Oct - Apr
The Dolphin Trail is a luxury and fully portered hiking or slackpacking trail along the Tsitsikamma coastline. A beautiful part of the Garden Route. This unique trail allows you to sample some of the coastal scenery seen on the Otter Trail without the hardship of having to carry your own gear and sleep in basic huts!
The trail comprises a two day/3 night 17 km hike from Forest Ferns. Along the banks of the Sanddrif River, to the Storm’s River Mouth in the Tsitsikamma National Park. Trained field guides unlock the mysteries of nature and marine life to the walkers. It is called a slackpacking trail because all luggage is portered to the two overnight stays. So you only need to carry a daypack and binoculars.
The accommodation on the Dolphin Trail is of a particularly high quality with four star guesthouses and luxury retreats being used.
On route, many birds including the gorgeous Knysna Loerie can be heard and spotted while hiking through the forest. The endangered Oystercatcher is often to be seen on the shoreline. All walkers are encouraged to enjoy the walk, and not take it as a route march. Perhaps taking some time to cool off in the tidal pools of the Indian Ocean and explore them with snorkelling gear.
Note: We can arrange road transfers from both Port Elizabeth and George Airport.
Natasha JantjiesAfrica Travel Specialist
Dolphin Trail at a glance
You arrive some time in the afternoon at the Storms River Restcamp in the Tsitsikamma National Park. Accommodation at the Park is in cosy log cabins with a magnificent view of the Indian Ocean. There is a walks briefing at 7pm.
The afternoon is at leisure. There are a number of bird and hiking trails, including the start of the Otter Trail, that are well worth walking.
After breakfast you depart on your first day of hiking. You enjoy the walk to the Storms River Mouth suspension bridge and then take a steep hike uphill onto the escarpment to the Lookout Point. You have stunning views of the rugged Tsitsikamma coastline, Plettenberg Bay and chances are good for spotting a whale or a school of dolphins.
After walking along you make the descent to sea level through the indigenous forest. Here you can enjoy a picnic lunch and take a good break before the climb up Steilkop, “steep hill in Afrikaans! There is no rush and you can take your time. Then you enjoy an easy forest walk to Misty Mountain Farm.
Here the luxurious chalets offer an unequalled view of the Indian Ocean with Robberg and the setting sun in the west. You can relax, swim in the pool or use the spa bath. If you still have some energy, you can take advantage of the opportunity to go bass fishing in the dam.
You meet again for pre-dinner drinks and watch the sun setting over the sea before enjoying dinner.
Todays walk is mainly at sea level. You first take the steep path down from the lodge to the rock pools before.
The hike continues along the unspoilt water’s edge and most of the day is spent close to the sea. Enjoy the beautiful plant life and keep your eyes peeled for the Cape Clawless Otter in Otter’s Alley. You can sim and snorkel in a couple of rock pols so have your swimming gear with you.
After a stiff climb up the cliff (using a good quality path), you enjoy lunch in the forest. After lunch its an easy 3km walk through the tranquil forest to the Forest Fernery arriving in the mid afternoon.
Accommodation at Forest Ferns is in luxury chalets built on the river’s edge. There are several activities available if you are still feeling energetic such as boating, mountain biking or bird-watching. Guests can enjoy the various facilities at the Fernery (swimming pool, Jacuzzi and sauna) or watch a video on the growth and export of ferns.
You meet again for pre-dinner drinks and dinner.
Time to lie in if you wish or enjoy a spot of early morning bird-watching or visit the ferm export operation.
After breakfast at 8.30am, you are taken on a scenic drive in a 4 x 4 vehicle down the historic Storms River Pass and back to the Storms River Restcamp in the late morning.
An idea of price
This is a set tour using specific camps. However many tours can be adapted. Chat to us about your options. It excludes international flights but includes an estimate for all domestic or regional flights within the tour.