The Oystercatcher Trail is a slackpacking walking tour on the Garden Route. Where you combine the joy of a multi-day hike without the struggle of having to carry all your own gear, cook your own evening meals and staying in basic walking huts.
This 4 night coastal trail is in the western part of the Garden Route. The 46km trail starts at St Blaize Point in Mossel Bay and heads west along a wild coastline to the Gouritz River Mouth. The tour has now changed so that they use one central base and transfer you to each days walk. So you only need to carry a daypack, binoculars and possibly swimming gear.
Along the way you take in archeological treasures, enjoy swimming stops on the sandy beaches. Spot the endangered African black oystercatcher and a diverse array of bird and marine life including dolphins and whales in season (July to November). You are guided by a trained and passionate walking guide who’s knowledgeable about the coast, its flora and its fauna.
This is not an arduous trail and is suitable for all of average fitness.
Oystercatcher Trail at a glance
You arrive at the Sandpiper Cottages in Boggoms Bay from 2pm onwards. This will be your base for the next four nights.
These authentic Cape cottages and the unspoilt nature area plus this stunningly beautiful bay at the start of the Garden Route offers a range of leisure activities. Sun tan on our golden beach, body surf, catch your own fish, beach comb. You meet your walking guide at 6pm when you have an orientation talk followed by supper.
Please note that we can arrange for a transfer from George Airport for an additional charge. (This transfer is INCLUDED in the Gold Version)
After breakfast, you proceed to the starting point of today’s hike after breakfast. The official starting point of the walk is at St. Blaize cave. You take the contour path as it meanders along cliff edges and down to sea level. This is a day of magnificent and wild scenery with views of dolphins and whales in season. You will also be able to swim en route in safe rock pools. You hike past Pinnacle Point Golf Estate and visit the caves of ancient Hunter Gatherers (Khoisan people) to experience the stark contrast between Stone age and present age living.
Optional Extra : optional Point of Human Origin Tour with your guide. This tour will be an additional supplement. (Card facilities available at the office). If you decide not to do the tour you will continue the last 3km to Dana Bay.
At the end of the walk, you are transferred to Sandpiper Cottages in Boggomsbaai where you stay for three nights. Optional Massages can be pre-booked. Enjoy a traditional dinner/braai at the Sandpiper Centre. Full Board – breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner
After breakfast at Sandpiper Cottages, you are transferred by road to the starting point of the walk at Dana Bay. Today you enjoy a magnificent beach walk of 13km back to Boggoms Bay for dinner and another overnight stay at Sandpiper Cottages. Dolphins often surf along the route. Along the walk you’ll see ancient fish traps and Stone Age middens in the dunes as well as some Khoisan graves.
The afternoon is at leisure. Relax at the leisure centre with its heated indoor pool, squash and tennis courts. Full Board – breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner
After a filling breakfast you set off on another invigorating and exciting walk along the edge of the sea, beaches, rocky shores and alongside towering sand dunes. Follow rocky shore for halfway lunch, swim and snorkel at Fransmanshoek.
Arrive at Fransmanshoek, a minuscule nature reserve, featuring striking red colored, craggy rocks, abundant bird life and beautiful veld flowers. Historically the ship La Fortuné was wrecked here en route from Mauritius to France with 410 men on board in 1763.
From Fransmanshoek you continue the hike to Kanon passing ancient Khoi San fish traps. Kanon Private Nature Reserve is situated approx. 3km east of the Gourits river mouth and has one of the few remaining patches of Gourits Coastal Dune Thicket vegetation which is in a pristine condition. One of the main objectives for the reserve is the conservation of this unique vegetation.
You continue the hike with guide to Gourits River for the boat crossing and then you are transferred back to Sandpiper cottages for a final night. Full Board – breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner
This morning after breakfast you bid a sad farewell to your guide and fellow walkers.