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Hike the Tsitsikamma Trail on South Africa's Garden Route

Explore the Tsitsikamma trail, swim in lagoons and sleep in forest huts. 3 days.

DURATION
2 Nights
COMFORT
Basic
LOCATION
South Africa
SEASON
January, February, August
NEAREST AIRPORT

A 3-day hiking adventure down the Tsitsikamma trail on South Africa’s world famous Garden Route. Tsitsikamma’s spectacular landscape, where the lush forest meets the rocky coast, is the perfect backdrop to your journey. Along the way, you’ll pass giant trees, swim in lagoons, stay in tranquil forest huts and look out for secretive forest creatures.

Your hassle-free adventure includes

  • 3 days hiking
  • 2 nights hut accommodation
  • All meals
  • Experienced local guide
  • Luggage transfer between the huts
  • Park fees
  • Local transfer

Perfect for

Anyone looking for an active experience in the stunning Tsitsikamma forest. You need an average level of fitness to hike up to 7 hours a day, no previous experience is required.

Need To Know

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Travel to and from De Vasselot
  • Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips for your guides (optional)
  • Breakfast on day 1 and dinner on day 3
  • Alcoholic drinks

On this trip, your host can cater for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets. Just let your host know in advance.

The trip runs throughout the year. The Garden Route region has a Mediterranean Maritime climate, with moderately hot summers, and mild to chilly winters. December to February seeing mid-summer daily temperatures of about 24-30ºC. Temperatures rarely fall below 16°C – even in winter

This trip will run with a minimum of 2 people, and a maximum of 6. Please note, if there are not 2 people booked the trip may be rearranged or cancelled.

Sure can! A lot of people do, and it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Your host recommends to pack:

  • Back Pack approximately 50 – 70l litres** Available for hire
  • Sleeping bag + 5 degrees C recommended ** Available for hire
  • Warm weatherproof jacket with hood
  • Hiking boots & socks
  • Water bottle 2 litres
  • Changes of clothing- layering is best with a good fleece for warmth
  • Towel
  • Sun block
  • Sun glasses
  • Sun hat/ Cap
  • Insect repellant
  • Toiletries (eco-friendly)
  • Toilet paper
  • Torch + batteries, preferably headlamp
  • Personal first aid
  • Personal energy sweets and drinks
  • Swimming costume
  • Sandals
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Hiking poles
  • Lightweight waterproof rain pants

Yes, children from the age of 15 are welcome to join this trip, if you’re booking as a private group.

You are free to book any flights that fit with the start and end point of the trip.

Carrying our own provisions, always makes a tasty menu a challenge, typically you would have a hot porridge/ cereal breakfast with tea or coffee. Lunch could consist of cheeses, salami’, fish, biscuits, dried fruit & nuts; supper would be a hot cooked meal of pasta/ rice/ cous-cous with meat or a protein rich substitute. Your local host uses preservative/ colourant free food as far as possible.

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Location

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This adventure takes place in the forests of Tsitsikamma National Park, along the world-famous Garden Route in South Africa. Set against the craggy coast of the Indian Ocean, the verdant forests provide a dramatic backdrop to your journey. Along the way, you will pass through varied habitat with the bushy fynbos, lush forests, dramatic gorges and rocky coast. There are plenty of swimming opportunities in the sea, lagoons and forest pools – the perfect refresher for weary legs.

The forest is packed with indigenous trees with yellowwood, ironwood and candlewood trees providing shade over forest paths, perfect for hiking. Although there but a few remnants of the once numerous elephants that roamed here, there are plenty of other forest creatures still in residence. Many of the inhabitants of the forest are inordinately shy, but, if you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of a blue duiker, a genet or a baboon along your travels.

Start point

The trip starts at the SAN Park’s Nature’s Valley camp in De Vasselot at 10:00.

Finish point

You will be transferred back to SAN Park’s Nature’s Valley camp in De Vasselot for around 15:00 on day 3.

What to Expect

Day 1: Hiking to Kalandar Hut

Your adventure begins at the SAN Parks camp in De Vasselot where you will meet your local guide. Today’s mission is 14km to the Kalandar hut. The hike begins ascending a steep slope to gain an expansive view along the coast.

From there, you’ll descend through coastal fynbos and shady forest of Nature’s Valley to the beautiful Salt River Estuary. The afternoon is spent swimming in the lagoon and relaxing on the beach. Back at the hut, your guide will prepare your evening meal.

14km hiking

Day 2: Hiking to Blaauwkranz Hut

Today you’ll head on a scenic 15km hike. Leaving the peace of the Kalandar hut, you’ll wind your way up through Tsitsikamma’s lush forests, where numerous elephants once roamed. If you’re lucky, you may glimpse some of the forest’s rich wildlife.

Your destination and accommodation, the Blaauwkranz hut, sits in a spectacular setting with outstanding views of the regions highest peak. Nearby, a waterfall and natural pools are the perfect refreshment after a long day’s hiking.

15km hiking

Day 3: Hiking to Blaauwkranz Forestry Station

Arising in the tranquillity of the Blaauwkranz hut is a special experience not easily forgotten. Your last day covers 12km, hiking to the Blaauwkranz forestry station. The initial section passes through the forest before descending into a craggy gorge.

In the gorge, you’ll find a wonderful deep forest pool, the perfect place to stop, relax and swim after three great days of hiking. Leaving the forest behind, savour the last few kilometres of freedom on the trail before your journey ends at the forest station.

12km hiking

Note: This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, and weather conditions and forecasts.

Accommodation

You will be staying in Blaauwkranz and Kalender huts. Both are wooden chalet-style huts and are ideally located to make the most of the tranquil setting. From the Kalender hut, there is easy access to the Groot River Lagoon and beach while the Blaauwkranz hut has a waterfall and natural pools nearby with an outstanding view.

Accommodation is typical of walking huts with bunk beds in dormitory rooms. Flush toilets and hot water bucket showers are available. The huts are basic yet comfortable and well presented, the focus is more on your spectacular surroundings.

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Dates & Prices

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Your host will confirm your booking subject to availability. There may be a minimum number of guests required to guarantee that a trip will go ahead.

Prices include

Accommodation · Guide · Local Transport · Meals As Described · Happiness Guaranteed · 100% Financial Protection · No Single Supplements

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

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Guide Prices

Group size Adults Children
2–6

Please note: These prices may change subject to extra requirements.

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Optional Extras

Make your life easy. Once you have reserved your space, your host can help you arrange the extras you’ll need. Here are some guide prices which can be confirmed with you during booking.

Backpack Hire Payable Before Departure
Backpack Hire (per day) ZAR100.00
Sleeping Bag Hire Payable Before Departure
Sleeping Bag with Liner (per day) ZAR100.00
Transfer to/from De Vasselot (start point) Payable Before Departure
Transfer from Knysna ZAR600.00
Transfer from Plettenberg Bay ZAR600.00
Transfer from George Airport (GRJ) ZAR1100.00

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