Choose your country and language:

Africa

  • Global
  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • DRC
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Americas

  • USA
  • Argentina
  • Brazil

Asia Pacific

  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Australia

Europe

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
Back
South Africa

You are only moments away

Adventure
Trails
Family
Cape Town
Wildlife
Coastal Getaways
Walking
Hiking
Kayaking
Trail Running

From your first steps to your last, with river crossings, lush forests, sandy beaches and breathtaking vistas, the Otter Trail will change your life.

This unspoiled trail in the heart of the Garden Route National Park, where the Tsitsikamma Forest meets the Indian Ocean, will delight you with its incredibly diverse natural beauty. A showcase of the best of forest and coast, with a wide variety of fauna and flora along the rugged coastline of the Garden Route. A five-day hike, the 42km-long trail mostly follows cliff tops along the shoreline, 150m above the sea, returning to sea level for river crossings.

The trail starts off at a relatively easy pace from the Garden Route National Park's Storms River Rest Camp, giving you time to explore a large cave with a majestic waterfall that follows.

Did You Know?
SSouth Africa's Otter Trail is considered by most serious hikers as the best hiking trail in the country.

TThe next day features the most varied section of the trail. It includes a walk through a stunning forest before reaching the solid quartz outcrop of Skilderkrans, a great place to take a break. Look out for dolphins or whales playing in the waves below.

Start your third day with a river crossing (check the tides), then follow the rocky coastline through pristine fynbos until the Elandsbos River is reached, a great place for a swim.

TThe last day is the longest section of the trail. After a long walk through the Bloukrans estuary, the final leg of the hike is a relatively easy stroll (especially after the previous day's exertions) to Nature's Valley where the trail comes to an end.

It does require a fair level of fitness. Don’t be fooled by the distances given - day 1, just under 5km, day two, a 7.9km hike, day three brings a 7.7km hike and day four at 13.8km. You also need to be aware of the dates and times of high and low tides as although it is not impossible, it is inadvisable to attempt river crossings during high-tide periods.

TThe Otter Trail is extremely popular, so you generally have to reserve a place at least a year in advance. Numbers are also strictly limited to control the impact of hikers on the sensitive environment. Also, remember that this is a one-way route from Tsitsikamma (Storms River) to Nature’s Valley so ensure you arrange transport back to your starting point.

After the trail, take some time to explore and maybe do the Tsitsikamma Waterfall zipline, Canopy treetop tour, Bloukrans Bungee and so forth before or after your hike. If you are a runner, the trail offers one of the most challenging marathon distance trail runs around, The Otter African Trail Run. This route is on the upper end of the scale in terms of technical difficulty and the numerous climbs also make it comparable with the bigger mountain runs of the world but it is so beautiful it will be worth every step.

This is a spectacular hike to do with family or friends in one of the most beautiful areas of South Africa - book today!   

The Otter trail

Food
When to visit
How to get here
Who to contact
How to get there
Best time to visit
Get around
Pre and post trail
What it will cost
Length of stay
What to pack
Where to stay
What to eat
Best buys

Related articles

Active adventure

10 great restaurants in South Africa

Active adventure
10 great restaurants in South Africa

South Africa’s streets, shores and vineyards are lined with so many incredible restaurants, it’s a hard task narrowing them down into a short bucket list.

Active adventure

Gin: SA’s trendy drink

Active adventure
Gin: SA’s trendy drink

Gin is the buzzword on everyone’s lips in Cape Town at the moment.

Breathtaking scenery

The delight and complexity of South African architecture

Breathtaking scenery
The delight and complexity of South African architecture

If calamity were to strike humanity, and archaeologists of a distant future were to enquire about how we lived, they would draw upon our architecture to paint a picture of who we were.

Active adventure

South African wines

Active adventure
South African wines

South African wines are simply an infusion of the old winemaking methods combined with new ones to create modern bottled poetry for you.

Active adventure

Great small-town foodie stops

Active adventure
Great small-town foodie stops

It’s often worth it leaving behind the big lights and taking a road tip to explore small-town cuisine, or even making a trip of it and spending a night or two and exploring what else is on offer.

Vibrant culture

Traditional African food in South Africa

Vibrant culture
Traditional African food in South Africa

The food story of South Africa.

Active adventure

Shisa nyama: the vibe, the food, the spirit

Active adventure
Shisa nyama: the vibe, the food, the spirit

South Africa is a country that’s diverse in its culture and language, and if there’s one thing that brings South Africans together it’s food.

Active adventure

The art landscape in South Africa

Active adventure
The art landscape in South Africa

South Africa’s history of art is a long and interesting one

South Africa on social media

Copyright © 2018 South African Tourism
|Terms and conditions|Disclaimer|Privacy policy