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What was your hike like?
"Unpack your backpack here"

A huge splash

The Otter Trail
12 to 16 October 1998 (Four-fifths of it anyway)
Submitted by: Collette Page

The Linx Africa Third Birthday Celebration

The Otter Trail beacon

The Linx Africa group of twelve started the 41 kilometers of the Otter in the pouring rain and stopped for lunch at the waterfall, which is as far as day hikers may go along the trail. The waterfall is about 3 kilometers from the start and is situated at the mouth of a bay leading out into the sea.

Day one is 4,6 kms with a bit of boulder-hopping, meandering through the forest and along the coastline and ending at Ngubu hut.

There is a protected bay at the river mouth where, if you can brave the cold water, snorkeling and swimming in the sea with two sea lions looking on, makes a refreshing end to the day's hike. The only alternative to a swim is an even colder wash under a pipe-shower in the river.

The start

Day two is 7,9 kms along the stunning cliffs to Skilderkrans, across the Kleinbos River and down to the beautiful swimming beach of Blue Bay (which can be seen from Skilderkrans).

The climb out of Blue Bay is probably the stiffest of the whole trail, but the view from the top is spectacular.

Skilderkrans in the background
Blue Bay Blue Bay from sku level
Blue Bay
Blue Bay from sky level

The trail then dips down to the Geelhoutbos River Gorge to the overnight huts of Scott, situated in the river mouth.

Never trust a downhill

Day three is a less strenuous stroll from Scott Huts to the beautifully situated Oakhurst Huts along the coast and in and out of the forest - it is 7,7 kms and allows plenty of time to take in the scenery.

A water feature on the Lottering River
The Oakhurst huts
The huts at Oakhurst
Never trust a downhill it tends to go up again   A water hole on the
Lottering River
A view from the cave

Day four is a 13km hike to Andre hut. The highlight of the day is the crossing of the Blaukrans river, about 10kms along the route. We set out in the pouring rain which had started the night before and never let up.

Proteas on the trail
A view from a cave
Something's enjoying the rain
A waterfall crossing The Blaukrans River
Negotiating a small waterfall
A bleak looking Blaukrans River
The view from the bridge

The Blaukrans River was in flood when we arrived and we had to bail out up a very steep escape route which ends at the Blaukrans Bridge. Thanks to modern day cellular telephones, we contacted the Harkerville Forest Lodge and were fetched by their Big Foot Express. The group then spent a very enjoyable night at the Lodge compensated by some very large pizzas at Knysna and a warm cozy fire at Harkerville.

Blaukrans bridge and the river way below  

Although we never completed the Otter, Linx Africa had a wonderful birthday in one of the most beautiful settings in the world.

Reply to Collette Page:
More Information on the Otter Trail:
Bookings and enquiries:
National Parks Board
Tel: +27 (0)12 428 9111
Cell: +27(0)82-233-9111
For more information on hiking in this area visit the Linx Africa Trails page at:

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Date of entry: 1 July 1996
Updated: 2 January 2004