Chokka Trail

 

Cape St Francis is probably best known as a surfing and holiday village, what is not so well known is that it is the centre of the Squid (Chokka) fishing industry in South Africa. It starts with a fairly testing but fascinating walk over the extensive inland dune fields before joining up with a coastal path that passes through Cape St Francis and finishing in the St Francis Bay village and marina. It includes visits to the chokka processing plant and a chokka tasting, as well as a tour of the SANCOB coastal bird (mainly African penguins) rescue centre. A moderately easy hike, although the section across the dunes can be quite strenuous, depending on weather conditions.

Trail Details

Trail location

Greater St Francis – St Francis Bay, Cape St Francis, Oyster Bay –  Eastern Cape.

Nearest city

Port Elizabeth

Transport options

Shuttles to and from Port Elizabeth Airport

Trip Duration / Options

Option 1:  (Standard) 4 days/4 nights
Option 2:  4 days/3 nights
Option 3:  3 days/2 nights (hiking day 3 and 4)
Option 4:  5 days/4 nights – self catered, backpacking

Start / Finish

Start: Oyster Bay – GPS: 34˚09'66.40 S / 24˚ 38'15.70 E
(vehicles are parked at the Cape St Francis Resort GPS: 34˚11'56.39 S / 24˚49'53.04 E, and hikers transported to Oyster Bay)

Finish: St Francis Bay – GPS: 34˚14'63.55 S / 24˚83'02.94 E
(hikers will be transported back to their vehicles in Cape St Francis)

Daily Time / Distances

Day 1: up to 19km  Day 2:  18km   Day 3:  16km  Day 4:  12km

Day 1:  4 – 6 hours  Day 2:  6 – 9 hours   Day 3:  5 – 6 hours  Day 4:  4 hours

Trail Grading

On a scale of Easy – Moderate – Strenuous

This trail is moderate. A reasonable level of hiking fitness is required but most active hikers will manage.

Physical Fitness

Moderate fitness required.  Difficulty is related to the weather on the day.

Technical detail / Terrain

Beaches, dunefield, footpaths, coastal forest and thicket.

Accommodation

3 and 4 star guest houses and a Resort

Food Supply / Catering

All food included – warm breakfast, lunch pack, cooked dinner plus calamari tasting and farewell meal.  You only pay for your drinks.

Logistic support / Guiding

Accompanied by the owner on day 2, 3 and 4.  Support vehicle can fetch hikers in need.

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Highlights

Visit to SA's only working harbour, Port St Francis.  Calamari Tasting – unique in SA.  Diverse route which includes sightings of middens, shipwrecks, the Seal Point Lighthouse situated on the south-eastern most tip of Africa, sunset cruise on the famous St Francis canals, the Oyster Bay Dune Bypass System – hiking 14km on a moving dunefield.

Other Activities

Swimming, snorkling, paddling

Fauna & Flora

Coastal forest and thicket, dune bypass system.

250 species of birds counted.

Climate

Moderate winters. 

Seasonality & Best Time Year

Jan – Feb can be hot.

March – November ideal, might have 4 seasons in a day though!

Group Size

4 – 16

Price P/P

Option 1:  R5250 pp sharing – alternatives on application

Option 2:  R6250 pp sharing

Option 3:  TBC according to group size.

Option 4:  R1850 pp

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Price Includes

Option 1 – 3: accommodation, all meals, canal cruise, calamari tasting, transfers

Option 4:  accommodation, calamari tasting

Here you'll find any scheduled trails that you can join. Trails may be booked up to one year in advance, so be sure to scroll ahead using the arrows on the left to find if there are any available.  The trail operator page will also list any scheduled trails.

If you would like to enquire about different dates, please fill in the form below.  Trails are initiated when someone makes an enquiry, and go ahead once the minimum numbers are confirmed.

Scheduled Chokka Trails

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Chokka Trail enquiry

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