The Otter Hiking Trail
Av Hiking Time: 8 hours.
Highlights: Cool off with a swim at the river.
Be prepared for: Underestimate the Bloukrans river crossing at your peril.
Your starting time on the 4th day will depend on the time of low tide - this may be very early in the morning. You need to be at the Bloukrans half an hour either side of low tide. Crossing at high tide is exceptionally dangerous. (You can download a tides timetable from our Helpful Downloads section).
It will take approximately 4.5 hours from Oakhurst to the Bloukrans, (about 10 kilometers) depending on if you are walking in the dark. (the trail is well marked at this point for if you do need to start walking before dawn) allow half an hour extra.
It is better to wait for the tide to soften than get there after it has started pushing in, resulting in the chance of having to take the escape route round. If this is the option, when you reach the top of the cliff call the ranger on duty and they will take you around and drop you at the top of the cliff about half an hour walk from the Andre huts.
So if you take the, sometimes wise option, to “chicken out” from the crossing, all is not lost. Better safe than sorry.
Remember your rope. This is a good safety feature to help the non-swimmers/not-so-good swimmers of the party across when needed. The stretch after the crossing of about 4 kilometers is quite strenuous so should not be left too late in the day to complete.
Tips for Day 4:
- Try and reach the Bloukrans early so you can recuperate from your 4 hour hike before you cross.
- Place all clothes, cell phones etc in plastic bags (in case something goes wrong at the crossing).
- Send the strongest in your group across the crossing first without his bag to see how deep it is and test the current.
- Be prepared for another steep hill just after the crossing.
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