The Dolphin Trail FAQs

We answer your most common questions about the trail.

  • What level of fitness is required?

    A great deal of the charm of this untamed coastline lies in its rugged and wild nature, and hiking it is therefore not a mere "stroll in the park". It is however achievable by people of all ages who have maintained a good level of fitness and agility, and an active lifestyle. Many walkers who may be discouraged by the need to carry a heavy pack are now able to take the challenge and enjoy what is a strenuous but attainable hike through some of South Africa"s most beautiful scenery.

  • Is there an age limit?

    Due to the nature of the trail we regret that we do not accept bookings for children under the age of 12 years. No upper age limit has been set as it is determined purely by the fitness of the individual. We have had many hikers in their 70"s who have come through with flying colours!

  • What about medical on the trail?

    Although a First Aid kit is carried by the guides, please ensure that any special prescribed medication is carried on your person and that the guides are made aware of any pre-existing conditions prior to embarking on the hike.

  • What food and beverages are included?

    All your meals are included with the hike, including snacks, water and lunches on the actual hiking days. (Your guides will carry these and picnics will waiting for you mid-hike). When making your booking, please advise reservations of any special dietary requirements. A cash bar is available at all venues.

  • What should we bring?

    We recommend the following:

    • Hiking boots are recommended although a good pair of trainers is acceptable footwear.
    • Two pairs of socks per day (1 thin and 1 thick pair to wear with your boots).
    • Suitable hiking gear - the Tsitsikamma is known to have “four seasons in one day”. We recommend short pants for warmer weather and a comfortable pair of long pants and a warm jacket should the weather turn cold.
    • Light rain wear.
    • Swimming costume.
    • Rucksack / Day Pack.
    • Walking stick.
    • Binoculars for keen birders (a bird book will be carried by the guides).
    • Insect repellent and sun block.
    • Hat or cap.
    • Camera.
    • Warm, comfortable clothing and shoes for the evenings.
  • Is there cell phone reception on the trail?

    Cell phone reception (of varying strengths) can be found at the GRNP - Tsitsikamma Section, Misty Mountain Reserve and Forest Ferns. While on the trail itself there is often no reception but the guides do have radio contact with Management at all times.

  • What birds and animals am I likely to see on the trail?

    Forest mammals are notoriously elusive, but those that may be seen in the Park and on the hike include bushbuck, blue duiker, bushpig and hyrax (dassies). Vervet monkeys and the Chacma baboon are also present in the forests. While along the shore you may well spot the following:

    Otter:

    Cape clawless otters range from light greyish brown to very dark brown, with white face and chest. They are seldom seen as they are mainly nocturnal and very shy. Found in scrub and forest in the vicinity of fresh water their potential longevity is 16 years.

    Seals:

    The most common seal along our coast is the Cape Fur Seal. Rich brown in colour and covered in thick fur, they are perfectly adapted to water dwelling. They feed mainly on anchovies, pilchards and squid and have been protected in our waters since 1893. Their numbers have recovered well and in SA consume upward of 2 million tons of fish per year.

    Dolphins:

    Common, Bottlenose and Indo Pacific Humpbacked Dolphins weigh between 175 and 250kg. The Common dolphin is the smallest and found in groups of up to 1000 feeding on squid, octopus and small shoaling fish. The Bottlenose are often in groups of more than 100 and are known to hunt cooperatively using ultrasonic sounds.

    Whales:

    The Humpback whale at 13m and 40 tons is a seasonal visitor moving through our seas between feeding grounds in the cold Antarctic and the warm Mozambican waters. The Southern Right whale is larger, weighing up to 65 tons. They breed in our waters and from June to November are found in small groups playing, courting and nursing their newborn calves. Distinguishing features are callositic growths on the head, and the lack of a dorsal fin. Bryde’s whale, a year round resident with a prominent dorsal fin, is a loner and weighs only 14 tons.

    Birds:

    Along the coast look out for Black Oystercatcher, Black winged Seagulls and Cormorants. The Knysna Turaco (Loerie), Narina Trogon, Rameron Pigeon, Cinnamon Dove, Chorister and Starred Robin, Knysna Warbler and many other forest birds can be seen en route though many of them are shy and difficult to spot.

  • Can we see a map of the trail?

    Yes - here it is - and you also receive an A3 map and information booklet after you have booked.

    Map of the trail