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

Travel tips for pets - the unconventional family members

Active adventure
Travel tips for pets - the unconventional family members

Often our pets are part of the family. For some people that extends to travelling with their pets.

Breathtaking scenery

Paternoster - a definitive Cape West Coast fishing village

Breathtaking scenery
Paternoster - a definitive Cape West Coast fishing village

Paternoster is a peaceful town lined with fishermen’s cottages, where great seafood and the local lifestyle become all-consuming pastimes.

Active adventure

Train journeys - an unforgettable experience with someone special

Active adventure
Train journeys - an unforgettable experience with someone special

What can beat that feeling of going to sleep with a Karoo moon in the sky outside, and waking up to a pot of fresh coffee, surrounded by Cape vineyards as the Blue Train makes her stately way into the Mother City?

Breathtaking scenery

The fascination of South African cave adventures

Breathtaking scenery
The fascination of South African cave adventures

South Africa offers a variety of caves for you to explore, from hominid fossil sites and ancient San cave paintings.

Breathtaking scenery

There’s so much to do in Franschhoek

Breathtaking scenery
There’s so much to do in Franschhoek

Let’s be honest, you are probably here to drink wine. Whether you’re at a wedding, on a family outing, a friends’ get together or a romantic weekend away, it’s most likely that you will land up at one of the amazing wine farms in the area.

Breathtaking scenery

The Cango caves - this 4500-million-year-old cave of stalactites and stalagmites will astound you

Breathtaking scenery
The Cango caves - this 4500-million-year-old cave of stalactites and stalagmites will astound you

Open throughout the year, take the tour into the cave to view the various formations of dripstones and learn more about the people who lived here over the millennia.

Breathtaking scenery

The Western Cape and its 10 most beautiful natural attractions

Breathtaking scenery
The Western Cape and its 10 most beautiful natural attractions

Ten most beautiful natural attractions that the Western Cape has to offer.

Active adventure

Head for the table top via the Platteklip Gorge hiking route

Active adventure
Head for the table top via the Platteklip Gorge hiking route

For those who wish to hike up Table Mountain instead of taking the cable car, the Platteklip Gorge route is the most direct route, although it's also arguably the most challenging one.

Breathtaking scenery

Explore the verdant dappled light of South African forests

Breathtaking scenery
Explore the verdant dappled light of South African forests

Explore verdant dappled light of South African forests.

Breathtaking scenery

Adventure in style through Southern Africa with the Shongololo Express

Breathtaking scenery
Adventure in style through Southern Africa with the Shongololo Express

There's something so peaceful, adventurous and yet cosseting about luxury train travel in South Africa, and the Shongololo Express is no exception.

Breathtaking scenery

Hiking the Cape West Coast

Breathtaking scenery
Hiking the Cape West Coast

The West Coast of South Africa offers many excellent hiking trails where the pace of life is slow, because the joy is in the journey, not the arrival.

Breathtaking scenery

Under an African sky - the Southern African Large Telescope

Breathtaking scenery
Under an African sky - the Southern African Large Telescope

You cannot visit the Northern Cape without going on a stargazing safari!

Breathtaking scenery

Explore the rugged, intensely beautiful mountain ranges of South Africa

Breathtaking scenery
Explore the rugged, intensely beautiful mountain ranges of South Africa

From the flattest to the tallest to the oldest to prettiest to the most dramatic,South African mountain ranges are astounding.

Breathtaking scenery

Tankwa Karoo National Park - sweet silence and solitude

Breathtaking scenery
Tankwa Karoo National Park - sweet silence and solitude

Over the Tankwa Karoo National Park, clouds sketch your thoughts onto a clear blue sky.

Active adventure

Retrace the steps of Nelson Mandela at the 27 for Freedom Race.

Active adventure
Retrace the steps of Nelson Mandela at the 27 for Freedom Race.

Celebrate Nelson Mandela’s historic walk to freedom at the 27 for Freedom race event held Drakenstein Correctional Centre

Breathtaking scenery

Travellers encouraged to do #WaterWiseTourism in South Africa

Breathtaking scenery
Travellers encouraged to do #WaterWiseTourism in South Africa

Water scarcity does not mean you should delay or cancel your trip – South Africa is ready to welcome you on a once in a lifetime adventure while encouraging visitors to use water responsibly when travelling through our beautiful country.

Breathtaking scenery

Cape Town’s special drive – Chapman’s Peak

Breathtaking scenery
Cape Town’s special drive – Chapman’s Peak

Chapman’s Peak Drive on the Atlantic Coast, between Hout Bay and Noordhoek in the Cape Peninsula, is one of the most spectacular marine drives in the world.

Breathtaking scenery

Company’s Garden, Cape Town

Breathtaking scenery
Company’s Garden, Cape Town

Company's Garden in Cape Town is a great place for travellers to spend a few hours unwinding and exploring the natural, historical and architectural attractions.

Active adventure

See the whales from above as you paraglide over Hermanus

Active adventure
See the whales from above as you paraglide over Hermanus

With an excellent blend of ocean, mountain and urban scenery, paragliding is offered throughout the year in Hermanus

Breathtaking scenery

Take an unforgettable road trip in the Great Karoo

Breathtaking scenery
Take an unforgettable road trip in the Great Karoo

Spanning nearly 400 000km2 in the geographic midriff of South Africa, the Great Karoo must be one of the quietest places on Earth.

Breathtaking scenery

Where breathtaking nature stretches out in every direction

Breathtaking scenery
Where breathtaking nature stretches out in every direction

Let us introduce you to our places of wonder that make us swell with pride and take our breaths away again and again.

Active adventure

Free the adventurous spirit within

Active adventure
Free the adventurous spirit within

Whatever your pleasure, South Africa is an endless outdoor playground that will make you feel alive and free.

Active adventure

Trail running adventures the SA way

Active adventure
Trail running adventures the SA way

Trail running and Mountain Biking in South Africa is extremely popular, and a growing sport for many South Africans and visitors alike.

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