Strandloper Hiking Trial

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.

 
Terrain:
  • 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.

 
Distance:
  • Approximately 59 km, 3 nights, and 4 days
 

No. of hikers:

  • 2 Minimum and 12 maximum. In season and out of season
 
Trail Start:
  • 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

 
Climate:
  • 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

 
Pertinent Information:
  • Latest departure from Gonubie or East London to Kei Mouth is 14h00
  • Enviro Centre dormitory overnight at the base camp in Kei Mouth R 100 per person for the night before you hike

 
Transport:
  • East Coast Shuttle - Ken Black - 083 282 8790

 
Shuttles:
 
Accommodation:

Overnight Huts:
 
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 (R40) and receive a key for a locker. You can also purchase Caps R120, Badges R40 and Maps R30.

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.
 
Equipment:
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!!


Electricity:
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).

 
Shops:
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.

 
Hiker’s Equipment:
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.

 
Children:
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.

 
Day 1:
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!

 
Day 2:
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.

 
Day 3:
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.

 
Day 4:
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.

 
Meals:
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.


Medical Aid:
All details to your group leader. Carry your medical card with you in case of emergency evacuation. Does your medical aid cover helicopter evacuation?

 
Medical Emergencies:
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 4p.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

 
Accommodation:

BEFORE THE HIKE – ENVIRO CENTRE KEI MOUTH:
Kei Mouth Enviro Centre Dormitory accommodation in rooms with a kitchen and ablutions – R100 per person (to be banked with hiking fees) – basic accommodation with ablutions, 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.
 
 
Safety:
  • Very safe trail. Emergency evacuation procedure in place.
  • A survival bag is recommended for river crossings to keep your pack dry.

 
Just outside Kei Mouth:
  • Benmore Lodge Self Catering– 043 8411 550
  • The Cock-Inn B & B – 083 651 4119
  • In Kei Mouth: The Thatches Self Catering - 043 8411102
  • Neptune’s Cove self-catering on the beach – 043 8411473
  • Whispering Waves – self-catering – 043 8411 030
  • Camping: Kei Mouth 043 8411 004/058
  • Camping: Morgan Bay 043 8411062
  • House on the beachfront – Morgan Bay sleeps 10
  • 5 Bedrooms 4 bathrooms R 1 000 for the house per night out of season - R 2000 for the house per night in season - Call Frank at 083 651 4120
  • B & B: Castle It – Morgan Bay - Fran and Bruce Bowden - 043 8411 125
  • B & B: Morgan Bay – Biddy Mann “Double View” - Tel: 082 562 3340 sleeps eight R 400 pp. - e-mail: biddymann1@gmail.com
  • “Turn Inn” – B & B Morgan Bay – Peter and Maureen Turner – morganbay@gmail.com - 082 783 9940
  • Self-Catering in Morgan Bay – On the lagoon – Sleeps 6 - Call Lindsay Forrester at 043 8411 396 or Alan at 082 808 0268 – R 195 PPPN

 
Hotels:
  • Morgan Bay Hotel 043 8411 062
  • Mitford Hotel in Morgan Bay 043 8411 510
  • The following are also B & B’s or self-catering accommodations in Gonubie that you can phone or Google.
  • Porkies – 084 675 2495 - R950 for 4 - Happy’s Place – 043 740 0122
  • Blue Waters Hotel – 043 740 2019
  • Gonubie Sun – 043 740 4507
  • Ocean Dreams – 043 740 5509
  • Seaside Holiday Apartments -082 927 6987
  • Seaside also rent out houses
  • Sandpiper – 043 740 5833
  • The Guinea Feather – 082 568 2274
  • The Crowned Crane – 082 568 2274
  • The Nest Grande Vista
  • 93 ON MAIN

 
If You Are Hungry:
  • Sanet Agterplaas 082 487 8324 Kei Mouth
  • Neptune’s Cove Pub & Grub 083 284 4051
  • Kei Mouth
  • Dede 072 479 6408 Morgan Bay
  • Bushpig Pub and Grub 073 726 9322 Kei Mouth
  • Savemor Spar 043 8411 244 Kei Mouth
  • AC & Lee Ann Sunday Lunches 082 668 5587 Kei Mouth
  • Mitford Hotel 078 868 4208 Morgan Bay
  • Yellowwood Forest 084 582 2601 Morgan Bay
  • The Deck 043 8411 062 Morgan Bay
 
 
Rates:
  • 3 Night Hike
  • R700.00 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.


Admin Fee:
  • R55.00 once off per reservation

Double Mouth:
From 1st April 2018 Eastern Cape Parks Board levy of R26pp CASH to be paid at the office at Double Mouth when you arrive at Double Mouth Overnight.

 
Cancellation:
NO REFUND for cancellations or non-arrivals. You may postpone your hike and use your credit within 1 year of your cancellation.

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