Slack-packing Trails

Enjoy multi-day hiking trails, but with comfortable accommodation every night and without having to carry your gear on your back.

Overview

Slack-packing trails are South Africa's version of backpacking, made easy. These walking trails - informally described as hiking without hassle - are typically from 2 days to 7 days in length. Being short, slack-packing trails are easy to slot into a longer South African sight-seeing trip.

Many of us have enjoyed some multi-day walking trails when we were younger. When we were still happy to hike all day carrying our sleeping bag and all our food needs in a 15-20 kg pack on our back. But now many of us want a greater degree of comfort! We want a bed for the night. We want a home-cooked meal with wine. And most of all, we don't want to have to carry all our gear!

Slack-packing trails in South Africa - Cederberg

This is where slack-packing comes in...

A slack-packing trail is a multi-day walking trail where all you have to do is carry a day pack with whatever you may need for the day... simple! Sometimes it is only offered for private groups of 4 to 6 people or more. Other times a couple can join a set departure.

However this is where the similarities between the various slack-packing trails in South Africa end. They all differ in terms of level of accommodation, difficulty, and guiding.

Suggested Slack-packing Trails

We highlight a few here in detail. Two are on the Garden Route (The Oystercatcher Trail and the Dolphin Trail) and two are in the Cederberg mountains. Guiding by local guides, learning about the landscape and history, swimming in refreshing rock pools are all part of the magic.

Klein Krakadouw Trail (2 or 3 nights) - This is one of 5 trails of the Cederberg Heritage Route. See Klein Krakadouw for a brief overview of the other trails...

Slack-packing trails in South Africa - Cederberg Heritage Trails

Wild Coast Meander - This is a 5 night coastal trail in the Eastern Cape which is tailor-made for individual parties on request. Shorter 3 night trails are also available. The walking is pretty easy and your bags are portered on foot.

Slack-packing trails in South Africa - Wild Coast Meander

Green Mountain Trail - This is a popular trail in the Grabouw area of the Overberg. It's a 3 night trail that runs through the Green Mountain Eco Route which is the world's first biodiversity wine route.

Slack-packing trails in South Africa - Green Mountain Trail

The Donkey Trail - is another popular 3 night trail in the Little Karoo down into the remote but very scenic Gamkaskloof ('Die Hel'). You are accompanied by trained local guides from the community. The only disadvantage is that the minimum numbers are six but you may be able to join an existing party.

Please Note: We book a number of other trails as well. So chat to us. We usually book slack-packing trails as part of a larger itinerary. If you just want to book a slack-packing trail, then we may need to add on a small admin fee to cover costs...

Highlights

  • You don't have to carry your own gear! It’s taken to your next overnight stay by car, by porters or even sometimes by donkey cart.
  • You stay in comfortable accommodation with real beds and linen. It may be a guesthouse or a B&B. Or sometimes more modest accommodation depending on the actual trail.
  • And you get all your meals cooked for you.
  • So all you have to do is carry your day-pack!

Everything went smoothly

"From the initial enquiry until the end of the holiday everything went smoothly. We were very happy with all aspects of the holiday. All the hotels were comfortable; well staffed; good food." Mrs Kate Mars, UK

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"We have had the most fantastic holiday and that all your arrangements / transfers etc worked like clockwork. The accommodation and food was excellent everywhere we stayed. It has left us hungry for more (especially Victoria Falls) so we had better get saving for a return trip! This was our first trip to South Africa and we had no idea how stunningly beautiful your country is." Laughton Family, UK

Everything was brilliant

"Ginny Russell and the Cedarberg team have arranged many trips to Africa for us over the last 25 years. Each holiday has been wonderful and we love planning them with Ginny. When we think Africa & safari we always think Cedarberg. Thanks again Ginny, we are already looking forward to our next safari. Val & Frank" Mrs Val Cummins
 
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"Thanks Conrad for your help organizing all of this trip for us, it was amazing – and I’ll be sure to refer you to any future friends of mine wishing to come to Africa." Mr Ross, Melbourne

Cedarberg always create amazing holidays

"Cedarberg do not fail to deliver they always create amazing holidays and we can not fault. We’ve used Cedarberg 5 times and keep going back for more African experiences Excellent. Amazing as always, as we always seem to test you guys with snow, weddings & having to change destination. You never fail to give us the best." Mrs Alexei Howell, UK

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"Thank you so much for booking this experience for us, Mari. Everything was so well organized and went so smoothly, from car rental and driving and hotel directions, to lodge details, inclusions, exclusions, etc. The link you gave us with all the details on the locations we were going to as well as the detailed itinerary and pre-departure information was very helpful. We’re grateful for your efforts and for making this an outstanding experience for us. I have already sent your details to friends in case they’re interested in booking a trip of their own, and now that Tom has seen the beauty of Africa I know I won’t have to convince him to head back there again. I’m dreaming of safari in Namibia next time, and I would only want to book it through Cedarberg." Mrs Michelle B