my head :shock: In the process two people got thrown into the rocks and hurt their shins quite badly and two survival bags got torn (everything got wet and we had to wait for things to dry - a wet pack is ridiculously heavy) - In my opinion "route B" should be the recommended route as the waves have lost a lot of their energy by that time and the climbing is far more controllable than rogue waves and hidden rocks.

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Jazil
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Unread post by Jazil » Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:44 pm

Weather in April, should be rather pleasant, but these days who can predict what the weather is going to be like anywhere.
Don't forget to PM any Mod your Kudu nominations for the month.

If you want to list your Park Dates in the YR Thread then please PM me.

eddyeddy
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:08 pm

Otter trail

Unread post by eddyeddy » Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:20 pm

Who can me give some special tips concerning the equipment for the otter trip. Exspecially which type of gas/fule cannisters are commun are and where I can buy it? I start the trip beginning of march and I'm still happy
Eddy

blowin
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Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:52 pm
Location: West Cork, Ireland

Otter Trail

Unread post by blowin » Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:56 pm

On a visit to Tsitsikamma about eight years ago we walked the first section of the Otter Trail and swam under the waterfall. Is it still OK to walk the first section without booking, and is it still safe to swim in the waterfall-lake? Many thanks

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

Questions on the Otter

Unread post by prinslft » Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:35 pm

:redface: This is my natural face. lol

The reason for this is the fact that I did not know where to start looking for answers. We are a group of 12 hikers from Secunda that is going to hike the otter in January 2009.

1) Where does the route start? Townname please.
2) Closest airport?
3) Is it advisable to travel by air,bus or own transport?
4) Which food to take along?
5) Do you have to carry a pot and kettle with?
6) What is the current situation with the provision of wood?
Take only Photo`s from nature and leave only footprints

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Jazil
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Unread post by Jazil » Wed Mar 12, 2008 6:00 pm

Prinslft read here which is from the first post on this page, you will gather lots of info.

Route starts at Storms River Mouth.
Nearest Town probably Port Elizabeth.
Fly to PE and then
Hire a car, would be my preference.

As to your other questions, I really cant answer them, but there is lots of info here.
Don't forget to PM any Mod your Kudu nominations for the month.

If you want to list your Park Dates in the YR Thread then please PM me.

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Herman
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Unread post by Herman » Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:02 am

Well, I've only done the Otter once and had a very easy Bloukrans crossing, so I haven't experienced the disappointment of having to bail out, but to me the idea of building a bridge across goes against the spirit of the hike ?
It's like wanting Sanparks to level the trail and pave it !!

caz1981
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 2:47 pm

Equipment list - Otter Trail

Unread post by caz1981 » Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:06 pm

Hi there

I will be doing the Otter Trail next year in April over the Easter weekend. I would like to take 12 people (incl myself) when is the earliest I can book? 2ndly is there a list of equipment to pack and how to pack it? With regards to costings, if I book now do I pay October prices or the current price?

I look forward to your reply.

Caroline

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restio
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Unread post by restio » Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:30 pm

Hi caz1981 and welcome to the forums! :D

I assume that you've looked at the Otter trail page and the Otter Trail topic in this forum.

The SANParks site also links to www.footprint.co.za, and on that site I found a nice equipment list.

Hope you have a wonderful trip! :mrgreen:

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Herman
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Re: Otter questions

Unread post by Herman » Sun Apr 27, 2008 8:04 pm

prinslft wrote::D Good day

We are doing the Otter in January 2009. We have the following questions.

1)The trail was booked for 12 persons. a total of 7 hikers have since withdrawn. What happens with our reservation? The 5 hikers that paid their deposit, are they going to lose it as they realy would like to hike the Otter.

2)Where can we obtain the correct information regarding the river crossings. Low tide at Bloukrans? etc...

3)If there is an emergency, what is the cellphone reception like?

Thank you very much for a forum like this.

Regards
Kosmos Hiking Club
Secunda



I don't know if anybody has perhaps sent you a private answer, but regarding your questions
1. The 5 of you can still go I think, but rather phone/e-mail the reservations people to make sure about your booking if the whole deposit wasn't paid !
2.You'll be supplied with a tide table at the starting point
3.You get cell reception only on parts where the trail goes far out on the rocks or high up onto cliffs. As far as I can remember only the first hut had reception, but along the route you'll be able to connect on more than one point on every day

Marike
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Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 6:20 pm
Location: Pretoria

Queries invited

Unread post by Marike » Mon May 26, 2008 6:33 pm

Hi guys

I finished the Otter two days ago, and willing to comment or answer questions - so please feel free.

Kind Regards
Marike


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