Mossel Bay is a growing town along the renowned Garden Route, which stretches between the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape provinces of South Africa. It is an area of natural beauty, and it boasts an enormous variety of faunal and floral species. The hiking trails in and around Mossel Bay flaunt this beauty and allow visitors to experience it in a very personal, intimate way.
Hiking Mossel Bay – These are some of the best hiking trails and facilities in the area
This is a four-day trail that extends along the untouched beaches and shoreline from Mossel Bay to the Gourits River. It is a guided trail that takes hikers back in time, as they rely on the land and its natural resources to prepare food, get shelter and find their way. Along the way, dolphins (all year long) and whales (July to December) can be spotted from the trail. The hike includes fishing, kayaking and camping.
The Bonniedale Holiday Farm
This farm is nestled within the Outeniqua Mountains between Oudtshoorn and Mossel Bay. There is no cell phone or internet reception here, guaranteeing a complete break from city life. Exquisite fynbos and breath-taking mountain views invite hikers to camp overnight or to indulge in a day trip. There are also mountain bike and 4×4 trails, as well as a 130-metre zipline and Khoisan rock art sites for those that enjoy history.
Oyster Bay Reserve
This is a botanical reserve that is notable for being the first community reserve in the area. It is, therefore, committed to education and involving the community in conservation initiatives. There are a number of eco-tourism projects in progress. Guided tours are available by prior arrangement, and offer an added dimension, as the guide explains and teaches along the way. Hiking trails and a bird hide invite visitors to experience the wonders of the fauna and flora of this region.
For those that want the prime opportunity to watch whales during their migration season (between July and December in South Africa), the Cape St Blaize Trail is ideal. This is a 13.5 kilometre trail that follows a contour path along the cliffs, taking full advantage of the unbeatable views.
The Skaapplaas Hiking Trail
This hiking trail is accredited and takes around five or six hours to complete, depending on the size of your group and your individual abilities.
It is 10 kilometres long, and takes hikers through gorgeous fynbos and forest. The freshwater river and waterfalls are irresistible to hot hikers, who are invited to swim in their clean waters and relax on the river banks. The abundance of birdlife means that bird-watching enthusiasts must not miss the opportunity to bring their binoculars.
When embarking on any of the local hiking trails, it is vital to be safe and responsible. Ensure that you are well protected by a high-factor sunscreen and light cotton clothing. Bring along plenty of water and ensure that someone knows where you are, especially if there is no mobile phone reception. Do not take unnecessary chances, but be careful at all times.
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