Oystercatcher Slackpacking Trail - 4 Days

A four over-night world renowned slackpacking hiking trail on the South Cape Garden Route coast near Mossel Bay.

The Oystercatcher Trail is a Guided hiking experience that will definitely change your outlook on Nature and life…

Our trail will take you along beaches, over dunes and rocky shores, through Fynbos and all the while give you the opportunity to interact with various life forms… Taste an oyster off the rocks, observe the various type of crabs, spot the wily Octopus, collect shells…be part of our natural environment.

During the mild winter months, this area is known for its whale activity. Whales come in to give birth in the quiet protected bays. Dazzling us with their displays of breaching and lob-tailing. Hike the largely undeveloped South Cape(Garden Route) coastline between Mossel Bay and Gourikwa Private Nature Reserve, crossing the spectacular Gouritz River along the way.

It is VERY Important to note that The Oystercatcher Trail is about Nature and Hiking in and with Nature, therefore conditions may change, routings may be adapted. Our Guides will asses each day and its conditions. This is Nature and we will abide by Her rules.

Day 1
Arrive during the afternoon in the beautiful little coastal town, Boggomsbaai. The guide will meet you before dinner for a drink and a chat. Dinner will be served at the Sandpiper Leisure centre or you can prepare your own meals if you prefer to do a self-catering trail. Overnight at one of our cape styled cottages or in similarly appointed houses.

Day 2
After breakfast hikers walk along the shore from Dana Bay all on unspoilt beaches and visit stone age middens of the Hunter Gatherers and Khoi San beachcombers in the dunes. Swimming in the sea or blind river is optional. Your Guide reveals the secrets, the nests and habits of the African Black Oystercatcher.  You can help him locate white sand mussels and watch how the plough snails clean the beach of marine organic material and watch the scuttling of sandpipers and ghost crabs.

Enjoy a relaxing afternoon after your hike. Relax for a massage(pre-booked) available at the Sandpiper Leisure Centre. Dinner will be served at the Sandpiper Leisure centre or you can prepare your own meals if you prefer to do a self-catering trail.

Distance about 15 kms. Difficulty scale 5/10

Day 3
After breakfast hike continues along the beach, past the historic Vleesbaai village, and then along the edge of the rocky shore. This village was named by the Old Dutch Sea Farers who traded beads for cattle with the Khoi San, 150 years before Jan van Riebeeck landed at the fairest Cape. Along here you can see the oysters, clams, black mussels and red bait in unspoilt and unpolluted rock pools. Prepare for a scrumptious beach lunch at Fransmanshoek and visit the small info centre that was the holiday cottage of an old family of the area. This also near the site where the La Fortune sank with 400 men on board in 1763. From Fransmanshoek the hike is again along a very remote and unspoilt beach flanked by massive Namib like dunes. Cross over the ancient dune belt now covered with endemic Fynbos. Hike the short stretch of beach back to Boggomsbaai. This is where the guide will also explain how the Khoi San built fish traps known as “ Fish Favours”.

Distance approximately 20 kms, Difficulty 7/10

Day 4
Breakfast and then a short transfer back to the dunes. Traverse the fynbos ridges looking for spoor and and try to spot the wildlife that inhabit this area…Bushbuck, Duiker, Karakal, even the odd leopard, and of course all the small creatures and birds in between. Back to the beaches and the hunt for Oystercatchers and their chicks continue. At the Village of Kanon, visit and admire the ancient fish traps of the Khoi San. Carry on to the Gouritz where you will cross this tidal river by boat. A short transfer after the crossing back to Boggomsbaai. Farewell dinner!

Distance Approx 10 km’s. Difficulty 5/10

Day 5
(This day is included but should you have less time or need to check the budget, you could depart after the previous days’ hike - please enquire.)
Breakfast and depart

Total distance for Oystercatcher Trail about 45 - 50km.
The rates start from R7 100 per person sharing (minimum 4 people in a group) for the 4 Night fully catered version.
Groups up to 12 people. Any larger group sizes please let us know and we will arrange extra guides.

We have various options available:
Extended versions, shorter versions, or more budget suited possibilities can be arranged. Enquire about these various possibilities.

Also, speak to us if you would like to do a private trail or even the Self Catered version.

This will be your Love Affair with Nature…therefore note that conditions and distances may change and be altered - We will abide by Mother Natures bidding!