All your Plett Camino questions answered below …
All Inclusive Cost
- R11 500 pp sharing (to Jul 2024)
- R12 500 pp sharing (Aug 2024 onwards)
- Enquire about our special for local home owners who can save by joining on the morning of the first day.
- A 50% deposit is due within 7 days of booking to secure your spot, with the balance due six weeks prior to your arrival date.
- Cancellations made more than six weeks prior to the arrival date are eligible for a full refund.
Rates are quoted as an all inclusive rate on a per person sharing basis, with a 30% single supplement applying where a non-sharing room is required. Specials will change over time.
INCLUDED IN YOUR CAMINO:
🏡 Five nights of accommodation and five days of epic trails and breathtaking views
🍽️ Delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner for all five days and nights
🧭 Knowledgeable local guides
🌅 Sundowners and snacks, beer and wine, G&T, and soft drinks
🍷 Lunch and Wine Tasting at Packwood Wine Estate
🧀 A Wine Tasting and a cheese board at Kay & Monty Vineyards
🦓 A Game Drive through the Plettenberg Game Reserve
🍹 Lunch and drinks at Down to Earth Restaurant
🎒 Slack packing bag transfer between accommodation venues
🚗 Secure parking for the duration of the Camino
SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDED FROM YOUR CAMINO:
- Transfers to and from any other airport besides Plett airport
- Unforeseen extras like massages at some of the venues, or extra glasses/bottles of wine at the wine tastings will be for your own account
- Laundry Service (if available)
- Standard medical aid, medical insurance and travel insurance. We insist that everyone has adequate cover before their Camino commences.
- Any other extras
Our lodges en route are farmhouse-style bed and breakfasts. Each one is unique and homely with lovely en suite bathrooms and crisp white sheets. Shampoo, soap and towels are provided in all our venues.
Rooms are typically twin beds with two people sharing. Couples can request a queen or king sized bed depending what is available. Each room has a private bathroom.
A swimming pool awaits weary hikers each day.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks are provided each day.
Our delicious food is home cooked and freshly prepared each day. To give you a taste of what to expect, you can check out one of our sample menus here >>.
Lunch packs are prepared for three of the days which we will enjoy on the trail. On the second day we have a wine tasting paired with a stunning cheese and charcuterie lunch at Packwood Wine Estate.
On day five we have lunch at Down to Earth Restaurant where we share our stories and say our goodbye’s.
We guarantee that you will not go hungry.
Special Dietary Requirements
We provide well-prepared home-made meals and snacks for along the way. For those of you who may have special dietary requirements, we will do our best to cater for you, where possible. Please advise us ahead of time and we will pass the information to the catering team.
SHELLFISH/ NUTS OR ANY OTHER ALLERGENS
It is extremely difficult to anticipate these kinds of allergies. In many cases the presence of shellfish or nuts can be hidden in a lot of foods. It is very important that we are reminded of this requirement on booking and at check-in. We will arrange a suitable alternative for you instead.
If you have specific sensitivities, we suggest to always bring a few basic products (e.g. gluten-free cereals/bread) with you and the catering team will be happy to prepare it for you. You may want to bring along some of your favourite snacks and supplementary foods with you.
The distances per day are as follows:
Day 1 – 13km – ±4hrs moving time
Day 2 – 14km – ±4.5hrs moving time
Day 3 – 16km – ±5hrs moving time
Day 4 – 18km – ±5.5hrs moving time
Day 5 – 13km – ±4hrs moving time
The total distance is about 80km over the five days, with just over 1400m of climbing.
Difficulty is a tricky one to answer.
You are hiking between 14km and 18km a day, with a mix of climbs descents and flat walking, so the tempo changes during each day. On both day 4 and day 5 there is a climb out of the river bed up to the top of the valley.
They meander up the side of the hill, but can be easily done if you take a rest from time to time, but they are exhilarating and you will feel amazing at the top. Some of the fitter hikers gallop up them no problem.
Technically the Plett Camino is not as difficult as the Otter 🦦 Trail. On a difficulty scale, if the Otter Trail was considered to be an 9/10 we’d peg the Plett Camino at 6/10 or 7/10.
You should be fit enough to tackle this kind of terrain 5 days in a row.
