The Oystercatcher Trail is a fantastic combination of pristine beaches, the warm Indian Ocean and great accommodation at the end of each day’s adventures.
The Silver Trail is one of 3 ways to experience the Oystercatcher Trail. Five days in length, it is only slightly shorter than the Gold Trail option but covers a longer distance on the penultimate date. If you are feeling up for the challenge of a long day of hiking and if your time is limited on day five, the Silver Trail is the ideal option for you!
On the Silver Trail, luggage is shuttled to the overnight accommodation. All you need to carry is a light daypack, leaving you with plenty of energy to explore and enjoy the route. An experienced guide accompanies your group every day. Their intimate knowledge of the region will ensure that you won’t miss out on any of the many attractions that the hike has to offer. With manageable daily distances of a maximum of twenty-one kilometres, you will easily fit in the day’s hike, leaving plenty of time to play and relax.
At the end of each day, tired hikers can enjoy the sauna, indoor heated pool and other excellent facilities of the Sandpiper Sport and Spa Centre. For the energetic visitor, how about a game of squash, tennis or spinning class in the gym? If a relaxing Jacuzzi is more appealing, then you’ll be happy to discover that this one comes with exceptional views of the bay below. Massages and health therapies are also great treats for tired legs! Scrumptious meals are included in the Silver Trail Option – just remember to inform us of any specific dietary requirements.
Day One – Arrival
The climate in Mossel Bay is considered one of the best in the world. With over 300 days of sunshine annually, this is the ideal starting point for the Oystercatcher Trail. Enjoy an evening at leisure in this vibrant, friendly town with its constant holiday feel. Long stretches of beach and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean lapping up upon the shores make for a wonderful evening stroll before dining at one of the many excellent restaurants where you can enjoy some quality time with your fellow hikers.
Mossel Bay lies on the peninsular of Cape St. Blaize and today you will discover some of the many treasures along this stunning coastline. The hiking trail on day two follow the St. Blaize hiking trail. Pass the elegant Cape St. Blaize lighthouse, a beacon that signals the dangers to passing ships in the night, and continue along a contour path for ten kilometres. The route is interspersed with some of South Africa’s many archaeological treasures.
The first stop of the day is directly beneath the lighthouse at the St. Blaize cave. Here, archaeologists have used findings combined with climate information to paint a picture of life over a hundred thousand years ago. After this fascinating pit stop, continue along the trail to the next highlight at Pinnacle Point Caves. The caves are a provincial heritage site where excavations have revealed occupation by Middle Stone Age people. The trail ends in the tiny settlement of Dana Bay where you will be transported to your home for the next few days – the delightful Sandpiper Guest Cottages in Boggomsbaai. End the day with a hearty traditional fireside dinner.
Today the trail continues where you ended on day two. After breakfast, return to Dana Bay for the thirteen-kilometre hike along the bay to the overnight accommodation at Boggomsbaai. On your way, stop at the Blind River Mouth in the Moquini Nature Reserve where the warm water will beckon you to take a dip. The charismatic black African oystercatcher, after whom the trail is named, is frequently spotted along the rocky shoreline. On your way across the sandy beach, you will also explore ancient middens and Stone Age workshops. The route ends with snacks and refreshments followed by a fireside dinner at your overnight stays in the Sandpiper Guest Cottages in Boggomsbaai.
Today’s twenty-one kilometres is the longest and most strenuous hike. Luckily it is also filled with highlights. The route continues east towards the hamlet and surfers paradise of Vleesbaai. After breakfast, you will follow the rocky shores, rich with marine life, to the Fransmanshoek peninsula. The headland is named to honour the French sailors that survived the wreck of the man-o’-war, La Fortune, one fateful September day in 1763 on its voyage from Reunion. The term man-o’-war refers to a powerful warship manned with cannons and today you can still see a cannon wedged in the rocks at low tide. Lunch is served here followed by a swim or snorkel in the bay.
Continue the hike to the Gouritz River where you will end the day with a peaceful boat journey up the river. You will be transported back to the comforts of Sandpiper Guest Cottages where a well-deserved dinner and prize-giving awaits.
This morning you can enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Sandpiper Guest Cottages before bidding Boggomsbaai farewell. You can choose to end in Mossel Bay or George Airport for your connecting flight home.