Choose your country and language:
IIf 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. It’s the easiest way of hiking through the Garden Route's Tsitsikamma Forest. This 2-day ‘slackpacking’ journey allows hikers to experience the wonders of nature without the chore of carrying all your equipment, food and clothing with you.
The Dolphin Trail perfectly demonstrates the new trend of slackpacking. Instead of lugging all your own food and camping requirements on your back, you walk at your own pace through this luxury forest hiking trail with nothing but a walking stick, a camera 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 that 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.
TTravel 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 spring, summer and early autumn months are best for the Dolphin Trail: from September to April.
Things to do in the area
If you feel like a rush of blood to the head, head west for 23km along the N2 from Storms River village and try the Bloukrans Bridge Bungy Jump and Zip Slide. You can also take canopy tours of the forest around Storms River village on zip slides.
What will it cost?
R7 050 per person sharing, or R8 460 per person single (valid until 31 October 2019; prices subject to change thereafter).
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.