Six Day TrailExplore the West Coast
This option offers the ultimate experience of the West Coast over 6 glorious days!
Your days are spent slackpack hiking on diverse types of terrain including sandy beaches, fynbos paths, jeep tracks, single track paths, and simply finding your own way alongside river banks. Guests are treated to the best of what the West Coast has to offer including interacting with local communities, comfortable accommodation, tasty food and unique wines. This being a slackpacking trail, all you need with you is a day-pack and camera. At the end of a lovely day full of adventures, your luggage will be waiting for you at the overnight destination.
The trail requires guests to be moderately fit. It is suitable for families (children above 12). A support vehicle is on standby, however we stagger days to have some longer distances followed by shorter more activity based days.
Total Distance Hiked
Day 1: 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. The group will be treated to a hearty home cooked meal prepared by local community members.
Overnight in the newly renovated Rocherpan Nature Reserve cabins: http://www.capenature.co.za/reserves/rocherpan-nature-reserve/
Rocherpan Nature Reserve – Elands Bay
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 hide or visit the beach which is just a stone’s throw away from your accommodation at Rocherpan. A simple breakfast will be served, following which guests will need to be ready to meet their guide and depart for their day hiking. When Rocherpan is not available, guests will stay at Ventersklip and depart from their to the starting point. 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.
Overnight at the iconic Vensterklip guest farm: www.vensterklip.co.za
- Flat beach
- Jeep Track
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 to see if you can see the kelp forests.
Guests will overnight on the farm of Steenbokfontein and enjoy the hospitality of your host, Kitta.
Overnight at Steenbokfontein on the Sea Farm: http://steenbokfonteinaccommodation.co.za/
- Flat beach
- Jeep Track
While one of the shorter days in distance, Day 3 is certainly a busy one. Your new local guide will lead you in the footsteps of the San as well as the Khoekhoe herders who first arrived in the area some 2 – 3000 years ago.
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 harbor enjoy the scenery at the Lamberts Bay harbor. This is also a chance to hear about the Abalobi initiative, which engages technology for social justice and to alleviate poverty.
You will be treated to a wine tasting and dinner in Lamberts Bay.
Overnight at Arendzicht: http://westcoasteaglesnest.co.za/ or
- Flat beach
- Jeep Track
Early rise to catch the shuttle for a short 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.
Spend your final night at Leoni’s accommodation: http://www.leonis.co.za/
- Single Track
- Light Scramble
- Flat Beach
- Strandveld (Afrikaans for beach vegetation)
Day 6: Departure
Guests will be transported back to their vehicles.