Otter Trail- Info and Advice

Knysna, Tsitsikamma, Wilderness

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nihau
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Re: Otter Trail - how can I book?

Unread post by nihau »

I have got another question: I am travelling alone, so I would like to know whether the hike is in a group. Am I walking together with other people (which would be desirable in my case)?
Thank you for your reply!
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DinkyBird
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Re: Otter Trail - how can I book?

Unread post by DinkyBird »

Perhaps ask Bridget in the email to her nihau. I am not an expert by far, and maybe someone else will be able to help with facts, but I can't imagine they would let you set off on your own.

If availability shows less places available for the walk you want to book than they permit per trail, then others must have booked already I would say?
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Riaanf31
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Re: Otter Trail

Unread post by Riaanf31 »

Hi All,

We'll be attempting the Otter Trail for the first time in May this year. The below link is for a blog that I've found very useful when wanting to know more.

http://ottertrail101.blogspot.co.uk/


Once I;ve got some first hand experience I'll be able to provide more on this. For now I can say that we're all booked and paid; have started to do walks to build up our walking fitness and just need to add the backpacks to get use to carrying weight on our backs.

Happy planning
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Alex Bond-Smith
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Re: Otter Trail

Unread post by Alex Bond-Smith »

If one drives to the starting point, how does one get back to the car after completing the trail?

We I did it we were a group in several cars, so we shuttled cars before we started and left one in Natures Valley and the rest at the start so that when we finished, the driver of the car at Natures Valley took the drivers of the other cars to the start to fetch their cars.
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lion queen
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Re: Otter Trail

Unread post by lion queen »

Some info provided by others

hikeress2010 wrote:Re:Car park - Definitely leave vehicle at Natures Valley(NV) if you can.Enquire at reception as we did who may be able to provide information on options. Otherwise NV Guest House may be only one providing service.


andre w wrote:We got transported from Natures Valley by Natures Valley Guest House - just google them - arrange with Pat Bond - they pick you up at the Otter parking in Natures Valley - very reliable and reasonable tariffs.


otter trail - logistics
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TankFish
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Cooking on the Otter trail.

Unread post by TankFish »

Hi,

We are doing the otter on the 14th of March. Just looking for some advice with cooking. We going to be taking oats, pastas, cous cous etc and I am just wondering if we should carry gas for all our meals or if it would just be easier to boil the food with firewood etc at that braai facilities?

Are there any major pros and cons I need to consider?

Thanks,
Justin
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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: Cooking on the Otter trail.

Unread post by Josh of the Bushveld »

You'll want to take as little as possible, and food that cooks as quickly as possible - you want to use as little gas as you can get away with, so you carry less.
Get the thinnest pasta you can, it cooks quicker.
Soak your oats in water overnight, in the morning you just drain them and heat. If you're using instant oats you don't need to do this.
PM me if you want some meal suggestions.
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TankFish
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Otter tracks GPS tracks

Unread post by TankFish »

Hi,

Does anyone have GPS tracks of the otter trail?

Thanks,
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Josh of the Bushveld
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Otter Trail: Use of De Vasselot facilities

Unread post by Josh of the Bushveld »

I'm doing the Otter Trail next week :D
We fly back to Johannesburg the afternoon of the day we finish the trail.
Would it be possible to shower etc at De Vasselot/Nature's Valley Rest Camp (at the camping ablutions)?
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Josh of the Bushveld
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Re: Otter Trail: Use of De Vasselot facilities

Unread post by Josh of the Bushveld »

The trail now ends at the restcamp (about another 4-5km from the beach), where hikers are required to sign out. We had the use of the communal showers without any issues.
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MATTHYS
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Re: Otter Trail: Use of De Vasselot facilities

Unread post by MATTHYS »

Thanks for the info, Josh of the Bushveld 8) and hope you will be writing us a TR about your experience ?
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Yoda
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On The Trail of the Otters

Unread post by Yoda »

In November 2015, my father-in-law and myself did the Otter Trail.
I am not going to do a day by day trip report.
But will put down some thoughts and observations. Other people contemplating doing the trail might find this useful.

We flew into Jhb from the Uk, spent a few days with my family.
Then flew down to George.

Before leaving for SA, I had found a company online that does a drop off/pick up service to/from the start/finish.
They also rented a fully stocked back pack and sleeping bag etc. This company was very reliable and helpful. Highly recomended.
Anyone wanting details can pm me.

