The Dolphin Trail, Eastern Cape
Did you know?
The Dolphin Trail is a green flag accredited, environmentally responsible trail.
If you fancy a leisurely walk along the Garden Route coastline, as opposed to a challenging hike, then the Dolphin Trail is the hike for you.
The Dolphin Trail is a great example of what has become known as slackpacking. Instead of lugging all your own food, equipment and bedding on your back, you walk at your own pace through this Tsitsikamma luxury hiking trail with nothing but a walking stick and some water, to be met at your overnight camp by a cooked meal and comfortable accommodation.
The trail covers a distance of 17km (7,5km and 9,5km respectively on each day). From the Tsitsikamma National Park at Storms River Mouth it heads east through indigenous fynbos and forest, over rugged rocks at the water's edge, to end on the banks of the Sandrift River at The Fernery.
So what might you see on the trail other than superb scenery? Well, it's called the Dolphin Trail so you're very likely to see dolphins cavorting in the waters of the Indian Ocean. If it's whale-watching time – July to November – there's also a very good chance of spotting the Southern right whale which comes to calve in these waters.
If you're a birder (or even if you're not) sighting the spectacularly coloured Knysna turaco is always a treat, and when you walk along the shoreline, look out for the African black oystercatcher as it scratches in the rocks for mussels and crustaceans. It's easy to identify with its bright red bill, red eyes, red legs and coal- black plumage.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
The Dolphin Trail
Tel: +27 (0)42 280 3588
How to get here
The Dolphin Trail starts at the Tsitsikamma National Park rest camp, at the mouth of the Storms River. Take the N2 west from Port Elizabeth or east from Plettenberg Bay, pass through Storms River Village and follow the signs to the Tsitsikamma National Park.
Best time to visit
The summer months are best for the Dolphin Trail, from September to April.
Around the area
If you feel like a rush of blood to the head, try the Bloukrans Bridge Bungee Jump at Storms River Village.
What will it cost
Around R5 000 per person.
Length of stay
It's a three-night, two-day trail.
What to pack
Sturdy walking shoes or boots, hat, sunscreen, camera and binoculars.
Where to stay
Your accommodation is included in the package.
What to eat
The Dolphin Trail is fully catered.