Enjoy a slack pack hiking trail

2017-09-07 06:01

THE Chokka Trail, a 58km slack packing route through the greater St Francis is a must for any hiker - whether a beginner or advance adventurer.

Ancient Khoisan fish traps, shell middens, calamari tasting, the rugged coastline, a unique dune bypass system, a tidal river, protected fynbos, archaeological sites, wetlands and a visit to one of South Africa’s few working small harbours, are the ingredients that make up the Chokka Trail.

The four day/three night route starts at St Francis Links, from where hikers will be transported to Oyster Bay for a warm up walk to Thysbaai, where the ancient fish traps are visible during low tide. Dinner will be served on the deck of Oyster Bay Beach Lodge.

On day two hikers will walk back to St Francis Bay via the Sand River, a dune bypass system and highway of rolling sand dunes with an amazing view over the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area to the north. Shell middens can be found, and at almost 18km this is the longest section of the trail.

The Cape St Francis Resort is host for the second night, and will transport hikers to Mostertshoek the next morning. The shoreline of Cape St Francis and St Francis Bay is part of the Coastal Cradle of Mankind, and together with a variety of fynbos hikers have a chance to see Southern Right whales, dolphins, otters and small game like duiker and bushbuck. The SANCCOB Penguin Rehabilitation Centre at Seal Point is included in the trail and the highlight of the day is a calamari tasting at Port St Francis.

After visiting a restored chokka boat, hikers will be transported to Brisan B&B on the Canals in time for a canal cruise before dinner.

The Chokka Trail finishes with an 11km walk from The Cove via the Kromme River and Sand River into the St Francis Links, where a network of secret trails awaits in the coastal thicket, alive with birds and caracal, bushbuck, bush pig and porcupine, mongoose and genet.

Visit www.chokkatrial.co.za for more information.

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