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Tsitsikamma Travel Guide

Hiking

Dolphin Trail. This trail is the perfect marriage of exercise and relaxation, rugged scenery and comfort. Starting at Storms River Mouth, the trail continues east along the coast, with scenery similar to the Otter Trail but with infinitely more comfortable lodging. The trail covers 17 km (10½ miles) over two days, and the best part is that you carry only a day pack (your luggage is transported by vehicle to the next spot). Accommodations on the first night are in very comfortable cabins with private baths at Storms River Mouth. The next two nights are spent in lovely guesthouses with awesome views and great food. The price includes a guide, all meals from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the last day, transportation, and three nights' accommodation. Tsitsikamma. 042/280–3588. www.dolphintrail.co.za.

Otter Trail. One of South Africa's most popular hiking trails, the five-day Otter Trail runs along the coast from the mouth of Storms River to Nature's Valley, passing rocky cliffs, beaches, fynbos, rivers, and towering indigenous forest. The trail is 42 km (26 mi) long, but there are a lot of steep uphills and downhills so it is quite strenuous. Accommodations are in overnight huts equipped with sleeping bunks, braais (barbecues), and chemical toilets. You must carry in all food and carry out all trash. Only 12 people are allowed on the trail per day, making it vital to book at least a year in advance. However, because people sometimes book all 12 slots and then arrive with only four or five others, there are sometimes cancellations. If you really want to hike this trail but can't get a reservation, contact SANParks closer to the time to see if a spot has opened up. Tsitsikamma section of Garden Route National Park, Storms River Mouth. 012/428–9111. www.sanparks.org.za.

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