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Explore the Great Outdoors: A Guide to Overnight Hiking


1. The Otter Trail – Eastern Cape

The Otter Trail in the Eastern Cape of South Africa is a world-renowned, five-day hike along the rugged coast of the Tsitsikamma National Park. Hikers can expect a challenging trail that winds through pristine forests, rocky cliffs, and pristine beaches, offering majestic views of the Indian Ocean. 

Campsites are located along the way, providing you with the opportunity to bask in the solitude that nature brings forth. Wildlife such as otters, baboons, and a variety of bird species can often be seen along the trail. The Otter Trail is a truly unforgettable experience for those seeking an adventure in the great outdoors.

Important facts about this hike:

  • Dogs unfortunately not allowed.
  • A strong fitness level is required.
  • The distance of the hike is 45km.
  • The base rate is R1500, and availability should be checked on the official SAN parks website.

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2. Leopard Trail - Baviaanskloof

If you are looking for a trip where you can allow nature to heal and rejuvenate you, then this 4-day, 3-night hike in the Baviaanskloof is exactly what you need.

Some say that this hike is luxurious enough to feel comfortable, yet long enough so that you feel refreshed afterwards. The Leopard Trail was designed by hikers for hikers and the overnight resting areas were created to help you experience the full magic that nature has to offer.

Important facts about this hike:

  • A strong fitness level is required.
  • Distance 22km
  • Rate is R2400
  • Minimum 6 people and maximum 12 people per hike

3. Giant’s Cup Trail – KwaZulu-Natal

Embark on a breathtaking hike through the rugged foothills of Drakensberg and discover stunning streams for swimming, serene valleys, and secluded paths. Immerse yourself in 360-degree panoramic views, lush grassy plains, and create unforgettable memories with your loved ones. It's important for hikers to come prepared for this journey, as the Drakensberg region is known for its unpredictable weather conditions.

Important facts about this hike:

  • Distance 59.3km
  • Moderate to strong fitness level is required.
  • The rate is R120 per day.
  • Up to 30 hikers in a group are allowed.

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4. Central Cederberg Circuit – Western Cape

The Central Cederberg Circuit, located within the Cederberg Wilderness Reserve, offers a unique and challenging hiking experience for those seeking adventure in the great outdoors. Hikers can expect to traverse through a diverse landscape of towering sandstone formations, crystal-clear streams, and indigenous vegetation. Along the way, you will encounter astonishing views of the Cederberg Mountains, secluded waterfalls, and possibly wildlife. Though this trail may be strenuous, the reward of natural beauty and a sense of accomplishment is well worth it.

Important facts about the hike:

  • Distance is 72km/78km.
  • Strong fitness level required.
  • Temperatures during the summer season are significantly high so always consult the weather before hiking and planning your hike.
  • Permits may be required for certain parts of the trail so make sure to enquire about this beforehand.

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5. Mnweni Circuit – Drakensberg

The Mnweni Circuit in the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa is a challenging, multi-day hike that offers magnificent views and a unique wilderness experience. Hikers can expect steep ascents and descents, rocky terrain, and remote backcountry camping. The trail winds through pristine valleys and passes, offering panoramic views of the rugged peaks and rolling hills of the Drakensberg. Wildlife such as baboons, eland, and bearded vultures can often be seen along the way. This hike could be one of the most rewarding experiences for those up for the challenge.

Important factors to consider:

  • A strong fitness level is required for this hike.
  • Ensure that you pack enough food and water.
  • Research and obtain any necessary permits.
  • Rates are R60 per person per day.
  • Overnight accommodation is approximately R250 per person and should be booked in advance.

Now that you have the destination suggestions for your overnight hike journey, you’ll need to begin the most important part of it all: planning.

 Essential items include a backpack, tent, sleeping bag, and of course, reliable footwear. When it comes to footwear, Merrell offers a range of options that are suitable for overnight hikes. Their waterproof and breathable shoes provide support and stability on rugged terrain while keeping feet dry in wet conditions. Some popular Merrell models for overnight hikes include the Erie Mid LTR WP, the Forestbound MID WP, and the Cham 8 Stretch. These shoes are durable, comfortable, and provide excellent grip, making them ideal for hikes that last multiple days.

Furthermore, Merrell is renowned for delivering out-of-the-box comfort. This means that your feet will be protected, comfortable, and free from blisters, right from the start of your hike.

So, why wait? Get your hands on a pair of Merrells that fit your needs, and take the first step towards an unforgettable overnight hiking experience.

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