A hikers’ paradise
Upgraded Green Flag Tsitsikamma Mountain Trail offers unique experience, supports communities
From the ocean to the mountains, there is no other trail like this.Lawrence Polkinghorne
CEO of the MTO Group
Featuring newly upgraded huts and portage services to carry supplies for visitors, the Tsitsikamma Mountain Trail not only supports local communities, but gives visitors from near and far a unique nature experience.
The trail has been awarded Green Flag status, which denotes that it is a trail under excellent management.
Tsitsikamma means “place of many waters” in the Khoisan language and the area is one of SA’s most special destinations, offering arresting scenery and memorable experiences.
The Tsitsikamma Mountain Trail was recently revamped by the MTO Group, custodians of the area, through its extensive forestry operations, spanning from Tokai in the Cape to Longmore south of Jeffreys Bay.
All five of the huts along the trail have been upgraded, but still retain a rustic and outdoorsy feel, with basic conveniences and maximum enjoyment.
Though the trail is known for its distance and difficulty, portage services are on hand to carry supplies for visitors from hut to hut, making the trail an option for those not keen on walking with a backpack.! “Slackpacking” options allow for families to enjoy the hike. The truly hardcore can also consider combining the Tsitsikamma Mountain Trail with the nearby Otter Trail.
Lawrence Polkinghorne, CEO of the MTO Group, said bringing this remarkable trail back into the limelight would help boost local communities.
“Visitors are encouraged to shop locally and MTO employ resident communities to maintain the trails. Local educational tours of the area are also frequently arranged, with facilities that cater for anything from single travellers to large groups.
“It is time for the rest of South Africa, and the world, to discover the unique Tsitsikamma Mountain Trail.”
Situated in the Tsitsikamma mountains, running along the borders of the Western and Eastern Cape, the five-day trail is a hiker’s dream.
It includes beaches, rivers and breathtaking views across rolling vistas.
You can also enjoy the local wildlife, which includes bushbuck, fish eagles, honey badgers, vervet monkeys and even some shy predators.
The Tsitsikamma contains about 42% of the animal species of southern Africa and is home to more than 1,700 plant species, 24 reptiles and 305 species of birds.
“From the ocean to the mountains there is no other trail like this. Recently upgraded, the trail is in stunning condition and offers tourists an exceptional experience.
"It truly is world class and internally is dubbed by us as the eighth wonder of the world,” Polkinghorne chuckled.
“SA has no shortage of unique natural wonders, but this trail stands out from the rest. It offers something unique for everyone. It’s so important to reconnect with the land.
“With today’s crazy schedules we often forget to make time to recoup and recharge, so take time out to discover one of SA’s greatest gifts to her people.
“The abundance of beauty and captivating vistas will be etched in your memories forever.”
The Green Flag status system is officiated by the Hiking Organisation of Southern Africa (Hosa) and ensures trails meet standards in terms of outlay, accommodation, facilities and service, as well as conservation of natural resources.