Oyster Bay Lodge in St Francis Bay offers four hiking trails:
- Green trail: a 7.5km walk across vast stretches of dune, with multiple views and picnic spots.
- Blue trail: a 6.5km walk to see indigenous birds, plants and animals.
- Red trail: a 5km walk through a Fynbos-rich area, crossing through a wooded section over a few dunes to the beach.
- Yellow trail: for those who prefer a light walk or off-trail running circuit, the 3km trail is a great way to interact with local fauna.
Also in St Francis Bay, Dune Ridge Country House offers an interesting hike, where the property’s gardener, Henry, takes guided hikes through the humid coastal forests that open onto the dune fields. He explains what the ‘strandlopers’ (Khoi Khoi-derived people who foraged for food along the beaches, originally from the Cape Colony to the Skeleton Coast), used as bedding if guests are lucky enough to uncover one of the many remaining ‘campsites’ still intact, and will point out small tools, eggshell beads, and pieces of broken pots.
Pearson Park Resort in Port Elizabth takes guests on a hike along the river towards the river mouth, and is the only resort with access to the Sundays River Mouth.
The Chokka Trail in the Greater St Francis area is a 62km ‘slackpack’ hiking holiday that takes hikers through Oyster Bay, St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis. Situated in the Kouga Region, near Port Elizabeth, the trail takes visitors along the coastline to see a tidal river, protected fynbos and wetlands, and a visit to SA’s only privately owned working harbour.
Baviaans Camino is a four-day hike over 93km that takes guests through the Baviaanskloof Mountains and Wilderness Reserve. The route is also suitable for those who prefer to enjoy it on horseback. Starting in the Klein Karoo, hikers and horses cross the Baviaanskloof Mountain to reach the Baviaanskloof, and continue to traverse most of the Kouga Mountain Range towards the coast. The trail ends in the outskirts of Kareedouw.
Trennerys Hotel offers hikers a number of trails to explore, including forests, waterfalls, cultural trails and a trail to experience local flora and fauna. The cultural trail immerses hikers in the local environment, where they can enjoy traditional singing and dancing; see the preparation of and taste the local food; and end the trail with a conversation with a traditional healer.
Bellevue Forest Reserve offers a ‘Come walk with the Tall 5’ walk – which is an interactive walk with the property’s five giraffes. Ten guests are accompanied by an experienced guide through the heart of the Addo Valley Bushveld in a giraffe walking safari in Bellevue Forest Reserve. There are also stargazing walks/hikes for in-house Stargazer Camp guests.
For more seasoned hikers, the Hogsback and Amatola Hiking Trail is a 106km, six-day/five-night hike, often referred to as the Waterfall Trail, owing to all the waterfalls along the way. The trail takes hikers from Maden Dam through the Pirie indigenous forest; seeing fascinating things like piles of digested soil from giant earthworms and beautiful wildflowers. Up to Geju peak, the trail descends to Mnyameni gorge and the Malan forest. Hikers can also see the Tyume river basin. A tough trail, but worth every aching muscle.