Alexandria Hiking Trail

Addo Elephant National Park, Eastern Cape


There are many aspects of Southern Africa's natural beauty that can only be described by such words as stunning and magnificent. To discover such a place as Alexandria is like discovering a new chapter in a book that you thought you had finished. The dunes, the coastal dune forest, and the seascape is quite simply breathtaking. It is the only trail that I know that sand goggles should be carried as part of your pack contents and that you could quite expect a Camel Train to be encountered in some Mirage. I know that when I did it I started singing the theme song to the film Caravan.

Alexandria has been proposed as a new World Heritage Site

The Alexandria Duneveld

The Alexandria Duneveld is the largest Duneveld in the Southern Hemisphere and forms part of the 145,000 hectare Addo Elephant National Park.

The Trail

         
 

The trail begins at the park offices near Alexandria. To get there, from Port Elizabeth, take the N2 towards East London. At the Nanaga interchange, take the R72 towards Alexandria and Port Alfred. Just before entering the town of Alexandria, take the gravel road to the right signposted with park signs and Beyond Adventure. Follow the gravel road, taking the left fork after about 2Km and bearing left again where the road forks again. After this take the signposted road on the right hand side to the offices.

Keys for the overnight huts can be collected at the offices. Any outstanding fees including conservation levies.

 

Arrival

 
         
 

The new Langebos Huts

  The Langebos huts, at the start of the trail, are equipped with 12 bunk beds and mattresses, hot water showers, toilets and a braai area.  
         
 

The first day of the trail is 19,5Km long and starts off with a walk through a magical forest where ancient Yellowwoods and spectacular Coral Trees can be seen. The "Waterboom" or "Lekkerboom" - a gigantic yellowwood named for the reservoir of water held at the base of its trunk - provides an interesting resting point along the way. The trail eventually crosses some open grassland (Perdevlei) before reaching the shore.

 

The Forest walk

 
         
 

Dolphins

 

Dolphins and Whales are often seen while walking the 6Km of unspoilt coastline. The stark sandy beach ecosystem and dramatic dune cliffs provide breathtaking scenery. The dramatic cliffs of Woody Cape provide the hiker with two options, either walking along boulder-strewn base of the cliffs (impassable at high tide) or climbing a log rope ladder to reach the cliff top followed by a fairly easy walk to Woody Cape Hut.

 The wreck of the Nidaros - an old steamer - can also be investigated along the trail.

 
         
 

Woody Cape Hut has beds and mattresses for 12 people. It relies on rainwater tanks so water must be used sparingly. No fires are allowed here and therefore hikers need to carry their own gas stoves.

From the hut the views out across the surf are stunning and Bird Island Lighthouse is visible in the distance.

 

View from Woody Cape Hut

 
         
 

The second day traverses incredible dunes

 

The second day of the trail is 16,5Km long and traverses the largest duneveld in the Southern Hemisphere before once again winding through beautiful indigenous forest back to Langebos Hut

 

Map of Addo Elephant National Park (PDF).

Click here

Conclusion

The Alexandria Trail is not an easy trail as the distances are long each day. However the trail is well worth the extra effort. Those hikers who have to travel a long way to reach the trail should maybe look at doing it in conjunction with one of the other long distance trails in the area such as Tsitsikamma or Amatola. Coastal trails are always popular and this is one of the best.

Bookings

Jacana Travel Marketing and Reservations

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Telephone  0861Jacana (0861 522262)

Direct phone: Port Elizabeth 041 378 1439

Pretoria: 012 803 9109

Direct fax: PE 041 378 2548

Pretoria: 012 803 4144

 PE e-mail  bookings@jacanacollection.co.za

Pretoria e-mail: rosa@jacanacollection.co.za

Pictures on this page were supplied by South African National Parks and used with their permission


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