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Guided Nature Walks
Port Elizabeth and Eastern Cape
Full Day Tour. Code (HD17)

Port Elizabeth, situated on the south-eastern coast of South Africa, is surrounded by beautiful expanses of pristine beaches and wilderness areas on the very doorstep of the city.

Hiking trails and pathways spread themselves along this coastline, through evergreen forests and over remote mountains and into steep, forested valleys.

Join Alan Tours under the expert guidance of our knowledgeable guides to explore these fascinating and diverse wilderness areas
The walks/hikes are available as half day, full day or overnight option.

Rates Half Day Hikes:

R 880.00 for a group of 1-4 persons 

R 920.00 for a group of 5-8 persons

R 960.00 for a group of 9 -12 persons

Rates Full Day Hikes:

R 1 320.00 for a group of 1-4 persons

R 1 380.00 for a group of 5-8 persons

R 1 420.00 for a group of 9 – 12 persons 

Tour includes:

Professional guided walk/hike

Tour excludes/optional extras:

Entrance fees where applicable

Meals, snacks and refreshments
Transport can be arranged on request at an additional charge
Overnight accommodation at an additional charge

What to bring: Good comfortable footwear, sunscreen and hat, rain protection , food, snacks and drinks, binoculars and cameras (optional)
Trails vary in distance from approximately 3 km to 10 km and longer. Hikes can be tailored for individual hiker requirements and abilities. Please enquire direct.

HIKING ROUTES

Sacramento Trail – Sardinia Bay Nature Reserve (Half Day or Full Day)
Cape Recife Nature Reserve (Half Day or Full Day)
The Island Nature Reserve (Half Day or Full Day)
Maitland Nature Reserve (Half Day or Full Day)
Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve (Full Day only)
Zuurberg Trails (Full Day only)
Groendal Wilderness Area Full day Hiking Adventures (Full Day or overnight on request)
Alexandria Forest and Dune field Hiking Trails (Full Day or overnight on request)

SACRAMENTO TRAIL TO SARDINIA BAY NATURE RESERVE  

Half Day or Full Day

There are varied hiking options (3Km – 9Km) possible along this stretch of coast with lush, vegetated dunes and rocky coastline interspersed with sandy bays and beaches. The Sacramento Trail is named after a Portuguese galleon which was wrecked on the rocks a few hundred meters off this coastline. A canon salvaged from this ship and a monument both pay homage to this ill-fated vessel and its crew who attempted to walk all the way up the coastline to Delagoa Bay after the ship ran aground.

The Sardinia Bay Nature Reserve is not only home to vulnerable plant species found within the Dune Fynbos vegetation but is also a marine protected reserve and the views over the ocean provide excellent whale and dolphin spotting opportunities. The protected rocky coastline below provides ideal habitat for a wide diversity of marine life and coastal sea birds. 

Plant life is varied and colourful flowers are evident year round. Stunted trees and many other species along this coastline have adapted to the exposed conditions brought by wind and sea spray.

Fitness level: easy to moderate

CAPE RECIFE NATURE RESERVE – Half Day or Full Day

The Trail of The Roseate Tern is a 9 km hike (with shorter options possible) passing through varied coastal habitats. This hike passes the Cape Recife water reclamation works and these large ponds present some of the best birding opportunities around Port Elizabeth. 

The trail winds through dune fynbos and coastal Algoa dune thicket which displays a diverse and interesting flora on the sand by-pass dune system. Milkwood, candlewood, waxberry, guarri, saffron, dune olive and crossberry are some of the trees encountered as we explore the different habitat types on the trail.

Numerous ships have run aground on the offshore reefs visible in places along the trail and the remains of a World War II barracks and military observation post provide interesting historical significance.

Hardy succulents such as Aloe africana (Curved aloe), varied members of the Vygie family and the endangered Cotyledon adscendens are also found in this sandy environment and provide colourful sprays and backdrops to the coastal scenery.

Fitness level: easy to moderate

THE ISLAND NATURE RESERVE – 

Half Day or Full Day

The Island Nature Reserve is 484 hectares and consists of coastal fynbos, coastal forest and a relic patch of dense Alexandria forest all serving as habitat for varied smaller mammals and diverse birdlife. White starred robin, Blue-mantled flycatcher, Narina trogon and Scaly-throated honeyguide are some of the bird species encountered along the forest sections of the trail. 

The walk consists of a network of inter-linking trails (circular trails) which traverse most of the larger reserve area and provide the hiker with a predominantly indigenous forest experience. 

Hikers have the option of combining all five trail sections into a single day hike of approximately 14km or completing shorter variations of the varied interlinking sections. All trails return to the same end point which is the office and picnic section of the Island Nature Reserve. 

Most of the hiking takes place through well-established climax forest on ancient, consolidated sand dunes which houses forest species normally only found further to the east and west. 

