2017 - Hiking the coastal route from Llandudno to Hout Bay, also called the Mini Otter trail, takes 6.5 hours and is divided in 2 parts. The first part is a moderate hike that winds along steep dunes and bushy mountain slopes filled with fynbos. After the Oudeship Peninsula you encounter rough and dangerous terrain not recommended for inexperienced hikers and ends up in Hangberg near Houtbaai.
With very little shade or fresh water, a person needs to carry at least 3L of water and have a good hat and sunblock.
This hike is best done at low tide as much of the trail is under water at high tide. The route involves some scrambling and boulder hopping. I would rate this hike as tough. Only the fit and experienced hikers should attempt this.
Every year this route has claimed lives, so people should not attempt this route on their own.
SANDY BAY TO OUDESCHIP PENINSULA
Right behind the Llandudno sign you will spot the Sandy Bay Beach. This well know nude beach is littered with stone boulders and is situated in the Karbonkelberg area.
Sandy Bay to Oudeschip Peninsula
The moderate walk crosses the beach and dives into the bushes parallel to the coast. Remain close to the Atlantic awhile passing a granite rock shelter and many succulents.
You reach the rocky and breathtaking Oudeschip Peninsula, with the rusted shipwreck Harvest Capella (1986) after 1 hr.
Walk back on land and take the path straight up the mountain towards the lookout hut.
OUDESCHIP TO HOUTBAAI
The path leads through thick vegetation where you need to crawl on hands and knees through the sandy soil. The path leads steeply up to a small stone house called the Rocket Station. After 2 hrs you reach the Maori wreck (1909).
The next hour you endure a very tough leg before entering Leeugat area by the shipwreck, the Bos 400. This floating crane was wrecked in 1994 when the rope to a tug boat that was towing it snapped during a storm. All 18 of the crew survived by being airlifted safely to shore.
The path leads away from the beach as you have to scramble up the slopes on small paths. This is the area where anyone with a fear of heights may suffer a bit. The path is quite loose and crumbly. From above you notice rocky beaches below the cliffs of Kapteinspiek and Karbonkelberg.
In the distance you see large rocks that look out onto Seal Island. At Duiker Point in front of Dungeons, a world famous spot for big wave surfers, you're about 45 minutes from the trail finish in Houtbaai. Enjoy the view to the left of the Sentinel peak (331m).
At Houtbaai Mariners Wharf a fresh drink awaits you before catching the bus back.