October 31, 2013
Today I’ll be discussing the fourth and final day of my recent backpacking trip along the Tsitsikamma Trail with my husband Jackie and five of our friends. I’ve already blogged about Day #1, Day #2, and Day #3. On Day #4 we hiked 11.5 km from the Kerbous Hut to the Lottering Plantation, where we had parked one of our cars.
Hiking the full Tsitsikamma Trail actually takes six days. So, we hiked to the Lottering Plantation along a dirt road “escape route” that is used by forest rangers to take care of the trees on the plantation and also to service the Kerbous Hut and check on the hikers staying there. The road may also be used during rainstorms, when rivers and streams may flood and hikers may need to cut their backpacking trip short. However, we cut our trip short on purpose as we had only planned to hike for four days.
Since we had a long drive back to Cape Town (and many of us had to work the next day!), we woke up very early on our last day and started hiking at dawn. We actually hiked all 11.5 km before 10 am! We made much better time than we expected, probably because most of the hike was along a wide dirt road. Also, after we survived a couple of hours of uphill climbing, the rest of the hike was mostly downhill.
The plantation staff looked slightly surprised to see us arrive so early. After a few minutes of picture taking and relaxing, we ran shuttle to fetch the second car and then started the long seven hour drive back to Cape Town.
Here are a few pictures from our hike out to the Lottering Plantation:
Here’s the group at Lottering Plantation at the end of the hike:
I really enjoyed this backpacking trip. The trail is well maintained and organised and winds its way amongst some impressive geology and vegetation.
The huts where we stayed were very comfortable, and it was great that we didn’t have to carry tents and heavy cooking equipment.
If you find yourself in South Africa, I highly recommend spending a few days hiking along the Tsitsikamma Trail! If you’re not up for all six days, you can arrange a two or three or four day hike or even a single day hike.