Olifants River Back Packing Trail
The Olifants River Back Pack Trail starts from Olifants Camp.
The trail stretches over 4 days and 3 nights and covers approximately 42km. It is advisable (but not necessary) to book accommodation at Olifants or Letaba camps prior to and after completion of the trail. Hikers can leave their cars at Olifants Camp in a special parking area demarcated for this purpose.
There are no overnight huts on this trail. As the safety of hikers is of major importance, all participants have to bring tents and sleep in them every night while they are walking the trail. The trail leader will choose a suitable camp site every night. Participants will be responsible for setting up their own tents and for carrying and cooking their own food. No rubbish bins or toilets are provided at any of the overnight stops – the trail is designed on a “take in, take out” basis and strictly adheres to a “no trace camping” ethic. (Please only use biodegradable products – soaps and detergent – on the trail.)
The first day is an easy hike of 4km to 5km until you get to a camp site. Hikers will wake up at the crack of dawn on the remaining days of the trail for the first stretch of that day’s hike. Generally no walking will take place during the heat of the day, when a siesta will be enjoyed.
During siesta time, hikers can experience the wilderness that surrounds them. Whether it’s finding your favourite bird species on the banks of the Olifants River, sun tanning in the African sun, taking that photograph that has always eluded you or just lazing about, siesta time is your time to enjoy nature. After siesta, usually only a short hike is needed to cover the last few kilometres before the overnight amp is reached.
On the last day hikers reach the end point of the trail at the beautiful old fig tree. The group is collected at approximately 12:00 and taken back to Olifants Camp on a short, 45 minute game drive. Now is the time to celebrate the completion of the trail and reminisce on the experiences encountered in the past four days and, maybe to plan the next time you attempt the Olifants Back Pack Trail. Enjoy your hike!
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Did You Know?
- James Stevenson-Hamilton (born in 1867) was appointed the park's first warden on 1 July 1902.