Luxury Slackpack the Southern Cape 2020 The Oystercather trail


In January 2002 the South African government decided that we as 4×4 drivers were not sensitive enough about driving on beaches, and they banned all beach driving. There was an outcry by 4×4 owners thinking that it was ridiculous, and that government has overstepped.

As support to their case our government suggested that the Tobie, a small beach bird, is threatened and we could drive it to extinction. 

Now almost 20 years on, the Tobie is doing well and several new tourism opportunities have been created. 

So I think it is a good idea to go and see for ourselves how the Tobie is doing. Whilst we are there let’s also visit the Addo and drive the spectacular Bedrogfontein 4×4 eco route.

So what is slackpacking? It is a comfortable luxurious hiking trail, guided by a local guide, where we sleep in formal accommodation and catering is done for us. 

You just bring your comfortable hiking shoes and a “slack pack” and the rest is done for you. 

The tour will include 3 days of comfortable, guided hiking. From there we will drive to Addo for 2 nights and then do the Bedrogfontein eco route.

This is a real treat and very different from what we are used to. It is also in South Africa and we can help to recover our economy post COVID 19. 

The Itinerary

Day 1. 5 October 2020

We meet at the start of the slackpack route at Boggoms Bay in the Southern Cape. Dinner and a rest before our hike begins.

  • Arrive and check-in at your accommodation
  • Enjoy sundowners with a member of the Oystercatcher Trail team
  • Dinner at the Sandpiper Leisure Centre or similar facility

Day 2.

A very enjoyable beach walk.

  • Today’s walking: 12 km
  • Breakfast at Sandpiper Leisure Centre or similar facility. Receive you lunch packs for the day – and remember to replenish your Oystercatcher Trail water bottle!
  • Road transport to Dana Bay to continue your walk.
  • Today you’ll be walking along the beach – with frequent sightings of dolphins and (between May and October), the migratory southern right whales that come here to mate and calve.
  • Visit ancient Khoi San middens in the dunes, and enjoy a picnic lunch en route.
  • Welcome snacks at Sandpiper Leisure Centre or similar facility.
  • Afternoon at leisure.
  • This might be a good time for a pampering massage at the Sandpiper Spa (but this is an optional extra – please arrange it with us before your trail begins). Or you could play a game on the Sandpiper Leisure Centre’s tennis court or glass back squash court, or enjoy a bit of chill time on the deck.
  • Dinner at Sandpiper Leisure Centre or similar facility.
  • Overnight at your accommodation.

Day 3.

Rocky shores and Fynbos.

  • Today’s walking: 15 km
  • Breakfast at Sandpiper Leisure Centre or similar facility.
  • Walk along the beach and rocky shore to Fransmanshoek – a small nature reserve with abundant bird life and beautiful veld flowers (where La Fortune was wrecked in 1763 en route from Mauritius to France: Fransmanshoek means ‘French Corner’).
  • Enjoy a beach lunch, and snorkeling and swimming in the secluded bay.
  • Walk over the sand dunes and back onto the beach to Boggomsbaai.
  • Dinner at the Sandpiper Leisure Centre or similar facility.
  • Overnight at your accommodation.

Day 4.

Fynbos, Dunes, beach, rocky shores, river

  • Today’s walking: 15 km
    Breakfast at Sandpiper Leisure Centre or similar facility.
  • Road transport to the dunes at Fransmanshoek
  • Walk over the dune onto the beach to Kanon Private Nature Reserve (about 3 km east of the Gourits River Mouth), which protects one of the few remaining patches of Gourits Coastal Dune Thicket.
  • Visit ancient Khoi San fish traps and the giant dunes along the way – and if you’re fit enough, you might like to climb the dunes!
  • Continue walking to the Gourits River Mouth.
  • Cross the river by boat
  • Road transport back to your accommodation
  • Farewell dinner at the Sandpiper Leisure Centre or similar facility.

Day 5.

We enjoy a final breakfast and then set off to Addo elephant park. We will sleep here for two nights. 

Day 6.

We spend the day game viewing and I will tell you a bit more about elephants.

Day 7

If you do not have a 4×4 you can skip this last day and head back home. For the rest, we pack up make our way to the start of the Bedrogfontein Eco 4×4 drive. In my opinion one of the best drives in our country.

At the end of the route we head for our last night on tour.

Day 8

Early morning I head back to Johannesburg

Tour specific comments


For the Bedrogfontein eco route. A normal 4×4 with low range as you buy them from the shop floor. No special kit required. Normal tyres or all terrain tyres are good. If you are just doing the Oystercatcher trail, any vehicle will do.


No experience required, I personally guide the tour and will give you everything you need as we go.


A bush trailer can work. No caravans. The Bedrogfontein route is a bit steep in places.

Included in the Slackpack trail

  • 4 nights accommodation in cape style houses
  • camping accommodation for the rest of the trip.
  • All your guide fees
  • Boatride to cross the Gourits river.
  • Water and water bottles for the route

Here is a video of the route

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