Storms River Mouth Dolphin Trail
Two Days Hiking the South Africa Coast
Breathe it all in and Unwind …
From Oudtshoorn, we drove for about an hour through some beautiful scenery to drop off the off the hire car at George airport, stopping off at the impressive Fancourt Golf Club en route to satisfy Tim’s curiosity. There is a fine spa hotel there which does three night packages – an alternative I would never have thought of when planning this trip.
Dropping the hire car off meant that we saved another couple of days car hire costs and had the pleasure of being driven to our next lodgings which was relaxing and informative – you always learn such a lot about a country when you have the chance to chat to your driver as you travel.
Must Do - The Dolphin Trail
The Otter Trail South Africa is well known, but the Dolphin Trail is maybe less so. It gives you a great opportunity to spend a couple of days with an experienced guide and a small group of other like minded travellers interested in exploring the beauty of the coastline of this area in a little luxury.
Your bags are carried between your hotels and your picnics – which are quite lavish affairs – are spread out for you at various points during the walk. You even get treated to “High Tea” with a truly awesome view at one point.
The hike made a welcome change in our itinerary and helped to bring some variety to the trip – and keep us fit in the process. Highly recommended.
We are spending tonight in a little chalet by the trailhead. The setting is absolutely stunning – undoubtedly the very best “hotel” room I have ever stayed in! Chalet 26 is set up on stilts into the cliff side with the Indian Ocean powering up against the the rugged rocks at the water’s edge.
This tiny wooden cabin is very well designed to have everything you need for a very comfortable stay by the ocean, including a braai (get me!) and microwave as well as all the usual “essentials” like a kettle, shower, WC etc. and electric – although there are candles provided, which suggests that the power supply is maybe not 100 percent reliable.
If I could build my dream log cabin (which I would seriously love to do, but doubt I ever will), then it would be exactly like this.
It is just a short walk to a restaurant and shop, set by a small beach along the coast. I could happily stay here for quite a while – there are numerous hiking trails possible from the chalet (although there are warnings about snakes).
I would definitely come back and stay here for longer if I we are ever fortunate enough to be able to take another trip to South Africa.
Flora and Fauna
Tomorrow, we start a two day 17 km hike from Storms River Mouth, walking eastwards through natural fynbos and pristine indigenous forest over rugged rocks at the water’s edge and ending on the banks of the Sandrift River at The Fernery.
I am hoping to see dolphins, whales (although it is a bad year for them, apparently) and maybe otters, given that the famous big 5 day hike from here is called the Otter Trail.
Bird spotting possibilities include the Knysna Loerie (turaco) and the endangered Oyster Catcher.
Rock darcies are a common site along the coast here. They are a bit like the squirrels we have back home, but without a tail.