Day 3: Otter Hiking Trail General Info

Difficulty: Moderate
Risks: Inclines and declines, with 2 river crossings
Highlights: Plenty of natural beauty and the swim at Oakhurst Hut
River Crossing: Geelhoutbos River (start), Elandbos River (2km) and Lottering River (7.5km)
Distance: 7.7 km excluding exploring and swimming

Altitude chart for day 3 of the Otter Hiking Trail

Above: the Otter Hiking Trail – Day 3 Altitude Chart

Exploration at its Best

Day 3 of the Otter Hiking Trail was relaxed and much easier than the previous two days. We planned to finish the hike sometime after lunch and rest the late afternoon in the hopes of an early start on the fourth day of our travels. There were still a good few knee bashing ascents and descents on this day, but nothing quite as hectic as what we experienced on the second day of hiking the Otter Trail.

I thoroughly enjoyed this day, exploring as much as possible to absorb the beauty of the area. I remember searching through the forest – listening to the call of the Knysna Loerie, when it appeared.

Dolphins were surfing waves, whales were exhaling in the backdrop. Spiders consumed sunbirds and kingfishers were all around, not to mention the fantastic diversity of fynbos found throughout this area of the Otter Trail Garden Route hike.

A locust enjoying his lunch along the Otter Hiking Trail

Above: A locust enjoys his lunch on the Otter Trail Garden Route hike

The First River Crossing on the Otter Hiking Trail

The Elandbos River was crossed around the two kilometre mark. We found an alternate route to cross the river, which luckily meant ankle deep water. This area was tranquil and perfect, just the kind of place where one keeps quiet and stares at the surroundings. It was also the first water point for Day 3 of the Otter Hiking Trail and with more than five kilometres to go, it would be silly not to refill our water bottles.

Elandbos River Crossing on the Otter Hiking Trail

Above: Elandbos River Crossing on the Garden Route’s Otter Hiking Trail 

The Lottering River was the second river crossing for the day, situated just before the huts. When hiking the Garden Route’s Otter Trail, this river crossing can be quite challenging at high tide, so be prepared. For us this was crossed somewhere in between low and high tide at a knee deep length.

The Oakhurst hut area had its own unique beauty. There are tidal pools for everyone, with an abundance of fish to be found in the surrounding waters. There are also many rock formations to explore. I spent the majority of my time chilling on the rock formations, enjoying the sound of crashing waves and squeaking to seagulls. Supper consisted of instant chicken and spiced rice, providing a beautiful end to a beautiful day 3 of the Otter Trail hike.

Rock formations at Oakhurst hut on the Otter Trail

Above: Rock formations at Oakhurst hut of the Otter Trail Hike

If you plan on going on a adventure to this majestic location from another part of the country, you might want to use a vehicle to get there. Car rental South Africa would be a great place to start looking for the best wheels to get you there.