Tsitsikamma is the Khoi-San word for a place of many waters. The Tsitsikamma hiking trail is inland from the
Tsitsikamma National Park and traverses the base of the rolling Tsitsikamma mountains passing through indigenous forest,
fynbos and pine plantations.
The cheapest option is to organise the trail yourself. Trails for Africa offers a luxury trail service which can include:
transport arrangements, a guide, all meals and portage of your luggage. All you have to do walk with a light daypack.
The trail is parallel to the better known Otter trail which follows the coastline in the opposite direction.
So if you want to indulge in a trail orgy then you can walk both trails one after the other and end up where you started.
The fynbos is typical montane fynbos of the southern cape mountains and is at it's most spectacular in spring and early summer.
The indigenous forest canopy reaches up to 30m in places and is a welcome respite from the summer heat. Rivers abound and each day
reveals pools that take your breath away with their beauty and swimming is a contstant temptation.
The mostly shy wildlife includes baboon, vervet monkey, leopard, caracal, honey badger, large-spotted genet, blue duiker and bushbuck.
Birdlife thrives in the varied habitats and include, forest buzzard, rameron pigeon, narina trogon, sombre bulbul, forest canary,
swee waxbill and orange-breasted and black sunbird.
Day 0: Natures valley - Kalandar hut (3.6km) Leave your car at De Vasselot campsite and walk round the eastern side of the lagoon
to Kalander hut. A short pleasant stroll to warm you up for the real thing. Remember to walk down from the hut for a last swim
in the warm indian ocean.
Day 2: Kalander hut - Blaauwkrantz hut (16.6km) The longest but not the toughest day of the hike begins with a steep section behind the hut
and then settles into a gradual climb up the plateau. You soon cross the N2 and enter the indigenous forest where the trail truly begins
and your soul is progressively soothed by filtered sunlight. You spend the entire time under the forest canopy except for the last
few kilometers through a pine plantation until you reach Blaauwkrantz hut. The hut is near a series of waterfalls and swimming pools
and has spectacular views with an inviting braai area (like all the huts).
Day 3: Blaauwkrantz hut - Keurbos hut (13.4km) This is a relaxing day with mostly flat terrain, Enjoy the fynbos
and birdlife with welcome decents into patches of cool indigenous forest. You cross the blaauwkrantz river and will find a forest
pool that takes your breath away (excellent lunch stop). You then traverse the southern side of Benekop (legs peak) eventually reaching
Ongeluks nek (accident neck) and shortly thereafter Keurbos hut.
Day 4: Keurbos hut - Heuningbos hut (13.4) You ascend and descend Rushes pass (400m up and down) in the first half of the
day followed by a milder second half through plantations and indigenous forest. Depending on your weaknesses going down can often
be worse than going up.The view from the top of Rushes pass is worth the suffering.
Day 5: Heuningbos hut - Sleepkloof Hut (14,2 km) Another tough day with two up and down climbs of 300m through
mostly fynbos with the odd patch of forest. Officialy this is the toughest day but there are many who might differ and
weather conditions can rapidly turn the "easiest" day into the "toughest". You are by now wondering how you will adjust to
civilisation again, but dont panic another stunning hut location awaits you and paradise is still yours for one more night.
Day 6: Sleepkloof Hut - Storms River Bridge (3,2 km) A short easy stroll back to the Storms river bridge where there
is a large petrol station (good place to leave a car) with all the junk food you may need to dull your senses against the rat
race rushing by on the N2.
We are not liable for any loss, damage or injury on your side; your travel insurance should include accident,
health cover and emergency rescue.
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