The Outeniqua Hiking Trail
Av Hiking Time: 9 hours.
Highlights: Great views.
Be prepared for: Very tricky wet trail and at some parts washed away.
NB: The time it takes to walk this route as indicated on the map Sanparks gives you is wrong. The day will take around 7-9 hours and not 5.5 hours as indicated on the map.
Day 3 starts with a choice of two trails. One leads through the mountains (17km) and the other through the plantations (12km).
The photographs and information shown here are from the Mountain route. (If anyone has taken the other route, please send me a few pictures and description of the trail).
The morning starts with a steep descent to the river. The river crossing proved to be quite tricky and will be so especially after rains.
Be prepared for a very steep long uphill right after the river. Be wary as this will be very muddy - especially after rains. A hiking stick for support is a definite must.
There is a long general upward ascent going into kloofs with many "mini" ups and downs. The path can get very wet and muddy here and at times even resembles a stream.
There are a few tricky crossings and we encountered a couple of places where we had to remove our backpacks and shimmy across rocks that were too slippy and close to the edge of the mountain for comfort.
We found we moved very slowly along the trail due to the wetness and difficulty so it will be a good idea to leave as early as possible at the start of the day.
Be prepared that you will still have 3 km to go once you hit the dirt road. There is no view at the Platbos cabin but it is descent with better toilets that the previous night.
Tips for Day 3:
- A hiking stick will be a must to help stabilise you.
- Be prepared for wet and muddy conditions.
- Leave as early as possible - it is a long day on your feet.
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