Image credit: Matthew Sterne for Getaway.co.za
Jeffreys Bay is a wonderful tourist and holiday destination in South Africa, and offers plenty of activities and things to do. While it’s known to be one of the top surf destinations in the world, its beautiful landscape also lends itself to some great walking and hiking trails in and around the area. From multi-day hikes to easy walking trails the whole family will enjoy, here is a guide to experiencing J Bay’s brilliant nature walks on foot.
What To Take With You:
- A charged cell phone
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Sunblock and a hat
- Some good company (in other words, don’t go alone!)
Day Walks & Hikes
Noorsekloof Nature Reserve
The Noorsekloof Nature Reserve covers 28-hectares of land with a 3km trail running route alongside a stream where you can see more than 50 species of birds including the Knysna Woodpecker, Knysna Loerie and paradise flycatchers, as well as some small buck. The reserve is named after the abundance of Noorsboom trees, or giant Euphorbia Triangularus in the area. The trail is free and starts at the entrance to Koof in Eland Street, and ends in Dogwood Circle.
Kabeljous Trail – 2km from Jeffreys Bay
Level: Easy, suitable for children
Distance: 3 to 7km
The Kabeljous Nature Reserve is a 180-hectare reserve that includes parts of the Kabeljous River and estuary, as well as extensive wetlands, valleys, forest and 2,5 km of beautiful coastline with vegetated sand dunes. A picnic area is available at the Estuary.
You can access the trail off the R102 as well as starting on the south side of the estuary, where you can park beside the picnic sites and then walk along the banks towards the ocean.
Enjoy plenty of bird sightings, with more than 100 bird species in the area, and thousands of red-knobbed coots that nest in these waters. Once on the main path, you’ll walk through the coastal thicket with the opportunity to spot bushbuck, duiker, and grysbok. The view from the lookout over the coastline and surrounding bush is simply stunning. When heading down the dunes of the beach be sure to watch out for the nests of African black oystercatchers.
Tortoise Trail – 5km from Jeffreys Bay
Level: Easy, suitable for children
The Tortoise Trail is situated in the Seekoeirivier Nature Reserve, which lies between the coastal villages of Aston Bay and Paradise Beach, just south of Jeffreys Bay. The reserve is a beautiful place to walk with many trees to observe include gharrie, boerboon, milkwood, sage wood, bitou and aloes. The Tortoise Trail follows a track beginning at the office down to the bird hide on the riverbanks, where more than 120 bird species have been identified, including the Cape dabchick and majestic fish eagle. In ideal conditions, you can see large flocks of flamingoes in the shallow waters. Keep your eyes peeled for blue duiker, bushbuck, tortoise, mongoose, and grysbok as you walk along the path.
The Chokka Trail
Oyster Bay, St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis.
Distance: 62km, 4 days (3 nights)
For the adventurous at heart, an overnight hiking trail will refresh the body and mind. The most well known is the Chokka Trail, a 62km slackpacking trail which starts at St Francis Bay, a 30-minute drive from Jeffreys Bay.
The trail is a combination of quaint fishing villages and a stunning unspoiled part of the Eastern Cape brimming with fynbos, wetlands, sand dunes and a rugged coastline. You only carry a lunch pack whilst your luggage is transported to your next overnight stay, which is in comfortable and fully catered guesthouses or resorts.
Visit Jeffreys Bay
If you’re looking for the perfect coastal getaway to relax and unwind in nature, be sure to explore one of the many walking and hiking trails in and around Jeffreys Bay, and book your accommodation at Supertubes Guest House, right across from the famous Supertubes Beach. The combination of fresh sea air and beautiful walking trails in the area will be like a reset button for your soul.