Cape St Francis Resort, South Africa, Tourism

Discovering The Chokka Trail

One of my favourite things to do is walking in the countryside with our Jack Russell, Molly.  Not just the daily walks around our village, but those that we do over the weekend, when we go a little further afield and discover a new path and more incredible scenery.  Something that is easily done in the UK.
South Africa has some awe-inspiring options – one of my most memorable was the Otter Trail, which I did when I was a lot younger and probably less fit.  The Otter Trail, which starts at Storms River and ends at Natures Valley is a tough 5 day trail, which entails a number of river crossings, and is rated as one of the best in the world.
In recent years companies have started running trails in various parts of South Africa, to make the hike more enjoyable.  They pick you up at a central point and transport you to the start, and then take care of your luggage for the duration of the trip.   This type of hiking holiday is called ‘slackpacking’.
On a recent trip to Cape St Francis Resort, I came across a ‘slackpacking’ operator, and the main trail they do is the Chokka Trail.
Chokka is a South African term used for Calamari or Squid.  South Africa has a thriving Chokka industry, and all Chokka is exported (mainly to Spain).  All calamari consumed in South Africa is imported (mainly from Patagonia).  Why I don’t know?
Port St Francis is the only private working harbour in the country and is home to the squid (or Chokka) industry.  Having seen the Chokka boats along the Eastern Cape coast over the years, I found it interesting to learn more about the fascinating industry, but I digress …
The Chokka Trail is a 62 km (4 day / 3 night) slackpacking holiday, which starts at Oyster Bay and ends at Cape St Francis. The trail includes three fishing villages, sand dunes, protected fynbos (this area forms part of the Cape Floral Kingdom), and the incredible rugged coastline.  You will also enjoy a cruise on the St Francis canals and enjoy a calamari tasting.
And then when you have discovered this incredible corner of South Africa and want to come back for more – why not try the Baviaans Camino – just a few miles inland, a little tougher perhaps, but the spectacular scenery makes it very worthwhile.
For those who don’t want to try the hiking trail, but still wish to visit the area, simply book in to stay at Cape St Francis Resort and explore the area from there.

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