Kei Mouth, Eastern Cape
BASIC HIKING TRAIL WITH BACKPACKS NO GUIDES
***NO DOGS/PETS ALLOWED***
For the next four days you will join the ranks of the Strandlopers as you discover their world of wave washed shores, exquisite tidal pools, pristine estuaries, leafy forests and wild white sand dunes.
Each section of the trail has been designed to reveal special aspects of our coastline so that you may capture a complete Strandloper experience.
The Strandloper Trail has been described as “the trail where you can savoir the feeling of solitude on an unspoilt beach and down a bar, lunch in a cosy pub barely an hour later”. The trail is almost 59 km in total and takes 4 days to complete. It is clearly marked with little painted white on green boot prints and be be walked through the year. The best weather is between January and May which have warm windless days.
- Beach, Sand, Krantze.
- Rocky areas. Boulders, Pebbles, Shingle, Deep Sand, Goat Paths, etc.
- Minimum five river crossings: wear closed sand shoes or old trainers for river crossings don’t cross in your hiking boots, don’t cross at the mouth of the rivers.
- IF YOU CANNOT SWIM PLEASE BRING A LIFE JACKET OR A FLOATING DEVICE TO CROSS RIVERS AND NOMINATE A SWIMMER IN YOUR GROUP TO ASSIST YOU IN THE RIVER CROSSINGS.
- Approximately 59 km, 3 nights and 4 days
NUMBER OF hIKERS:
- 2 Minimum and 12 maximum. In season and out of season
- 08h30 a.m. – Briefing Enviro Centre in Kei Mouth by Trail Manager
Distances to Hike:
- First Day is 13 kms from Kei Mouth to Double Mouth
- Second Day is 9 kms from Double Mouth to Haga Haga
- Third day is 22 kms from Haga Haga to Beacon Valley
- Fourth Day is 15 kms from Beacon Valley to Gonubie
- Warm months with rain: Dec, Jan, Feb, March, April
- Cool months: May, June, July. Warm days, cool nights, less wind or rain. Sleeping bags and track suits for the evenings.
- Cool with wind and rain: August, September, October, and November.
- Best months to hike – May, June and July
- Average annual temperature is 22 degrees
- Latest departure from Gonubie or East London to Kei Mouth is 14h00
- East Coast Shuttle – Ken Black – 083 282 8790
- Gonubie Shuttle – Tracy – 083 528 8663
- Imonti Tours – Velile – firstname.lastname@example.org
- 083 487 8975 email@example.com
- Al’s Shuttles – firstname.lastname@example.org 060 892 0933 or 084 826 9881
- Bryan and Erica – R 700 per vehicle to Gonubie on day 4
Before The Hike – Enviro Centre Kei Mouth
Kei Mouth Enviro Centre Dormitory accommodation in rooms with a kitchen and an ablution block – R75 per person (to be banked with hiking fees) – basic accommodation, ablution block, braai with grid and wood, electricity, and parking.
As we are not on site please let us know what time you will be arriving to sleep at our dormitory in Kei Mouth.
First Night: Double Mouth
- Log Cabin, tap water, flush loo, use of ablutions in Double Mouth Caravan Park Wood for braai is kept in a locker.
- You will pay for the wood at your briefing (R30) and receive a key for a locker. You can also purchase Caps R 80, Badges R 30 and Maps R 30.
Second Night: Haga Haga Hotel
- 2 rooms with showers and toilets 6 bunks in each room (Dog Box 1 and Dog Box 2).
- Braai facility (purchase charcoal at the top shop).
Third Night: Beacon Valley – Settlers’ Cottage:
- Rainwater tanks – long drop – cold shower and basin – wood is kept in a crate in the overnight.
- Strictly no access to private property vehicular or otherwise.
- PLEASE NOTE THAT ON 25TH NOVEMBER 2012 THE OVERNIGHT CABIN AT CAPE HENDERSON BURNT DOWN. HAGA HAGA HOTEL HAS KINDLY GIVEN US TWO SPACIOUS ROOMS WITH SHOWERS AND TOILETS EN SUITE TO USE UNTIL WE ARE ABLE TO REBUILD.
12 bunks and 12 vinyl covered mattresses, 12 plastic chairs, mirror, sheltered braai with grid – Rainwater tanks, flush toilet, long drop, enamel kettle, bucket, broom, plastic dish NO CUTLERY, CROCKERY OR LINEN!!
No electricity at Double Mouth or Beacon Valley. Electricity at Enviro Centre and Haga Haga Hotel. Bring headlights, candles and matches. (Charge your cell phones at hotels or restaurants along the way).
Hotels, shops and bottle stores at villages halfway between huts. (plus minus lunch time) take-aways or pub lunches. Rainwater tanks at villages and at overnights.
