Me, Rachel Swailes. My blog about stuff I get up to in and around the Western Cape, Cape Town, George, Wilderness, Hermanus and other cool places :)

Otter Trail

As with most pack carrying trails, it’s a good idea to be reasonably fit before you hike this one. While the distance is not too strenuous, the ups and downs can take a toll on the knees by the end of the day. When I do this trail again I will definitely take more time at the pools each day as we always seemed to arrive back at the huts with many hours of light left over.


The trail is in the Tsitsikamma National Park and bookings can be made by phone at the park, (012) 426 5111. There is usually quite a long waiting list or to be safe, book at least 6 months in advance.

River Crossings

You need to pay attention to the time of the tides so that you can make the two crossings easily. Bloukrans especially needs to be done at low tide as there can be strong currents in that area in addition to the high water line.

Emergency Exits

It is advisable to take basic survival gear in case anything goes wrong. There are also emergency exits clearly marked on the trail every day which take you back to the road and past ranger stations.


The overnight huts are great. There are two huts sleeping six in each and most nights have a shower and running water. For the fire area, there is braai wood available at the descent to the huts which you must carry down.

For more information you can check out the official site at SAN Parks