Age groups and number of Hikers
Caminos walk in groups of 10 to 12 hikers. You may be able to book the whole group for yourselves, or join others to fill up the vacant places, depending on availability.
Our recommended age groups are between a minimum of 12 to 15 years old to about 70. This is a general guideline, but we are always happy to accommodate others who wish to join in and are fit enough to do so.
WHAT TO PACK - Packing List
While we transport your bags from one overnight stay to another, we do encourage you to leave the bulky luggage sets behind and rather fit everything into a soft bag which is easy to transport. It is all about packing light and having sufficient clothes for a clean change in the evening, and something clean to walk in during the day. There is no laundry service along the way, but where necessary you will be able to wash small items.
Please don’t pack anything breakable into your bag as they will be stacked to move from one location to another.
We have prepared a detailed packing list here >>, which you may download and print out. It also includes a list of things you don’t need to bring.
PETS and Drones
While we also love our furry friends and our high tech toys, we traverse ecologically sensitive SAN Parks terrain as well as private land. Under no circumstances are we allowed to bring animals or drones along with us.
We have had guests who have taken stunning videos using a simple selfie stick.
Insurance & Medical Aid Requirements
As part of our terms and conditions, it is the guest’s responsibility to make sure that they have adequate and appropriate medical cover and/or travel insurance which covers all personal requirements including part or full cancellation and curtailment charges, medical expenses, baggage and repatriation in the event of accident, personal accident, injuries, illness, evacuation or any other reason or eventuality.
Should a guest choose to travel without adequate insurance or medical cover for the duration of the tour, we will not be liable for any losses howsoever arising, in respect of which insurance cover would otherwise have been available.
The chances are that you are going to have one of the most fantastic experiences of your life on the Camino de Plett, and take with you a whole heap of memories to last you a lifetime. But, in the unlikely event that something does go wrong, you´ll want to have all your bases covered.
Please see the FAQ below for our suggested Travel Insurance partner. At Nov 2023 rates it will cost you less than R150 (it may increase slightly in future) for the full extent of the Camino. It is an investment worth making.
APPLY FOR TRAVEL INSURANCE HERE ...
At November 2023 rates, a local SA travel insurance policy through TIC will cost R150 for 8 days cover and the amount they cover you for is R15,000 per person with an excess of R500.00. No pre-existing cover.
You can contact TIC insurance directly at www.tic.co.za
Below is an excerpt from their terms and conditions on what qualifies for a claim under cancellation:
When applying for a policy, TIC will send you all the wording and contractual details.
PREPARATION AND TRAINING
First up, we are not health or medical professionals, so these suggestions are based on our own experience. If you are concerned, please consult the appropriate medical professionals for advice.
When it comes to preparing to walk 14 to 18km per day for 5 days in a row, you will want to be fit enough to do it without causing yourself undue hardship. Fortunately, we carry your bags for you, so weeks of fully loaded stress training a la The Otter Trail is not necessary.
We would suggest you build into your training regime at least:
- Walking at least 10 km for 2 days in a row
- Walking uphill and downhill on various surfaces
- Walking with your day pack and a litre or two of water to get used to its weight
In an ideal world, you could do long daily training walks, but let’s be honest, very few people (ourselves included) have the time to spend six hours walking around your neighbourhood every Tuesday and Thursday.
If you’ve never done a long distance walk before, we suggest that a few weeks before your Camino, you find two days in your schedule to walk back-to-back. This may be on a weekend where you can do it two mornings in a row each week.
You should focus on time in the saddle rather than on distance, but incorporating some staunch uphill climbs is a good idea.
For the first week, we suggest two 2-hour walks with a fully-loaded day pack. Walking for two hours with a pack will not only strengthen your muscles and provide more resistance, but it will get you used to the initial discomfort of a pack. If you have chosen the wrong one, it will give you time to replace it.
If your schedule allows, you can increase your training by 30 minutes each week. Building up to a four hour walk once or twice a week will put you way ahead of the game.
Each person will have different natural fitness and endurance levels, so if you are even slightly concerned about your health or ability, you need to consult your medical practitioners beforehand and inform them of what you are embarking on.
One needs to be careful of overtraining or getting ill in the days leading up to the Camino. You certainly don’t want to injure yourself before you even set foot on the Camino. So ease into the training and don’t build up your time too quickly.