Sturdy backpack, hiking stick, hiking boots, shorts, t-shirts, underclothes, socks, hat, windbreaker, water bottle, sunblock, rain poncho, track suit, sleeping bag, rockies/strops/crocs or old closed trainers for river crossings, 30m thin nylon rope & survival bag for backpack for river crossings, A children’s blow up tube to float across rivers, basic cooking/eating utensils, small gas stove/cooker, torch/candles, matches, swimming costume, towels, toilet paper, chronic medication, Vaseline, plasters, firelighters.
No age restrictions (recommended 7 years and older)
Parents to be aware that the terrain changes constantly along the coast – from rocky to Rock shelf – to grass – to goat paths – to shingle beaches – to sandy beaches.
Trail Day by Day:
Depending on the season there could be up to 7 river crossings and the depth of water is determined by the tides. Out of the rainy season maximum of 4 river crossings. Quko, Kwenxura, Kwelera and Gonubie.
Beach walks and grass pathways to Double Mouth via Morgan Bay. The trail starts at the Strandloper Ecotourism Centre at Cape Morgan in Kei Mouth where you will be met by the Trail Manager and issued with a permit. Highlights of today include walks in coastal forests, and along sandy beaches and rocky ledges. Walking towards Morgan’ Bay, the trail continues over fairly rough grass, boulders and sandy beaches. The awesome Morgan Bay Cliff rises out of the sea to a height of 57 metres and presents and ideal spot to observe a literal bird’s eye view of sea birds and, if you’re lucky, bottlenose dolphins. While today’s walk is relatively short, the crossing over the headland is quite challenging and there are plenty of opportunities, collect shells and to wander and wonder!
First section rocky to Quko River then sandy beaches, goat paths and short rocky area and beaches to Haga Haga Hotel. Round the headland to the Quko estuary, the trail makes its way to the famous Treasure or Bead Beach. After passing Black Rock (the graveyard of many ships) and a beautiful shell beach, hike to the village of Haga Haga. Delicious pub lunches are available at the Haga Haga Hotel and shops allow one to stock up on supplies.
First section 8 kms rocky shelf/shingle beaches and then 14 kms lovely sandy beaches to Beacon Valley.
Today’s walk covers 8 kilometres of rocky ledges with intermittent shingle beaches and then 15 kilometres of beach backed by sand dunes –you will walk past four beautiful estuaries, all of which may or may not be open to the sea. High dunes are the Strandloper middens, indicating the presence of hunter gatherers (Khoi or Gonaqua) who visited the coast to harvest mussels and other shellfish over 400 years ago. Other highlights included bird watching sites, fishing spots and swimming beaches.
First section to Kwelerha River – sandy beaches. Second section to Gonubie River rocky and pebble beaches. Most of today’s walk is along rocky coastline with narrow intertidal beaches. The hamlets of Glen Muir, Queensberry Bay and Glen Eden are tucked away en-route to Glengariff. This area offers safe bathing and wonderful surfing. After passing the Bulugha River, a grass track leads to a sandy beach before the mouth of the Kwelegha River. After a bumpy shuffle with Gonubie in sight, the river mouth beckons and a last swim brings you home.
Carry minimum – fruit, water, snacks, and breakfast goodies. You can have pub lunches, take-aways or purchase meat and groceries at village shops and hotels between overnight huts. Seal all foodstuffs, clothes, and valuables such as cameras, wallets, spectacles, cell phones, etc., in plastic bags.
All details to your group leader. Carry your medical card with you in case of emergency evacuation. Does your medical aid cover helicopter evacuation?
Doctor in Morgan Bay Dr Torch Dalgleish 043 8311239
A/H or 082 659 8491 on weekends. Dr only available in Morgan Bay before 7 a.m.in the morning and after 4 p.m. in the afternoons on weekdays as he works in Komga. Medicross in East London 85 kms.
Access to huts:
NO VEHICULAR ACCESS TO BEACON VALLEY TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED!
Banks or ATM’s:
- Credit card facilities at hotels, etc.
- ATM’s at some shops along the way
- Very safe trail. Emergency evacuation procedure in place.
- A survival bag is recommended for river crossings to keep your pack dry.
- Gonubie Hotel, hand in overnight keys at reception please
- 3 Night Hike
- R650 per person
- Eco centre dormitory overnight at the base camp in Kei Mouth R75 per person
- Payment: In season (high) full payment within 7 days to secure. No refunds…
- Out of season 50% deposit within 7 days to secure and balance three months before you hike.
- Full FEES TO BE DEPOSITED BEFORE YOU HIKE TO AVOID CANCELLATIONS.
From 1st April 2018 Eastern Cape Parks Board levy of R22pp CASH to be paid at the office at Double Mouth when you arrive at Double Mouth Overnight.