Addo Dunefields Hike
Addo Dunefields Hike is in a section of the Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. You can explore three distinctly different environments. The dunes, the coastal dune forest, and the seascape is simply breathtaking. The dunefield is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.
Type Guided hike with backpack Location Addo National Park, Eastern Cape, South Africa Group size Small groups maximum 8 Duration 2 nights / 3 days Grading Moderate Day Stages 20 km Distance 40 km Terrain Dunes, coastal and nature reserve trails Accommodation Hikers huts Meals Included. Dinners prepared by guides Cost Available on request Dates Whole year. Best time May- Sep
The Addo Dunefields Hike is an unforgettable experience that leads the hiker through three different environments ranging from forest to coastal dunes, to seashore. The diversity is unique. You will clamber up the desert-like dunes and stand aloft cliffs crumbling into the sea, then through high forest and along spectacular beaches. Diversity, solitude and beauty.
Woody Cape Dunefields The Woody Cape Dunefields forms part of the 145,000 hectare Addo Elephant National Park and is the largest duneveld in the Southern Hemisphere. The extensive dunefields cover 142 square kilometers of ground, with some dunes being 2.5 kilometers wide and up to 140 meters high. Flora and fauna The area boasts an abundance of birds and wildlife, with a wide variety of trees including ancient Yellowwood forests. Bird lovers are likely to see the rare damara tern, jackass penguins, fish eagle and Knysna loerie in the pristine indigenous forests. Whale and Dolphin watching
The hikes are slow, spending time to enyoy the area and to take a closer look at the unspoilt coast and dunes and forrest The trails are conducted by an experienced and knowledgeable guide who will point out the marine- and wildlife, birds and ecology of the area. You will be allowed to stop and enjoy what is of interest to your group.
(Drive from Port Elizabeth to Langebos hut) You will be transferred to the Addo Elephant National Park offices near Alexandria. After a short walk in the forest dinner will be prepared by the guide at the Langebos hut.
Day 2 (20 km)
This first walk day is relatively easy. It starts off with a walk through a magical forest where ancient Yellowwoods and spectacular Coral trees can be seen. The Afrikaans description of the gigantic yellowwood is “Waterboom” or “Lekkerboom”. The name refers to the reservoir of water held at the base of its trunk. After crossing the open fields of Perdekloof, the trail moves onto the beach where the stark sandy beach ecosystem and dramatic dunefields provide dramatic scenery. Six km of untouched coastline stretches out in front of you. The dramatic cliffs of the Woody Cape provide the hiker with two options, either hiking along the boulder strewn base of the cliffs (which should be avoided at high tide) or climbing a log ladder to reach the cliff top, from where it is an easy walk to the Woody Cape hut. Dolphins and Whales are often seen and the wreck of the Nidaros, an old steamer, can be investigated along the trail The Woody Cape hut is nestled in thick coastal forest on top of the cliffs. Bird Island Lighthouse is visible in the distance. There is an opportunity for swimming and snorkelling once at the Woody Cape hut.
Day 3 (20 km)
The second day is more difficult. You walk through sand dunes of the largest coastal dunefield in the Southern Hemisphere. The early morning hike provides an opportunity to investigate the signs of animals, such as jackals, duikers and the endemic hairy-footed gerbil, left on the dunes from the previous night. Tall posts guide hikers through the shifting dune fields. Fascinating ancient midden sites, evidence of the “Strandloper” people that wandered these shores, can also be seen on the hike through the timeless landscape. The last five kilometers of the trail again winds through the beautiful indigenous forest to Langebos hut. End of walk and return transfer to Port Elizabeth.
You will stay in comfortable hikers accommodation The Langebos huts, at the start of the trail, are fully equipped with 12 bunk beds and mattresses and linen, hot water showers and toilets. The Woody Cape Hut is situated at the end of the first day’s hike, which overlooks the sea and Bird Island. This hut is equipped with bunk beds and mattresses for 12 people in two bedrooms. It has a rainwater tank for drinking and cooking water only. Toilets are provided but no showers.
Rates & Tour info
Available on request
Transfers from Port Elizabeth to start of trail and back to Port Elizabeth 2 nights accommodation in hikers huts Full Board Qualified guide Emergency support
Items not mentioned above, eg : Flights or transport to and from Port Elizabeth Snacks and alcoholic drinks Travel Insurance
The first day is relatively easy as you walk down to the coast from the Woody Cape forest, then along the beach to the Woody Cape hikers hut. The second day through the dunes and forest is more difficult. Overall rating: “Moderate“. You do not need to be ultra-fit but if you choose to do the hikes you should be able to hike between 10 and 20 km per day. A guide is available. The route takes you along the coast and on paths. See Walking grades for more details about “Moderate” rating.
When to do the Addo Dunefields Hike
Bookings can be made throughout the year. The best time is from May to September but good wale watching is still possible up to November.
The area is also referred to as the Sunshine Coast. It reputedly has the most sunshine hours in South Africa. The climate is temperate with average midday temperatures ranging from 20°C in July to 26°C in February. Mid-winter night temperatures seldom drop below 9°C and midday summer temperatures seldom higher than 30°C. Average rainfall is about 500 mm per annum, lowest in July and highest in March.
Getting to Port Elizabeth For international visitors: Fly to Port Elizabeth Airport. By car: Route from Johannesburg: 1 050 km with N1 Route from Cape Town: 750 km via the N2 along the coast Route from Durban: 900 km with N2
What to take
Backpacks to be carried by guests for the 2 days. Travelling luggage can be left at at the Woody Cape reception. The guide will prepare the dinners on both evenings. Requirements: Backpack and sleeping bag. Comfortable, well ventilated clothes as well as a thick windbreaker/jacket, raincoat, swimming costume, comfortable hiking shoes and hiking sandals. For your daily needs you are advised to have plastic bags to protect your electronic equipment, sun-hat, sunglasses, sun block, a water bottle, personal first-aid kit, camera, batteries, binoculars, torch/ headlamp, and mosquito repellent.
We recommend that you arrange appropriate holiday insurance giving you cover against illness, injury, and loss or damage to luggage. This insurance should also cover the possibility of your having to cancel your holiday for any reason.
Availability and booking
Pictures can be viewed in Addo Dunefields Gallery
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More about the area
Addo Dunefields Hike is a high quality guided hiking holiday in an unspoilt natural environment For more information about the area, go to Read more
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