So for about 2 months before the trip, I started my fitness program.
3/4 hour walk every day and fintess "bootcamp" once or twice a week.
It was not enough! I really struggled at times. What "got" to me I think, was the weight of the backpack. I was not used to approx 1/3 of my weight extra.

The state of the overnight huts was generally clean, as were the overnight stops.
Well sort of. Closer to the start at Storms River it was excellent, but got progressively worse as each night went on.
The state of the last night was an absolute disaster. Being the last stop people left stuff they didn't want to carry on the last day. Rubbish everywhere!

And this probably contributed to the next issue.
The lady dropping us off warned us that there was a big male baboon and he comes into the camp (4) and steals food.
I was lying on the bed, knackered from the days walk. And the baboon came into the hut, climbed onto the table where we were preparing the food for that evening and started eating it.
There was an iron grate over the door, so SANP knew about him. But one of the other walkers had left this door open.
Anyway, he then knocked the food onto the floor, and carried on eating. I then tried to get up to run out of the hut and every time I got on the floor, he came for me! Eventually he climbed onto one of the other bunks and I managed to get out, and he left the hut carrying as much as he could a few minutes later. A really frightening experience.
We contacted SANP straight away, who said they knew about the problem but the baboon hid every time they came to "deal" with him
And we notified other rangers at the finish who denied any knowledge of there even being a problem!
It was a very very scary incident that could have ended badly. And if SANP haven ot yet dealt with the issue, it needs to be done as soon as possible, before someone gets hurt.

There are plenty of rivers to get drinking water from. And at the start we were warned which ones need to be treated and the reast being ok.
There are also taps at all over night stops
We followed the advice. And didn't drink from the river we were told not to.
I got a bit of a "dodgy tummy" towards the end. And with hindsight should have probably treated all the water we drank.

The Blaukrans crossing.
Don't under estimate it. It is about 10km into the 14 km day. (day 4)
Low tide for us was just after 11am, so we had to get there pretty smartly.
Although it was low tide, it was very very windy, and the storm surge up the deeper channel just by the opposite beach was deep. We were unprepared for that. Fortunately one of the other hikers helped us across. Take a survival bag, in which to put pack, sleeping bag boots. It is a must.
Also, once you cross the river, there is another 4 km to go, including a very steep climb.

Take a hiking stick. I found it very useful, especially when I got tired.

When we started the trail, the lady at check in said we had to go to De Vosselot to check out officially.
So at the end. After walking 7km, we then trekked for another 3 or so km around the lagoon at Natures Valley to go to De Vosselot.
Tbh, we should have just crossed at the beach, and gone on to the restaurant and pick up point. Loads of people who I have since spoken to all say we didn't need to go to DV.

I would also like to thank the Forum member who was so very helpful to me.
From food advice, to GPS maps. Thanks so much. It is really appreciated.

All in all, I must say, that it was a fantastic Life Experience.
Anyone thinking of doing it, should definately give it a go.
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Yoda
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Re: On The Trail of the Otters

Unread post by Yoda »

Thanks everyone for the comments :thumbs_up:

Yes, it is certainly an amazing experience

What I didn't mention, is that one walks through Forest and Fynbos. And the Flora was fantastic
I know quite a bit about plants. So it was interesting to see some flowers that I had only seen in books.

As to wildlife.
Well the Baboon :evil:
There were some Genets around the camp on the first night. But they didn't bother us.

Some interesting birds- Knysna Louries (never seen before), and lots calling in the forests, that I never got to see.
And on the coast - gulls and terns

And for the first time in my life. One night I saw some Fireflies.
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Yoda
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Re: On The Trail of the Otters

Unread post by Yoda »

Phillip - :thumbs_up:

Kaapsedraai - Yup, I must say in a way, my interests in the Flora helped me complete the hike.
There were times when I was "finished" both physically and mentally. When I almost thought I couldn't go on. But by focussing on looking out for some plants or birds etc I was able to distract myself and keep myself going.
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Yoda
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Re: OTTER TRAIL - STARTING 4 JUNE 2016

Unread post by Yoda »

Bushhappy,

Will you be doing the trail?

One word of advice - don't under-estimate the level of fitness required.

But it is an amazing experience!
"It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It's called living"
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