Risks: Some ups and downs and 2 river crossings
Highlights: Plenty of natural beauty and a swim at the Oakhurst Hut
River Crossing: Geelhoutbos River (start), Elandbos River (2km) and Lottering River (7.5km)
7.7 km excluding exploring and swimming
We all concurred that this was one of the most beautiful days. I think the beauty of this day is enhanced, moreso as the walk itself is not as demanding as the other days. There is a bit of ups and downs but nothing as hectic as day 2. Take your time on this day but also watch the tide tables for the 2 major river crossings: Elandbos and Lottering. You can opt to start this day early in order to rest the afternoon in preparation for an unusually early start on day 4.
The day is commenced by an easy crossing of the Geelhoutbos River. This follows a slightly rocky path on towards the Elandbos River. The path to this river leads slightly inwards where we would have had to swim across to get to the other point.
Not in any mood to kit up for a swim, we all agreed to trek backwards about 100m and cross it at ankle deep water. The views of this river crossing are astonishing. Spend some time here and take it all in. We were advised by other hikers that this river may be polluted due to an informal settlement upstream. The official map however, suggests that this is a water point and does not warn against anything. This is also the last water point on route, except for the Lottering River at the end. We did not utilise the water at this point, but most of us were very short on water as the hike progressed. If you do use this water, be sure to add purification tablets.
|Elandbos River -An alternate crossing point|
Continuing happily on, we came across a beautiful gully, where someone amongst us found cell phone reception. It’s amazing how we all succumbed to the occasion.
There is a steep ascent and descent before approaching the Lottering River where there is first view of the Oakhurst Huts. There is still a while to get there as the path leads inwards to cross this river. I have read many accounts of people finding this river much harder to cross than the famed Bloukrans, so be prepared. Fortunately we did not get here at high tide, so this river crossing was knee deep.
|Lottering River crossing|
The area at the Oakhurst huts are probably one of the more beautiful ones. There are a few tidal pools to snorkel in. The snorkelling here is really great with an abundance and diversity of fish. There is also a rocky area, where you can just chill, with a camera and cappuccino in hand and enjoy 360 degrees views, from dolphins and seagulls to mountains and crashing waves. You may want to call it an early evening in preparation for day 4 where a very early start may be required.