Garden Route National Park, Western Cape
Imagine the beauty of the famous Otter Trail but overnighting in luxury and without the heavy backpacks.
Join us for 4 days of unspoilt beauty hiking the magnificent Tsitsikamma coast, with 3 nights in luxury lodges enjoying exquisite cuisine and views over the Indian Ocean.
Check in is any time after 2:00pm at the GRNP – Tsitsikamma Section Reception. Be sure to have your booking form available as this includes your entry to the Park.
After moving into the quaint Dolphin Trail chalets, you are free to enjoy what remains of the afternoon at your leisure. There are a number of short trails that you can enjoy and for twitchers the Loerie trail is recommended as on this 1km walk it is possible to spot 35 species of birds. For a taste of the famous Otter Trail, you can walk the first 3km known as the Waterfall Trail. Lunch is not included in the package but there is a lovely outside pub* that serves a variety of meals.
Please be at the Restaurant* to meet your Dolphin Trail host who will answer any questions you may have and will give you information regarding the trail. Enjoy your dinner to the sound of pounding waves with a myriad of stars shining above you.
*Unfortunately, the pub and restaurant suffered a devasting fire in November 2016 and are currently being rebuilt. Temporary structures are in place.
Hiking Day 1
GRNP to Misty Mountain Reserve
Distance – 7.5km
Difficulty – Medium
Early risers can enjoy the stunning view of their surroundings and are welcome to go bird watching or walking before breakfast which is served from 8:00am. Your luggage will be collected any time after 8:45am at your chalets, and you will meet your guides who will be with you for the two days of hiking.
When the group is ready and all drink bills settled, you depart along the boardwalk to Storms River Mouth. After crossing Storms River on the suspension bridge, you follow a steep and rocky path to the Lookout Point with a magnificent view of the coast towards Plettenberg Bay. Relax here and enjoy the endless view of the Indian Ocean while keeping your eyes peeled for whales and dolphins. Picnic Lunch
The path continues level for a short distance before beginning a long descent through indigenous forest to sea level. This is the perfect place for your picnic lunch, either in the shade of trees at the stream’s edge, or on the rocks in the sun. Take a good break here as the climb up Steilkop (Steep Hill) is quite taxing and follows immediately. Remember that there is no rush so walk slowly and admire the beautiful views as you go. Once you have conquered Steilkop it is a comfortable forest walk to Misty Mountain Reserve.
Misty Mountain Reserve
Arrival time at Misty Mountain depends on the speed of the hikers and the amount of time spent enjoying the magnificent environment. You will be given a warm welcome and can enjoy an ice cold drink or a hot cup of tea before being shown to your luxury chalet with a 180˚ view of the Indian Ocean.
Meet at the restaurant for pre-dinner drinks and watch the sun set over the sea before dinner at 7:00pm.
The Fernery Lodge & Chalets
Relax and enjoy the view
Hikers arrive at The Fernery to a well earned drink and are then shown to their beautiful chalets nestled in fynbos along the river. Several activities are available for those who are still feeling energetic, such as boating, cycling and bird watching.
A swimming pool, jacuzzi and sauna are there for your use, and you are welcome to browse through the Fernery and nursery facilities if you wish.
Meet for pre-dinner drinks followed by a delicious 4 course menu d’hôte at the Lodge Restaurant.
Day of departure
4×4 trip through old Storms River Pass.
Distance – 25km
Difficulty – None what-so-ever
The weary can sleep in and enjoy the peace of their chalets, and early risers are welcome to go bird watching or visit the fern export operation.
Breakfast is served at the Lodge Restaurant at 8:30 after which the luggage is loaded, and you set off on a scenic 4×4 trip through the old Storms River Pass.
Guests arrive back at the GRNP – Tsitsikamma Section from where hikers go their separate ways.
All scheduled transfers of hikers and their luggage are included in the Dolphin Trail package. Special transfers, outside of the schedule, must be arranged with the Dolphin Trail Reservations Team and will be billed as an additional charge.
A shuttle service is available to the start and from the end of the Dolphin Trail. Extra fees will be incurred. Please contact the reservations team for more information.
There is a Quantum Bus available as well as a trailer for baggage.
Destinations and Pickup Points
Examples of the most commonly used:
- Addo Elephant Park
- Bloukrans Bridge (Bungee)
- Jeffreys Bay
- Misty Mountain Reserve
- Mossel Bay
- Natures Valley
- Plettenberg Bay Central
- Plettenberg Bay Airport
- Port Elizabeth
- Shamwari Game Reserve
- Storms River Bridge
- Tstsikamma National Park
Please inquire for shuttle rates.
- R10,285 per person sharing.
- R12,342 per person single
- R55.00 once off per reservation.
Day of Arrival