Costs


For those on a budget, here are some cost considerations for the hike. Costings are 2016/2017 estimates and based in South African Rand.

 It's better to hike with your own group of 12 to share on certain costs. 

Hike cost:

SANPARKS Otter Trail booking fee R 1,150 per person for the total 5 days/ 4 nights. 12 people commence the hike on any given day. It’s a one way route from Tsitsikamma (Stormsriver) to Natures Valley. There are stipulated huts to stay along the route at each night.  These huts include bunk beds with a thin mattress and no bedding. Each hut sleeps 6 people with 2 huts at every point. Water and wood is also usually available at each hut. There is also a basic outdoor shower depending on water availability. The huts have a basic braai area (barbeque). There is neither electricity nor gas.

SANPARKS Conservation fee of R45 pp per day (R225 for the 5 days). Free if you have a Wild Card. Pricing is for South African residents.

Accommodation costs:

Should you require accommodation for the nights before and after the hike, there is an array of establishments providing accommodation. SANPARKS also has accommodation at Tsitsikamma but not at natures Valley (except camping). Basic accommodation starts at around R350pppn (Storms River Lodge).  Here is a listing for some accommodation  nearby. 

TIP: Should you do any other activities in the area before or after the hike such as the Tsitsikamma Waterfall zip line, Canopy tree top tour, Bloukrans Bungee etc. arrange these through your lodge. They usually arrange around a 10% discount.   

Transport costs:

Although these estimates are from Johannesburg, you could update as necessary for other major cities within South Africa.

Closest airports are George or Port Elizabeth with a smaller airport in Plettenberg. These are not international airports.  Many low cost airlines now fly into these airports from major cities within South Africa. Flights start at R700 pp for a single flight to either George or Port Elizabeth from Johannesburg. Once you book your hike, which is usually many months in advance, you can always wait for airlines to offer discounts for your flights, provided it is not a peak period.

Car hire is available at the airports during specific office hours. Rates are roughly R200 per basic car per day, excluding any waivers (See TIC for cheaper/alternate car hire insurance). Gear is bulky, so ensure you hire the right size vehicle if you sharing.  Uber is not easily available in that area.

Airport transfers as well as transfers to and from the hike can be arranged through GeckoOtter transfers, Others or through many of the lodges in the area. Expect to pay from R240 pp (assuming all 12 hikers use the service) from George airport to Stormsriver and more from Port Elizabeth. Rates for after the hike from Natures Valley to Storms River start at R120pp (assuming 12 people use the service). It is very important to always reconfirm you booking a day before the service is required.

Should you self-drive, the drive from Johannesburg is long at over 12 hours, so consider arriving at least a day before and rest well. During the hike, your vehicle can be parked at your lodge (with prior arrangement) or at the Otter Hike start point (Tsitsikama) or at the end point (Natures Valley) during the hike. The hike is not a circular route so consider leaving at least one vehicle at the end point. Bear in mind that there is a toll gate between the Storms River and Natures Valley. 

TIP: Make arrangements for the extra clothes and other items you may need for before and after the hike and which you will not be tagging along during the hike. These can be stored in your vehicle trunk or by prior arrangement with your lodge.

In summary budget around R2300 pp for return travel costs for off peak travel if you flying in and using transfers. A little less if you driving down. This assumes you travelling with 12 hikers together.

Food costs:

For the hike you need to take your own meals for the 5 days. Basic breakfasts, light lunches and protein dinners, as well as snacks and powdered drinks. Costs for these largely depend on the types of meals you or your group decides on. Basic food costs for the hike can be from R500 pp for the 5 days hike. See the equipment tab for some food options. 

There are many restaurants in and around the area for meals before and after the hike.

Equipment Costs:

You can view the equipment tab for details on the equipment. A summary of estimated costs for items you may need are included below:





2 comments:

  1. HI
    What would you suggest if you are not able to leave a car at the finish point? We would park at storms river, do the hike...then what?

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    Replies
    1. Hi

      You can utilise one of the transfer companies (Links above under Transport section) to transport you back to Storms River. Certain lodges near the start and end points (not SANPARKS) also offer a paid transport service.

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