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Otter Trail Day 1

By Voets Toets Hiking

Storms River

The long-awaited Otter trail adventure finally arrived. A year's worth of planning, logistics and feelings of excitement all culminated in this moment. The Otter Trail is one of the most beautiful and oldest trails in South Africa which draws people from all over the world. This trail opened in 1968 and has seen many avid hikers seeking the beauty of our South African coastline. It's situated on the coastline between the Storms River mouth and Nature's Valley. Our adventure started on an overcast cool morning when we reported to the Storms River reception to get our orientation for this iconic trail. The moment arrived!

Day one's trail is 4.8 km


The trail is technical, but well marked

Solid, waterproof Merrell shoes are non-negotiable, a walking stick, survival bag (recommended), multi-day hiking gear (raincoats, dry bags, cable ties, rope), water and energy snacks


The short distance should not be underestimated. We started in the lush forest climbing down the mountain and made our way to the coastline. The trail is technical and your ability to climb and navigate is definitely tested. Our balancing skills came in handy with the boulder hopping and slippery rocks. Our first stop was at Guano Caves where a headlamp is needed if you want to venture in to take a peek at the bats. Our lunch spot was at the Jerling River waterfall which brought a much-needed hydration and snack break. We reached our final resting camp at Ngubu huts which were well maintained and comfortable. It provided us with a much-needed rest after our first day.

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Field Notes:

Solid, waterproof Merrell shoes are non-negotiable in this sort of terrain. A walking stick is also needed to help with the tricky parts of the trail. A survival bag is recommended as well as all the essentials of multi-day hiking gear (raincoats, dry bags, cable ties, rope etc) Hydration and energy snacks will give you a much-needed boost along the way.

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Trail Log:

The first day's experience was truly memorable. The trail blessed us with the phenomenal South African coastline beauty. Sightings of whales, dolphins, otters and seals made this a truly special day! We ended our day with a good old braai with the sharing of our experiences. A rare opportunity to see fireflies was such a treat before we called it a day and got a good night's rest.