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TThe Garden Route has a magical allure about it, preserving great stretches of pristine landscape despite many decades of urbanisation. The Hunter-Gatherer Trail explores the way in which the ancient Khoisan inhabitants of this region lived centuries ago.
This hiking trail starts in Boggomsbaai, near Mossel Bay, and ends in Gouritz 5 days later. Daily hiking distances vary between 12km and 20km, depending on the fitness levels of those in the hiking party.
Accommodation is basic but adequate, with the option of tents, dormitories and rustic cottages. Ablution facilities are available at each stop. You have the option of cooking your food on an open fire, and you can even catch your own food if you fancy a bit of fishing. The tour guides along this hike will be able to provide a range of historical and geological information along the way – so in addition to all the exercise, you’ll learn a lot too.
You will visit Stone Age workshops that provide insight into what implements the Khoisan used in their daily lives. Your guides will also talk you through the hunting weapons and methods of the Khoisan.
There is a rich range of birdlife along the Hunter-Gatherer Trail, too – some of the species you will see include oystercatchers, sand plovers and fish eagles.
The Hunter-Gather Trail offers a fantastic opportunity for anyone who wants to escape the daily grind of the urban environment and get back to basics – the way life was lived here for millennia.
TTravel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
SA National Parks reservations
Tel: +27 (0)12 428 9111
Garden Route National Park
Tel: +27 (0)44 302 5600
How to get here
Take the N2 highway east from Cape Town or west from Port Elizabeth, or you could fly to George and hire a car.
Best time to visit
This is an all-year destination, but early spring (September) is particularly pretty, when the keurboom trees are in flower.
Length of stay
It would be a great pity to spend less than 3 days in this region. Even a week would probably leave you hankering for more.
What to pack
The Garden Route can experience showers throughout the year, so don’t forget a raincoat – and you should never be without sunscreen and a hat when outdoors.
Where to stay
You’re spoilt for choice here. Almost all the conservation areas have good options. In Tsitsikamma National Park, you can stay in wood cabins overlooking the sea, or Tree Top Forest Chalets near Knysna, or even on camping decks in the forests – the listed South African National Parks website will lay out all the choices. The nearby towns of Plettenberg Bay, Knysna, Nature’s Valley, Sedgefield and Wilderness offer accommodation ranging from backpackers’ hostels and self-catering lodges to B&Bs and luxury resort hotels.