We just returned from hiking the Boland trail, the 2 day option: the Sphinx route.
Upon our arrival at the Shamarock lodge , we were greeted by a group of ±30 people, including children of all ages.
After two hours of listening to blaring music, played through Bluetooth speakers and countless games on-on/ hide and seek; we decided that we have had enough. We packed up our gear and headed out, subsequently completing a 2 day hike in one day.
We truly enjoyed our night adventure, however, as a group we were left with two questions:
- Is there a place for loud family overnight hikes?
- Are we wrong in expecting fellow hikers to abide by the unspoken “hikers etiquette”
What’s your thoughts?
I’d have been very displeased with this experience.
First port of call would be to see if there is some regulations that they would’ve signed for at the reserve entrance to see if such behaviour is permitted. If so, a complaint to CapeNature would be in order. Unfortunately, CapeNature don’t have a guest relations contact and have found the staff at Hottentot-Holland to be absolutely useless in the past in terms of my interactions with them, so that may not help.
To answer your questions and in my opinion, Yes to the first, if they book out an entire trail’s accommodation. Absolutely not wrong in expecting other hikers to abide to hikers etiquette.
I agree with @wooshness. Cape Nature, SANParks or any other trail owner/manager would do well to highlight good hiking etiquette in their brochures and booking procedures. Many people have not grown up with outdoorsy parents or in a hiking community and so a lot of it is not necessarily inconsideration, but merely lack of education.
So why don’t we as members, put together a hikers etiquette guide?
“The do’s and don’ts” top 10?
The Leave No Trace Seven Principles is the international de facto standard for outdoor ethics. If we all do our best to stick to those principles, it will go a long way in avoiding confusion on the trails, as well as sustainable trail use for all.