Otter Trail- Info and Advice

Knysna, Tsitsikamma, Wilderness

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Wal_Bal
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Tents on Otter Trail

Unread post by Wal_Bal »

Good morning all. I know that SANParks made tents available on the Otter Trail last year, in order to deal with COVID protocols.

My wife and I will be doing the hike early in July 2021, and was wondering if the tents and COVID protocols (daily sanitising) are still in place?

Thanks!
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Elsa
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Re: Tents on Otter Trail

Unread post by Elsa »

Welcome to the forum Wal_Bal.

As the notice is still displaying and we are still in the throes of the pandemic, I would assume the same protocols will still be in place.

Dear Valued Guest Update regarding the reopening of the Otter Trail overnight huts

Details should you wish to contact them directly

For enquiries e-mail [email protected] or phone us on the following numbers:

Tel +27 (0) 42 281 1607
Take time each day to be with nature
jan.dup
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Re: Otter Trail- Info and Advice

Unread post by jan.dup »

It came under my attention that the tents that were used for social distancing at the various huts during the peak Covid restrictions are still up and that Sanparks allows overbooking (more than 12 people) - I even heard about an instance where there were as much as 18 people that started on the same day. This resulted in not enough resources and space in the camps and scrambling to get a place in the huts rather than the tents as well as not enough space in the lapa for such a large group.. I would like to know why this is allowed and who the decision makers are that decided this is fair. I find this unacceptable as this is a 12 person hiking trail which allows for a special experience. Overcrowding and therefor taking away the traditional Otter experience is very shortsighted. Could somebody from Sanparks please respond to my questions/concerns.
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Elsa
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Re: Otter Trail- Info and Advice

Unread post by Elsa »

Jan, this is the response I have received from SANParks re your query.
I trust it will help answer any misgivings.

We note your concern.

We discovered that our online booking system had glitches some time ago which allowed people to book more spots than what was actually available on the trail.
This glitch was rectified but a few over-bookings were already made and paid for.
We try our best to accommodate these over bookings by means of utilising the tents for the additional hikers.
Please be assured that the funds paid for the over bookings are indeed captured in our booking system and is linked to legitimate reservations.
You are one hundred percent correct by stating that the tents were erected for social distancing purposes.
These tents are by no means a way for us to squeeze in extra hikers.
At this point in time, we are utilising it to accommodate the over bookings which is few and far between.
Should we plan to allow more hikers on the trail by means of increasing the bookable spots, an upgrade to the infrastructure will be done accordingly.

We truly value you as loyal SANParks supporters.

Kind regards,
Natasja Smith
Duty Manager: Tsitsikamma National Park
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jan.dup
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Re: Otter Trail- Info and Advice

Unread post by jan.dup »

Apparently the tents are still at the huts. Is this now permanent and if so why ? If not why haven't they being taken down ?
jan.dup
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Re: Otter Trail- Info and Advice

Unread post by jan.dup »

We did the Otter earlier this month and must say the tents are at 3 of the huts (accept for the first night) just an eyesore and not in good shape. You have this beautiful setting with the huts and the lapa and then these dilapidated tents is spoiling the ambience flapping around and not in good shape. I furthermore overheard on a few occasions that hiking groups discuss the possibility of adding another few hikers if they can give an adequate reason for Sanparks to add them on. If all those reasons are true or to manipulate the system begs for questioning. The Otter historically catered for 12 people only and I cannot for the heck of me see the reasoning to get slack on that - I can assure you that Sanparks is opening a can of worms with this decision, and as it becomes more and more general knowledge that there is a possibility to add to the 12 it will be used and abused to the detriment of the Otter. I for one ask Sanparks to reconsider their approach to the numerous tents at the overnight huts and remove them. I don't have a problem if they leave one tent out of sight for the rangers who patrol the area to protect them from the elements - I am all for that and think they are really doing a good job. Out of the 5 x I walked the Otter it is the first time I did not encounter any illegal fishermen - Job well done Sanparks !!!
marcofoo
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Re: Otter Trail- Info and Advice

Unread post by marcofoo »

Hi everyone,

I am trying to make some sense of my Otter Trail accommodation arrangements and the start/finish locations and times.

The booking states:

Camp - STORMS RIVER MOUTH REST CAMP
Nights - 4
Arrival - 30/04/24
Departure - 04/05/24
Report to reception at 10:00 or 14:00, Trailists may not commence trail after 16:00


Questions:

1. Does this include accommodation at Storms River Mouth Rest Camp? If so, which date(s)? I'm assuming 30th April as 4 nights = departure on 4th May.
2. Does the trail start on 30th April? Or the following day?
3. If there trail starts at Storms River Mouth Rest Camp, where does it finish?
4. Where is the final night accommodation?
5. Is there walking on the morning of departure on 4th May?

Once I know what is happening, I would be grateful to receive further recommendations on accommodation to book either side of the trail.

I did call up SANParks already, but the information I received on the phone was not clear, and I was told to call the camp. Plus my emails to both [email protected] and [email protected] have been ignored for over a month now.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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lion queen
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Re: Otter Trail- Info and Advice

Unread post by lion queen »

marcofoo wrote: Wed Sep 13, 2023 1:20 pm Hi everyone,

I am trying to make some sense of my Otter Trail accommodation arrangements and the start/finish locations and times.

The booking states:

Camp - STORMS RIVER MOUTH REST CAMP
Nights - 4
Arrival - 30/04/24
Departure - 04/05/24
Report to reception at 10:00 or 14:00, Trailists may not commence trail after 16:00


Questions:

1. Does this include accommodation at Storms River Mouth Rest Camp? If so, which date(s)? I'm assuming 30th April as 4 nights = departure on 4th May.
2. Does the trail start on 30th April? Or the following day?
3. If there trail starts at Storms River Mouth Rest Camp, where does it finish?
4. Where is the final night accommodation?
5. Is there walking on the morning of departure on 4th May?

Once I know what is happening, I would be grateful to receive further recommendations on accommodation to book either side of the trail.

I did call up SANParks already, but the information I received on the phone was not clear, and I was told to call the camp. Plus my emails to both [email protected] and [email protected] have been ignored for over a month now.

Thanks in advance for any help.
Hi marcofoo and a warm welcome to the forum :gflower:

Please read through the following info on the website about the Otter trail

The Otter trail is a 5 day, 4 nights walking trail so the 30thof April would be Day 1 and the 4th of May would be day 5

The trail ends at Natures Valley

Day 1 = 4.8km (± 2 hours)
Day 2 = 7.9km (± 4 hours)
Day 3 = 7.7km (± 4 hours)
Day 4 = 13.8km (± 6 hours)
Day 5 = 10.8km (± 5 hours)
Total Distance = 45km

You could send an email to Storms River Mouth at [email protected]

Enjoy your trip
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough - Mae West
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