Otter Trail- Info and Advice

Knysna, Tsitsikamma, Wilderness

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Yoda
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Re: OTTER TRAIL - STARTING 4 JUNE 2016

Unread post by Yoda »

Bushhappy wrote:Hi Yoda

Yes I am hiking. This will my 3rd time; regretfully without my wife this time ............... she's not keen on carrying a pack for 5 days anymore


Ah, so you know what to expect.

I did the trail last November. Said to myself it would be my one and only.
But now, hmmm, would be tempted to join you......maybe :hmz:
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Yoda
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Re: OTTER TRAIL - STARTING 4 JUNE 2016

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Bushhappy wrote:Back home again afetr 5 glorious days of hiking; absolutely perfect weather (but this has now changed ! I really got lucky ).
Crossed all rivers at spring low and at worst was ankle deep for about 1.5 m going the Bloukrans.
I'm now seriously thinking about doing again!


Sounds like you had a good trip.
I initially said never again. But was telling someone about the trail the other day, and was thinking that maybe I would be tempted to do it again :hmz:

We had a very "interesting" Bloukrans crossing.
Although we got there at low tide, it was very windy and there was a strong surge up the channel on the far side. Some of our stuff got wet. Not pleasant at all
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Daniorte
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Impossible booking Otter Trail?

Unread post by Daniorte »

Hi. I'm Daniel . I write from Spain.

Today SANparks have just opened the online reservation period for the Otter Trail (December / January). I have tried to book this night when the website came back to work, and everything was booked :shock: How is this possible? Two entire months booked the day before by phone on in the central office?? Really weird...


I want to reserve two places for December 4th. Is there a waiting list or alternative way to reserve a place? They told me by email that I have to check the web every day... so probably bye bye otter trail! :doh:


Thanks in advance!
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Yoda
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Re: Impossible booking Otter Trail?

Unread post by Yoda »

The Otter Trail is very popular and one needs to book well in advance.

I booked in 2014 and completed the trail in 2015. (November)

When I booked, there was a person at central reservations at head office in Pretoria who was the trails specialist and she was very helpful.
Not sure if she is still about, but I have sent you a pm with her contact details.
If not, phone central reservations and ask them who you can contact there.
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lion queen
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Re: Impossible booking Otter Trail?

Unread post by lion queen »

Hi Daniorte and a warm welcome to the forums :gflower: :gflower:

December/January are very popular times and it could be that with the Christmas holidays everything got booked out in a flash.

You could send an email to [email protected]

See here Contact Information

Did you try sending an email to this email address, [email protected]?

See here Otter Trail Reservations at the very bottom.

Maybe just ask whether all available spots were booked.

If you do manage to get an opening, enjoy the trail, it is a stunning part of our country!
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough - Mae West
Daniorte
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Re: Impossible booking Otter Trail?

Unread post by Daniorte »

I have the feeling that booking the Otter Trail is mission impossible for foreigners. If the online booking directly starts with all the reserved spaces, it is very difficult for those who live far away from an office to reserve. Maybe I should have called by phone yesterday, but I have the feeling that even then it would have been very difficult, especially when the call costs more than 2€ a minute :wall:

Even so I find it difficult to understand how it is possible that in a single day people can book all the places of two months, only by phone or in person. :hmz: (it blows my mind)

I have sent another email to the addresses that you have recommended to me, I will check daily if there is any space left but, in order to plan my trip, I think that I will not visit the area if I do not manage to book. :(

Thank you very much for your quick response!!!! :gflower:
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Yoda
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Re: Impossible booking Otter Trail?

Unread post by Yoda »

The overnights sleep a max of 12 hikers.
And you want to go at peak time.
Not really surprising it gets booked up so soon.

You need to contact them (with the details lion queen gave you) and see what the situation is.
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Re: Impossible booking Otter Trail?

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Daniorte wrote:I just wrote them. Let's see if we are lucky.

One more doubt. If there is no place, is there another good coast trekking alternative to the Otter trail?


Hi Daniorte,

Please have a look here ........... Garden Route Hiking Trails

This one might be of interest to you

Dolphin Trail
This unique guided, luxury hiking experience a 2 day spectacular trial on the Tsitsikamma coast, have luggage portaged and spend each evening in comfort of three different 4 & 5 * luxury accommodation. Point of departure is from Storms River Mouth Rest Camp at the Restaurant to fernery at Forest Ferns. This is made possible by a partnership between the Tsitsikamma National park, Forest Ferns and Misty mountains. The result of this is a hiking experience that will both challenge and pamper you. It covers a distance of 17km, starting at Storms river mouth and moving east through natural fynbos and indigenous, ending on the banks of the Sanddrift River at forest ferns. This includes all meals, guides, 4x4 drive through old Storms River pass and transportation of luggage. Other activities include spotting whales, dolphins and otters, bird watching, swimming and snorkelling.
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Yoda
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Re: Impossible booking Otter Trail?

Unread post by Yoda »

Have a look here for trails offered by SANP:

https://www.sanparks.org/tourism/activi ... trails.php

I think though that most will be popular at the time of year that you are visiting.
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Daniorte
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Re: Impossible booking Otter Trail?

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Yoda wrote:
Daniorte wrote:Thank you guys!!

Did you get a response?


Yes, just today I received a confirmation email to make the payment of two places! :dance:

Now I have a problem. As I saw that we were not going to be able to do the Otter Trail, I have planned an alternative route for those travel days, and i like very much what I´m reading.... Now I have to choose.

Option 1: 5 Days doing Otter Trail

Option 2: Dedicate those days to visit the Garden Route and Cape Peninsula

Day 1: Trekking in Storm River (Bridges and waterfall) and go to Nature's Valley. Sleep in Nature´s Valley
Day 2: Kranshoek trekking. Goukamma beach and sleep in Wilderness National Park
Day 3: Canoe in Wilderness National Park. Afternoon in the car to spend the night at an hour or two hours away from the Cape Peninsula
Day 4: Cape Peninsula
Day 5: Table mountain


If I choose option 2 I lose the opportunity to do the Otter Trail. I have the feeling that I will see more variety of things, a negative point is that it may be many hours of car. If I choose option 1, I will do the Otter Trail but I will not visit important sites such as Table Mountain or the Cape Peninsula. It's the last week of the trip and I have to choose one of the two options. My wife prefers option two, I am tremendously doubtful.

What do you recommend me?

Thank you very much in advance.


(Sorry for my Google English!)
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Yoda
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Re: Impossible booking Otter Trail?

Unread post by Yoda »

Do the Otter Trail !

It is an amazing experience. :thumbs_up:
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Yoda
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Re: Impossible booking Otter Trail?

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Daniorte wrote:Finally I have spoken with my wife, we have made some changes in the travel plan and it fits us perfectly to be able to do the otter trail!

With my reservation made, I can only count the days to enjoy this famous trail.


Am sure you will enjoy it.
I have sent you a pm with some info of a company that helps with the logistics (equipment hire, drop off/pick up etc)
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lion queen
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Re: Otter Trail- Info and Advice

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Otter trail turning 50

otter 50 years.JPG


Link to FB post
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Re: Otter Trail- Info and Advice

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50 ?! :clap: and thanks for posting/sharing, LQ ! :gflower:
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Re: Otter Trail- Info and Advice

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Otter Trail: know before you go

Link to Wild Card Magazine article.
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