Tsitsikamma Hiking Trail

Border of Eastern Cape and Western Cape Provinces


The Tsitsikamma Hiking trail is situated in the mountains of the coastal region of the Eastern Cape and is a 6-day linear trail, starting at Natures Valley and ending at the Storms River Bridge or village. The trail passes through extensive patches of indigenous mountain forest and fynbos. The mountains form the watershed for a myriad of streams and rivers, many of which are the source of the rivers that gush into the sea along the popular Otter Trail. There are people, in fact, that do the Tsitsikamma and the Otter Trails as a combined trail and for those who have the time, this option should be considered.

         
  Day 1 Nature's Valley to Kalandar Hut

Hiker's vehicles are parked safely at De Vasselot camp site and it is a short walk (3,6Km, 90mins) to Kalandar Hut from there. The hut is situated in dune forest at the base of the spectacular Douwurmkop, a short stroll from the ocean.

 

Kalandar Hut

 
         

 

Blaauwkrans Hut with waterfall 200m below

 

Day 2 -Kalandar Hut to Blaauwkrans Hut, 13,5Km +/-6hours

The day begins with quite a steep climb from sea level up the escarpment. From the top beautiful panoramic views are to be seen. The trail then leads inland towards the mountains, through beautiful fynbos and indigenous forest. The Blaaukrans hut is situated on the edge of a cliff and offers incredible views of the river gorges below, Peak Formosa and the mountains to the north.

 
         
 

Day 3- Blaauwkrans Hut to Keurbos Hut 13,4Km +/-6hours

This day takes the hiker deep into the Tsitsikamma Mountains and forest. This is a wetter and more remote world where a true sense of isolation begins to take hold. The crossing of the bloukrantz River at Waterwitelsgat is always exciting and provides a wonderful swimming and resting place. Shortly before reaching Keurbos hut there are rockpools resembling natural Jacuzis at the Twintubs. The hut is situated in the wetter Keurbos forest. Here both Red and White Alder are plentiful and the Narina Trogan's plaintiff call is sometimes heard.

 
A footprint in a stream Bloukrans Hut
Lottering River crossing Peak Formosa
 
         
 
 

Day 4 Keurbos Hut to Heuningbos Hut 13,4Km +/-6hrs

This days hike passes through some very diverse habitats and has a number of exciting river crossings. The first river that one comes to is the Lottering after which the trail ascends Rushes Pass, from the top of which magnificent views can be seen. From here the trail descends to the Elandsbos River and a newly constructed swing bridge. Just before the hut is reached the trail crosses the Kleinbos River. A pleasant pool lies a short distance away.

 
         
 

Day 5 Heuningbos Hut to SleepKloof Hut 13,9Km +/-7hrs

This is the longest day of the trail. During the day the hiker crosses two saddles and the Witteklip River. Most of the day is spent walking through pristine mountain fynbos and for those interested in plant life, many interesting species occur. Sleepkloof Hut nestles on the slopes of a densely forested gorge and has magnificent views of the Tsitsikamma Mountains lurking in the distance.

 
The braai area at Heuningbos Hut
 
         
 
One of the large trees passed on the last day Flower of the Rooi-els (Cumonia capensis)
 

Day 6 Sleepkloof Hut to Paul Sauer Bridge 3,2Km +/-1hr or to Storms River Village 5,5Km

The remaining part of the trail consists of an short walk through dense forest followed by an easy two kilometre descent through pioneer forest and fynbos to the bridge or a slightly longer walk through tall indigenous forest to the village.

 

Accommodation

The accommodation consists of 5 Huts, each equipped with 24 bunk beds and mattresses, braai grids, kettles, 2 cast iron pots and a large pan, two flush toilets, two showers and clean, fresh water. A novel hot water shower bucket and firewood can be found at each overnight hut.

Conclusion

The Tsitsikamma Hiking Trail is a "must do" for any serious hiker. The trail traverses some of the most beautiful scenery to be found in South Africa and the Cape fynbos is really something to behold when in bloom. There are also 2,3,4 and 5 day options available for the trail and luggage transportation is also an option offered.

Trail accredited by Southern Africa Trail Owners Association

Bookings

Bookings for the Tsitsikamma Hiking Trail should be made through

MTO Ecotourism

Website: www.mtoecotourism.co.za

 George Booking Office

Telephone 042 281 1712

e-mail: nsw@mto.co.za

or

Jacana_Logo.jpg (15732 bytes)

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

 

Info on the trail

More information on the trail can be obtained from

The Ecotourism manager, Tsitsikamma Region

Telephone 042 281 1712 Fax 042 281 1778

e-mail gpienaar@cyberperk.co.za

MTO Ecotourism website


Footprint Hiking Club

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