STRANDLOPER HIKING TRAIL – 5 DAYS (4 NIGHTS)
19 TO 24 APRIL 00
This is a very brief summary of the trail so as not to spoil the adventure for future hikers. (A more detailed write-up will be available on request for anyone interested).
This trail was very enjoyable & is highly recommended. (Maximum group size is 12 hikers)
Our group members (10) were Warwick & Brenda Keating, Alison Hobday & Jeff Mathews, Aris Hofland, Irene Morris, Graham & Jean Ward, Keith (Leader) & Margaret Ashton.
The total trail distance from the Cape Morgan Nature Reserve (near Kei Mouth) to Gonubie is just over 58 km The trail starts at the Strandloper Ecotourism Centre at Cape Morgan & follows the coast southwards to finish at Gonubie.
The route is mainly along the beaches, varying from soft to hard sand, over boulders & rocky shelves with a portion of cliff-top & dune forest walking, all of which is very pleasant. There are several rivers to cross, the major ones being at Double Mouth, Kwelera & Gonubie where, depending on the tide you either wade or swim across. This where large plastic floatation bags or backpack splash covers are essential to keep your backpacks dry.
Day 1 is the Kei Mouth section (8.75 km) staying overnight in “The Old Pumphouse “ which has its own (hikerstyle) tidal pool.
Day 2 is from “The Old Pumphouse” to Double Mouth (7 km) staying overnight in Xhosa Huts. (The local Caravan site ablutions with hot showers may be utilised – wonderful).
Day 3 is from Double Mouth to Cape Henderson (14.5 km) staying overnight in a “Knysna style” timber cabin. No fires allowed here & no shower at all. Although the nearby caravan site ablutions are out of bounds to hikers, fresh produce including bread, milk & beer can be obtained from their shop.
Day 4 is from Cape Henderson to Beacon Valley (13.5 km) staying overnight in a three-bed roomed Settlers Cottage.
Day 5 is from Beacon Valley to Gonubie (14.4 km) after the last wade / swim across the Gonubie river. The views & sunrises are spectacular & we had magnificent weather throughout the trail.
We would love to do it all again.
Thanks to Warwick for his intrepid leadership & help in crossing the major rivers.