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LOCAL TIME: 03:21 pm | Friday, 03 July
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Tsitsikamma – The Dolphin Trail

Tsitsikamma - The Dolphin Trail


“Hike the Tsitsikamma coast in luxury!”

The Dolphin Trail is set in the magnificent Tsitsikamma forest and coast, this area is well known for the strenuous Otter Trail. The Dolphin Trail allows you two magical days where you can hike with NO heavy backpacks and spend three nights in comfort at different accommodation venues!

Tsitsikamma National Park and two private sector partners, namely Forrest Ferns and Misty Mountain Reserve joined forces to provide a hiking experience that will not only challenge, but pamper you.

The total distance covered will be 17km, starting at the Tsitsikamma National Park, Storms River Mouth. Winding your way eastwards through the natural fynbos and indigenous forest, over rugged rocks at the waters edge and ending on the banks of the Sandrift River, at The Fernery.

Day 1 – Arrival

Check in at the Tsitisikamma National Park Reception, any time in the afternoon.  Make sure you have your booking form with you, as it includes your entry in to the Park.  From there you will have moved in the Dolphin Trail Chalets, where you are free to enjoy and explorer the number of bird and hiking trails around the area, including the start of the Otter Trail, or you can simple relax with your feet up and soak up the ambience of one of the most beautiful spots on earth.

Lunch is not included, but there is a lovely outside pub, that serves delicious meals.

Super:  At 19:00 be at the Restaurant to meet your Dolphin Trail host, who will give you all the information you need for the trail as well to answer any questions you have. Dinner will be served.

Day 2 – Hiking Day 1

Breakfast will be served from 08:00.  Your luggage will be collect from 08:45 at your chalet and you will meet your guides who will be with you for the two days of hiking.

You hiking will start along the boardwalk to Storms River Mouth and the Khoisan Cave.  Weather permitting there will be a 25 minute boat trip into the river gorge.  After crossing the Storms River Mouth on the suspension bridge, hikers follow a steep and rocky path to the “Lookout Point”, where you will enjoy magnificent views of the Tsitsikamma National Park and the endless view of the Indian Ocean.  Whales can be seen during the winter months, while dolphins are all year round, so keep a look out.

The hike will continue on a “level” for a short distance before beginning a long descent through indigenous forest to sea level.  Lunch will served here, either in the shade of the trees at the stream’s edge or on the rocks in the sun.  Enjoy this break as the climb up Steilkop (Steep Hill) is quite taxing follows immediately.  After conquering Steilkop, the rest of the way to Misty Mountain Reserve is comfortable.

Arrival time at Misty Mountain is dependent on the speed of the hikers.  On arrival you will be welcomed with an ice cold drink or a hot beverage.   You luxury chalet will have a 180 degree view of the Indian Ocean. Use this time to relax by making use of the lovely swimming pool or spa bath.  If you have energy, use this opportunity to go bass fishing in the dam.  A variety of water birds can be seen and heard around the chalets.

18:30 – Pre-dinner drinks will be served.  Enjoy the sun setting over the sea.
19:30 – Dinner is served.

Day 3 – Hiking Day 2

08:30 – Breakfast will be served

09:30 – Today’s route is mainly at sea level and the morning walk along the coast is magnificent.  Take a moment to enjoy the beautifully plant life and rock scenery, once you get to “Otter’s Alley”, keep your eyes open for the Cape Clawless Otter spoor.  Swimming and snorkeling is possible today in a couple of the rock pools en route, be sure to take your swimming attire with you.  Guides will have 2 sterilized snorkeling sets for the use of the group, however if you prefer to your own, you can request to purchase a news set at the onset of the trail.

After a stiff climb up the cliff and onto level ground, lunch will be served in a beautiful spot in the forest.  Peace and tranquility surrounds you in this magnificent forest, enjoy the moment.

After lunch you will have your final 3 km through indigenous fynbos to Forest Ferns.  Arriving at the Ferney to a well earned drink, several activities are still available for those who are still feeling energetic: cycling, boating and bird watching.  A swimming pool, jacuzzi and sauna are at your disposal.

18:30 – Pre drinks are served in the Fernery Restaurant or at the Lodge.  Enjoy a delicious 4 course menu d’hôte.

Day 4 – Day of Departure

08:30 – Breakfast is served in the Fernery.  Your luggage will be loaded after breakfast and you set off on a scenic 4×4 trip through the Old Storms River Pass.

Arriving at the Tsitsikamma National Park around noon, hikers will go their separate ways.

The package is fully inclusive and features the following:

– all meals, from dinner on the day of arrival, to breakfast on the day of departure
– the attendance of well trained local guides
– a 4×4 drive through the old Storms River Pass
– the transportation of all luggage by vehicle between overnight stops so that guests need hike only with a light pack containing a few personal items

Hikers have stunning views of the rugged Tsitsikamma coastline, and the chances of spotting whales, dolphins and the occasional otter are good. On route, many birds including the gorgeous Knysna Loerie can be heard and spotted while hiking through the forest, and the endangered Oystercatcher is often to be seen on the shoreline. Swimming and snorkelling in the rock pools is possible at the discretion of the guides.

The Dolphin Trail Reservations
  • Telephone: +27 (0) 42 280 3588
  • Email

Check in for the Dolphin Trail is at the Tsitsikamma National Park rest camp, which is situated at the mouth of the Storms River. This is where you park your car for the duration of the hike and where you spend your first night.

(a) When travelling from Port Elizabeth & Jeffreys Bay on the N2, cross the Storms River bridge and after 4km pass the entrance to Storms River Village on your left. Continue for a further 4,5km and turn left onto the Storms River Mouth / Tsitsikamma National Park road.

(b) When travelling from George & Plettenberg Bay on the N2, pass through the Tsitsikamma toll gate and continue for 30km after which you will pass BOSKOR sawmill on your left. 1km beyond the sawmill turn right onto the Storms River Mouth / Tsitsikamma National Park road.

Continue on the Storms River Mouth / Tsitsikamma National Park road until you reach the security booms at the entrance to the Park. You will gain free entrance as a Dolphin Trail hiker, so please have your reservation papers available.

More info on the town of Plettenberg Bay More info on the Garden Route area

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