It represents a special and unique forested hiking environment which is home to a large diversity of fauna and flora.

Fitness level: moderate

MAITLAND NATURE RESERVE – 

Half Day or Full Day

The 150 ha Maitland Nature Reserve comprises three trails (3Km – 9Km) which can be walked on their own or in combination with each other. All three of these hikes join an old wagon trail which is of historical significance as it was one of the first attempts at mining in the Cape Colony in the late 18th Century.

The hiking trails meander through lush coastal forest which gives way to thicket and dune fynbos in sections making the area a hotpot of biodiversity for plant and birdlife. 

These varied habitat types are also home to smaller buck, mammals and abundant insect life with colourful butterflies ever present. 

There are intermittent ocean views and the Maitland Dune field can also be seen from the western section of the reserve which has colourful and hardy plant life for us to discover.

A Bush Lodge forms the eastern border of the reserve and the De Stades River wetland system creates a unique ecosystem for a diverse variety of bird life.

Fitness level: moderate

VAN STADENS WILDFLOWER RESERVE – Full Day

There are varied hiking options possible in this 600Ha Nature Reserve, ranging from short rambles to the 11km Van Stadens Hike which incorporates sections of the River, Link, Forest and Nymph Trails.

Described as a floral wonderland, this area is home to an exceptionally diverse plant life found in the varied habitat types encountered along the trails. From grassy fynbos with colourful Protea species, ancient cycads and varied members of the Iris family to Indian Ocean forest which is home to endemic species such as Atalaya capensis (Cape wing-nut) and Smellophyllum capense (buig-my-nie) which have limited distributions.

Home to a diverse birdlife in the differing habitat types, hikers should be on the look-out for fynbos endemics such as the Cape sugarbird, Protea seedeater and Victorin’s warbler while meandering across the plateau. The forest environment provides an entirely different habitat niche and Narina trogon, Knysna turaco and varied flycatchers are just a few of the birds with colourful plumage and displays to be seen.

The surrounding landscape and scenery is contrasting and provides spectacular views of mountains, river gorge and plateau vistas. No two hikes are ever similar in this reserve as new species are evident on every excursion. This is a fynbos and forest wonderland.

Fitness level: moderate

Zuurberg – Full Day

The Zuurberg section of the Addo Elephant National Park covers approximately 35 000Ha of rugged mountain and river valley scenery. Located in the Groot Winterhoek Mountain Range this area was proclaimed a National Park in 1985 and joined greater Addo when land between these reserves was gained by South African National Parks. 

Four of the five biomes found within the greater Addo Park can be found in the Zuurberg section.

Valley bushveld vegetation (thicket biome) is pristine in this region and one will also encounter fynbos and grassveld on the mountain slopes and forest in the sheltered river valleys. 

There are three cycad and two yellowwood species in this area and over 1100 plant species have been recorded.

The Doringnek kloof hike is a moderate – difficult circular route of around 12Km and passes through all of these vegetation types.

Fitness level: moderate to difficult

GROENDAL NATURE RESERVE – 

Full Day or overnight on request

The reserve lies at the eastern end of the Groot Winterhoek Mountains approximately 40km northwest of Nelson Mandela Bay. It is a rugged and mountainous landscape characterised by deep gorges, natural streams, rock pools and exceptional scenery. 

The reserve is situated towards the end of the fynbos biome’s distribution and also includes vegetation types from Albany thicket, forest and karoo biomes. The shy leopard, caracal, bushpig, bushbuck, baboons, vervet monkey, genet and honey badger are some of the mammals found in the reserve.

Groendal Nature Reserve is a pristine wilderness area covering approximately 30 000 ha in extent. It can be classed as Wilderness Area as it is largely unmodified by man, has a large enough size to function independently and is still in a pristine condition. 

The area serves as a wonderful recreational resource for hikers.

Fitness level: moderate to difficult

WOODY CAPE AND THE ALEXANDRIA DUNEFIELD – 

Full Day or overnight on request

The Woody Cape section of the Addo Elephant National Park contains the largest stretch of Alexandria forest in South Africa as well as the largest coastal dunefield in the southern hemisphere. The coastal forest contains a mixture of tropical, temperate and Cape forest tree species which includes some of the tallest Cape coral trees in South Africa.

The Alexandria Dunefield is a mobile dune system and has an estimated influx of around 375 000 cubic metres of sand per year. This is the largest and least degraded coastal dunefield in South Africa. Some of the dunes reach 140m tall and the dunefield is around 3km wide. This dune region is also home to an array of interesting archaeological remnants including shellfish, pottery and primitive tools from the Khoi/San peoples.

Our hike can include both the Alexandria forest and coastal dunefield at Woody Cape.

Fitness level: easy to moderate 

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