In June 2017 South Africa, and the world, watched in horror as a wildfire swept through the Garden Route destroying over 500 homesteads, farmland and timber plantations. The shear destruction left in the path of the blaze amounted to 22,000 hectares burnt, 7 lives lost and communities traumatized. The fire, like so many international wildfires that occurred in 2017, was the perfect inferno, the result … Continue reading Flaming Fynbos In the Garden Route
One of the last true wilderness areas in South Africa is undisputedly the Baviaanskloof, a series of folded mountains, canyons and valleys between Willomore and Patensie in the Eastern Cape. It is a botanical wonderland that transforms from Karoo through Fynbos and into pockets of Afro-Montane forest with hints of Spekboom along an east west axis. It is a landscape that begs to be hiked … Continue reading Leopard Trail – Baviaankloof Hiking
So often a sign lacks the detail of what it is indicating. In Graaff Reinet, as you enter the town from the south, there is an insignificant sign indicating a hiking trail. No trail name. No trail distance. Merely, turn west off the N9. Recently, while visiting Graaff Reinet, I again saw the sign and decided to do some online research. All I found was … Continue reading Karoo Hiking – Eerstefontein Trail
The Garden Route coastline between Witsand and Nature’s Valley has a rich history of early hominids with records extending an estimated 164,000 years back. Within these incredible archeological records are the earliest recognised art in the world using ochre dating back from 72,000 years in the Blombos Cave, as well as three sets of hominid footprints dating from approximately 90,000 years ago. Keurbooms Strand east … Continue reading Garden Route Coastal day walk – Arch Rock and the Matjes Rivier shell midden.
A little known, though spectacular, waterfall in the Garden Route is the Brackenhill Waterfall. A popular tourist destination in the early 1990’s, it has slipped from the sport light since access was limited by the landowners concerned about the fire risk to surrounding pine plantations. The waterfall is located on the Witelsrivier, one of the network of tributaries of the Noetsie River, and is access … Continue reading Brackenhill Waterfall.
Sun filtered through the forest canopy and lit up the tannin stained river to a golden glow as the three boys were energetically boulder hopping upstream. ‘If you don’t give children a smartphone and play station nowadays, they are ostracised by their class mates’ Sabin, the boys mother, mentioned while they were out of hearing range. ‘I even bought a play station and pretended that … Continue reading Child’s play in the Garden Route
Recently I read a social media post where the account holder slated one of the trails in the Garden Route. Her complaint is that, just because a trail is established doesn’t make it worthwhile walking and that, for her, it was a boring trail. The trail she was slating was one of the Elephant Trail loops at Diepvalle. I was amazed. All three of the … Continue reading Overcoming ecological ignorance while travelling.