Garden Route Slackpacking Adventure Trip
By Louis Marcus Finn
Having undergone a double knee replacement in 2021, my husband Stephen and I decided to relish his remarkable and wonderful rehabilitation and cash in on this golden period of our lives together.
I did some research and found a fantastic option on the Garden Route. Mark Dixon, an outdoor enthusiast with a magnificent protean knowledge of ecology, biological science and nature conservation led our hike. We were joined by a UK couple in their early sixties, enjoying an outdoor adventure in South Africa. Mark organizes trips and highlights the incredibly rich fossils on our coastline, the indigenous trees, geology, insects, marine life and avian specimens. We learnt such a great deal about a myriad of impressive elephant, crocodile, buffalo and hominoid footprints found on the coastline ranging from Wilderness to Brenton-on-Sea. Touching and beholding these 120 000-year-old remnants was indeed a huge privilege.
We covered about 60 kms by foot, nearly all on pristine beaches and traversed the Garden Route and Goukamma National Parks, sleeping in private and Cape Nature reserve accommodation.
The route also encompasses 15 kms of kayaking on the Touws and Goukamma rivers. Much fun and many enjoyable experiences were had, and at one stage, our kayak capsized, and Stephen, Mark and I fell in the temperate river. We laughed our way back to the bank and continued canoeing in high spirits seeing a magnificent Fish Eagle soaring overhead and then roosting on the banks of the river. Being outdoors, enjoying perfect weather and seeing unspoilt conservation coastline was a huge inspiration, physical experience and treat for both Stephen and me.
Garden Route Coastal Meander can be reached at gardenroutetrail.co.za or followed on Instagram. It is well worth the effort if you would like to expand your physical and intellectual horizons.