• Bitten by the whale watching bug Bitten by the whale watching bug We don’t realise how lucky we are in South Africa, and in particular the Western Cape, to have the mightiest of the marine mammals visit our coastline between every year ...
  • The Whale Trail The Whale Trail The Whale Trail is not a new trail, having been around since about 2002, but it has become extremely popular. It is truly a unique experience, perhaps comparable with ...
  • 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa Combine your trip to South Africa with a relaxing, revitalising visit to a health spa and experience Africa at it's finest. Our favourite 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa are ...
  • Locals share their favourite getaways Locals share their favourite getaways We ask 30 local South Africans to share their favourite holiday destinations and getaways with us. From the more popular destinations like Knysna and the Kruger Park to ...
  • The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip walk shares portions of its hike with the larger Karbonkelberg Traverse, which is roughly seven hours of hard walk from Hout Bay harbour to Llandudno ...
  • 10 Amazing Game Lodges 10 Amazing Game Lodges South Africa is world renowned for her game reserves and wildlife. The lodges which allow us to experience these in luxury are no less awe inspiring. Our favourites are ...
  • 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town As much as your kids will tell you they can’t wait for the school holidays, the words "I’m bored" inevitably cross their lips. Our "101 things to do with kids in Cape Town" will ...
  • "World's most beautiful Cities" "World's most beautiful Cities" Open space makes Cape Town special. Renowned English sea navigator Sir Francis Drake once referred to Cape Town as the fairest cape in the world. The city houses the ...

Find Accommodation in South Africa
Subscribe to our Feed
Posted on: Wednesday, 2 July 2008
South African Hiking Trails

Hiking the Otter Trail

Send to Kindle

When they say you have to be ‘reasonably fit’ to be able to do the Otter Trail it means you better be able to carry all your equipment across rugged terrain for five days. However, as any serious hiker will confirm, the Otter Trail is simply the most glorious hiking trail in South Africa.

The Otter Trail is for people who really want to hike and enjoy the extraordinary landscape as they go along, who want to immerse themselves in beauty and do not mind getting sweaty and having aching muscles at the end of each day. In other words if you spend more time thinking about what outfit to wear to go hiking than actually hiking itself, maybe this isn’t the one for you.

You are going to have five days and four nights of nature cramming all of her sights, scents and sounds into your body and mind. You are going to be so tired each night that’ll you’ll sleep like the dead only to do it again the next morning. But one thing is certain: you will go to sleep exhilarated …


The Otter Trail


The Otter Trail runs through the Tsitsikamma National Park near Plettenberg Bay on the East Coast and is well organized by the National Parks Board and they make it as convenient as possible for hikers. The trail is clearly marked with a blue otter signs and painted otter spoor on rocky outcrops as guide.

The Otter Trail starts out from the Storms River Rest Camp and you will walk along 42 kilometres of stunning coastline, through rugged terrain with the ocean one side and the indigenous rainforest inland. You will cross 11 rivers and you may have to swim the Bloukrans River on day four, so remember a waterproof bag for your equipment. On the fifth day you will reach the end of the trail in Nature’s Valley. There are two overnight huts for each of the four nights you will spend on the trail with bunk beds and mattresses, cooking facilities and a toilet for each hut. You want to wash or bath? Bring a cake of biodegradable soap and jump into the nearest stream; nature provides.


The Otter Trail


The daily hikes are not too long, the exception is day four with a 14-kilometer hike, so take your time, don’t rush or you will miss out on so much to see and do. Sit on the cliffs and watch the whales out at sea and the dolphins coming right into the breakers. Snorkel in the rock pools and take breaks to watch the birds in the treetops. Drink in the sights of stunning beaches, majestic rock formations and waterfalls as you hike one of the most beautiful places on earth. Go home with aching muscles and scraped knees but with a soul filled to bursting; that is after all what you came for.

Additional Reading – Read a more recent article at: Forget about its name – there’s nothing cute or cuddly about the Otter Trail

Destination Info:


The Otter Trail


The SA-Venues.com Team


Photographs, posts and articles filed under "The SA-Venues.com Team" are either very old articles (this blog has been going since 2005!), are a combined effort or have been submitted to us by a third party, the name of which is/should be displayed in or below the actual article. Special offers and general event posts are also found here as they are generally a team effort.

You are reading Popular Hiking Trails and Walks in South Africa Series Read more from this series of articles.

What Others are Saying

7 comments about Hiking the Otter Trail
  1. August 11th, 2010 at 22:28
    Tammy Wilson says:

    Hi there, how much is the otter trail and what r the available dates?

  2. June 16th, 2011 at 11:48
    Riandi Van der Merwe says:


    We are a group of between 15-30 girls that would like to do a hiking trial in November. Can you please send me any relevant information about my inquiry including a price list?


  3. May 21st, 2013 at 03:08
    Rick says:

    I would like more info. What food and equipment is recommended
    Best months to go. How long before trip do you need to reserve

  4. June 29th, 2013 at 20:56
    Andrea Moebus says:

    What are the aviailable Dates for x-mas this Year (24.12. -10.01.). Are there any?

  5. November 17th, 2013 at 09:58
    Glenn Batcheller-Adams says:

    I transport hikers daily for the Otter Trail and get so much up-to-date information about the hike from them. I am always available to help in any way.

  6. January 28th, 2014 at 20:27
    Alta Collyer says:

    We are 6 people who wants to hike the Otter in Feb 2015, do you suggest we leave our car in Nature’s Valley and use the transport to the start?
    We have faxed our entry form in Nov 2013, but still have not heard anything from them, any suggestions??

  7. February 4th, 2014 at 10:21
    The SA-Venues.com Team says:

    Dear Alta

    The Otter Trail is an incredibly popular trail, and books up very quickly, so please follow up with SA National Parks (or whomever you faxed your entry form to) that they are available for the dates you have requested. Once you have confirmation, you can ask them their recommendation about transport. You will certainly need to arrange transport in one direction or the other. When we did the trail, we booked a local transfer company who collected us and drove us back to the start point.

    Hope this helps! Sure you will love the Otter Trail. It is a fabulous experience.