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Five Day Trail

Explore the West Coast

This option offers the ultimate experience of the West Coast over 5 glorious days!

This option offers the ultimate experience of the West Coast over 5 glorious days. The days are spent slack-packing on diverse types of terrain including sandy beaches, fynbos paths, jeep tracks, single track paths, and simply finding your way alongside river banks.

We provide guests with a unique and personalized experience of the West Coast. This trail has something for everyone – from sea view accommodation to interacting with local communities, birding, hearty food and delicious wines. Not to mention the abundance of cultural and historical assets which you will encounter along the way.

This being a slackpacking trail, all you need with you is a day-pack and camera. When guests arrive at their destination at the end of a lovely day your luggage will be waiting for you. The trail requires guests to be moderately fit. It is suitable for families (children above 12 years). A support vehicle will be on standby and closer availability can be arranged also.


Total Distance Hiked

KM

Furthest Day

KM

Day of Arrival

Guests arrive after 14h00 at their accommodation which is 16 km south of Elands Bay. Nestled along the quiet stretch of the coastal road one really feels as though their adventure has begun. Guests are treated to a delicious meal with the sound of the ocean in the background. You will get a chance to meet your guide as well as other members if you are joining a group.

Depending on time of arrival a guided drive in the private nature reserve or a birding outing can be arranged.

Day 1

KM

For those early risers this is a great opportunity to watch the sunrise – mornings on the West Coast are magical! Guests are encouraged to enjoy a walk to the bird or visit the beach which is just a stone’s throw away from your accommodation. Breakfast will be served, following which guests will need to be ready to meet their guide and depart for their days hiking at 08h00. Guests get their first experience of the empty beaches and fresh Atlantic air. Highlights include South Africa’s very first Provincial Heritage Site called Baboon Point. Your guide will show you to the cave where there is evidence of San hunter-gatherers and Khoekhoe descendants which, according to lead archaeologist, Professor John Parkington “date back as far as 100 000 years and as recently as 300 years ago”. From the caves, guests will be shown the old Crayfish Factory and hear about some of the history and politics of the local fishing industry.

 

Your guide will then show you to your accommodation where guests can relax and enjoy a well-deserved sundowner. The group will be treated to a hearty home cooked meal prepared by local community members.

 

Enjoy your night in one of the West Coasts most iconic fishing villages.

TERRAIN

  • Flat beach
  • Jeep Track

Day 2

KM

Guests will once again need to be ready to meet their guide and be set to depart at 08h00. Another steady day’s walking lies ahead. One gets to see where the name ‘Crayfish Trail’ comes from as there are often many carcasses washed up on the beach. Be sure to ask your guide why! This route takes you alongside a number or bays where one can see the abundance of life along the rocky sea shore. Have a look and see if you can see the kelp forests.

 

Guests will enjoy traditional hospitality and overnight at the Steenbokfontein farm. Depending on availability guests may be treated to a meal at Muisbosskerm, South Africa’s first open air restaurant.

TERRAIN

  • Flat beach
  • Jeep Track

Day 3

KM

While one of the shorter days in distance, Day 3 is certainly a busy one. Guests need to be ready to leave by 09h00. Guests will meet their new guide for the day. Once again impressive caves can be visited complete with signs of early ancestors. Can you see the signs of elephant in the cave!? Hikers then follow a 3 hour walk to Bird Island, one of 6 sites in the world where Cape Gannets breed (and the only breeding site which is easily accessible to the public).

Visit: http://www.capenature.co.za/reserves/bird-island-nature-reserve/ for more information on Bird Island.

 

Guests will be introduced to local fishers at the harbour. The food served is outsourced to the local fishing community. This is also a chance to hear about the Abalobi initiative, which engages technology for social justice and to alleviate poverty. Depending on sea conditions guests may be able to view Bird Island from the sea.

You will be treated to a wine tasting and dinner in Lamberts Bay.

TERRAIN

  • Flat beach
  • Jeep Track

Day 4

KM

Your shuttle service departs at 08h00. After a short guided drive (45 km) through the Strandveld the hike starts in the small town of Doring Bay. Soon you will be on a particularly scenic path along the cliff tops to Strandfontein and then on to Papendorp. To your left stretches the vast expanse of the blue Atlantic Ocean, and to your right there will be a myriad of wild flowers and fynbos. In the distance, the Olifants River beckons, its water a welcoming sight to any hiker. Follow an adventurous and sometimes muddy path along the Olifants River bank and discover the beauty of this estuarine ecosystem. If you are lucky, you may be able to take a short boat ride with local fishers up the river to your accommodation.

 

Spend your final night at either at Doring Bay or Big River Bend (depending on group size).

TERRAIN

  • Flat beach
  • Jeep Track

Day of departure

Guests enjoy a breakfast overlooking the magnificent Olifants River. Check out time is 11h00 so guests are encouraged to visit the banks of the river for some spectacular birding opportunities.

Guests will be transported back to their vehicles.