Black Oyster Hiking Trail

Explore stone-age caves, meander along cliff tops, and sandy shores on this 4 day hike along the green and gold Mossel Bay coastline - Western Cape's Garden Route. Quality guiding on this fully catered, vehicle supported slackpacking trail, provides an enriched ecological encounter with the marine environment. The endangered Black Oyster Catcher can be seen in good numbers along this shoreline, whilst whales are an attraction from July to October.

  • Trip Duration3 Hike Days / 4 Nights
  • Daily DistanceDay 1: 15km / 5-6hr (cliff tops)Day 2: 13km / 4-6hr (at sea level)Day 3: 21km / 7-8hrs (at sea level)
  • Trail Grade3 / 5 - Fitness. Moderate to good walking fitness is required. Average of 6hrs hiking / a day.1 / 5 - Technicality. No real technical requirements or difficulties. Oldest person to complete this has been 83yrs, and youngest - 6yrs.
  • Trail TerrainCoastal Trail – The trail starts and ends at sea level. Terrain differs every day, from footpaths along cliff tops to beaches and rocky shores.
  • AccommodationQuality guesthouse or characteristic cottages (4-Star). Same house for all nights. Meals are prepared by local cooks in the traditional Cape style.
  • Logistic SupportFully catered & guided slackpacker, overnighting in characterful lodgings with top-notch catering.All rooms are private and ensuite, with bedding and towels provided.Transfers can also be arranged to/from George & Mossel Bay airports (extra fee).
  • Group SizePreferred min of 6 and max of 15 hikers.
  • PricingOn a group of 4 persons: R8600/pp/sharing – fully catered & supported 4 night package.
At a Glance

Hike the largely undeveloped Southern Cape coastline between Mossel Bay and Gourikwa Private Nature Reserve, crossing the spectacular Gouritz River along the way.

During the mild winter months, this area is known for its whale activity as mothers come in to give birth in the quiet protected bays. The combination of raptors, marine and Fynbos avian species, makes this a birders paradise too.

Overnight accommodation is in the well-appointed guest cottages at Sandpiper, or other establishments of similar quality, in the area.

  1. Day 1Arrival Day - Meet at Mossel Bay.

    Dinner at a local restaurant

    Overnight: Mossel Bay hotel or guesthouse.

  2. Day 2Hike Day 1: Hike to Dana Bay (12/15km)

    Explore the cliffs and contoured paths to Dana Bay, passing over Pinnacle Point Estate and past an ancient cave system. Optional Point of Human Origin tour at Pinnacle Point.

    Overnight: Sandpiper cottages – Boggomsbaai

  3. Day 3Hike Day 2: Hike to Boggomsbaai (15km)

    Hiking along the beach past ancient Khoi San middens, with a good chance of whale sightings this day.

    Overnight: Sandpiper cottages – Boggomsbaai

  4. Day 4Hike Day 3: Hike to Fransmanshoek & Gouritz River (14.5km)

    Hike from Boggomsbaai along the beach and rocky shoreline to Fransmanshoek. Enjoy snorkelling and swimming at a secluded bay, followed by a beach lunch. From Fransmanshoek, continue your hike to the Gouritz River, passing ancient Khoi San fish traps and the point at Cape Vacca.

    Overnight: Sandpiper cottages – Boggomsbaai

  5. Day 5Departure Day: Transfer back to Mossel Bay

Golden Dunes on the Black Oyster Trail

Quality guesthouses or characteristic cottages on all nights (4-star grade). Usually the same cottage for all nights so you do not need to worry about packing and unpacking bags.

Meals are prepared by local cooks in the traditional Cape style.

Sandpiper Cottages
  1. Do we carry our own backpacks?

    No. You will leave your luggage at your overnight accommodation where you will more than likely stay for the entire hike. All you need is a small daypack for your packed lunch and supplies for each day's hike.

  2. What type of footwear is appropriate?

    A trail running shoe or hiking shoe with decent grip is more than sufficient for this trail.

  3. What is the best time of year for this trail?

    The trail is operational all year round except over the peak school holiday periods. During the mild winter months, the area is known for its whale activity. Whales come in to give birth in the quiet protected bays and dazzle us with their displays of breaching and lob-tailing.

  4. Are there shorter versions of this hike?

    Yes, there is also a two and three night version of this trail .

At a Glance

Price dependent on Package choice & group but indicative costing:

Catered Package - R8600/ pps. (min 4+ pax) 4 Nights / 3 full hike days. Fully catered, guided slackpacking trail with luggage transfers and 4 nights guesthouse accommodation.

Self-catered Package - from R6900/pps. (min 4+ pax) Same 4 nights & 3 hike days. Incl accommodation, guide fees, luggage transported. Difference is you will self-cater.

Whats included in this tour
  • 4 Nights Accom (sharing basis) in 4-Star guesthouses & cottages
  • All meals: 4 dinners, 3 packed lunches, one beach lunch, 4 breakfasts
  • Hiking Guide - for 3 Days
  • All vehicle transfers/support