Walking with a stick is a personal preference and it is not for everyone. Some prefer to use only one, while others are happier to carry two. It’s up to you.
We absolutely prefer walking with at least one stick. It is really useful for support on the uphills and downhills, and balance in the river beds.
Commercial ones are really expensive and can be quite creaky.
We source handmade sticks from a community project in a local Koisan Village eliminating invasive trees from the Harkerville forest. We will have these available for purchase at the start of each Camino.
Blisters are one of the most common problems you will encounter on the Camino. Luckily there are a few ways to prevent them and keep your feet in good shape.
First and foremost, be sure to trim your toenails before you start, your feet will thank you.
In terms of footwear, hiking boots can be supportive but really heavy, and often may be a better choice when it is wet underfoot, but often a sneaker type hiking shoe is a better option.
The quality and fit of your hiking shoes is really important. The Camino is not the right place to break in a new pair of shoes. Make sure to walk your shoes in for a few weeks before you commence your journey.
Blisters are caused by new shoes rubbing and tugging at your skin if they haven’t yet shaped themselves to your feet. So no matter how comfortable or expensive they are, make sure you walk them in properly.
We highly recommend proper woollen hiking socks. The wool provides good moisture wicking which prevents chafing and keeps your feet dry.
Weather and when we walk
Weather can be a big factor for many people when tackling a walking adventure such as the Camino, but one of the reasons that Plett is so well suited to hiking, is that conditions are fairly consistent all year round from a weather and rain perspective. Obviously its a little cooler in June, July, August, but remember you are hiking so you can layer up your clothing and get warm quickly.
Plettenberg Bay has a subtropical mild oceanic climate, with typically mild winters and warm summers and very few rainfall or temperature extremes. It is located within the Knysna Afromontane Forest biome, consisting of temperate gallery forest, supported by the mild temperatures evenly distributed rainfall of about 640mm per annum.
Even though the winter can be considered mild, there can be some particularly cold and windy days. We operate Caminos all year round, and as they say: ‘it never rains to everyone’s taste’, so we recommend that you check out online sources when booking your Camino to see the average temperatures and rainfall per month to help you plan your trip. Our preferred online source can be found at Accuweather and another one here at Weatherspark.com.
Extreme Weather Conditions
True to the old adage “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”, our Caminos run all year round and in all weather conditions. Its the luck of the draw.
Only in extreme circumstances, where it becomes dangerous or unsafe, will we elect to transport you around tricky stages and possibly shorten the Camino by a day or two. Its always a good idea to pack a good book and journal just in case !
Gratuities and Extra Costs along the way
Should you wish to leave something for the staff, purely at your own discretion, this would be much appreciated. We usually collect gratuities at lunch on the last day and distribute amongst the whole team.
The Plett Camino is an all-inclusive experience, but you may wish to buy additional drinks, trinkets or a well-deserved massage along the way.
You won’t need your cell phone as our guides carry communication equipment. However, for many people their phone has become their constant companion and also their only means of taking photos.
We do not stipulate that you cannot carry a phone, but we do insist that no calls, voice notes, Whatsapps or messages are made or taken during the walk out of respect for other walkers and the wild life.
When walking, phones should either be switched off or on aeroplane mode.
In the evenings at the various lodges there may be cell signal or wifi, and it is really no problem to upload photos or connect with loved ones and friends.
When uploading to social media we would really love it if you tag us with #plettcamino, #awakenyoursoul and #returntonature
WHAT IS SLACKPACKING
The Plett Camino hiking trail was set up as a premium slackpacking hiking trail on the Garden Route between Plett and Knysna.
Slackpacking has become increasingly popular as a way of experiencing a hiking trail, without having to carry your bags, tents, food, cooking equipment and other survival gear. Generally, you’ll carry a small daypack with water and lunch, and maybe a flask of coffee, but not all your gear.
Slackpacking specifics can vary, but on the Plett Camino Hiking Trail, you just arrive, escape for a while and enjoy connecting with your friends and family as you hike the trails. We carry your bags and make sure that you sleep in upmarket, comfortable lodges with en suite bathrooms and crisp white linen. And after a hard day’s hike, you are served stunning meals and drinks along the way.
Along our hiking trails, you will also enjoy wine tastings, a game drive and will only ever share a room with one other person, unlike some of the other trails, where you have up to 6 or 8 people in a bungalow or hut.