This is a strenuous 17km hike (5½ hours walking) on the Northern side of the Outeniqua Mountains, just outside George. The hike is suitable for fit people. My pace is steady,
This is a strenuous 17km hike (5½ hours walking) on the Northern side of the Outeniqua Mountains, just outside George.
The hike is suitable for fit people. My pace is steady, not fast. As there are several stops for fossicking, swimming and eating, and allowing for the time to drive from George to the start of the hike, I suggest that you allow a full day for this magnificent hike.
The area is home to the most amazing mountain fynbos. It was burnt about 2 years ago, so you won’t see the large Protea aurea, Protea neriifolia and Leucadendron species it is known for, but the fynbos is beginning to make a comeback, and there is a lot to see. See my March species list at the end of the description.
The trail starts in the Waboomskraal valley, where hops and fruit are grown. We will park the cars next to the road leading to the farm. (S -33.86873, E 22.32681) After walking up a steep jeep track on private land, you will enter the reserve. (824m) We will stop for a breather and a plant fossick here.
The jeep track leads us to the beginning of the circuit, from there we climb steadily in an anticlockwise direction.
The track peters out at Pat’s rock, named after the original leader of the group, and we now use a path to reach the trig beacon on the highest point of the hike (1093m). There is a stunning 360° view of mountains from here, including the Swartberg Mountains to the North, and Craddock Peak to the East. This is our tea stop and another opportunity for a fossick.
Then we start our long descent into the valley floor. The path is narrow and steep in places but affords great views across the valley. We cross the Groot Doring Rivier (presently a stream) and reach the main jeep track. From here it is a long hot slog uphill to the start of the circuit, stopping off on the way to cool off in one of the best mountain pools in the area. This will be our lunch stop.
Once we reach the start of the circuit, we will retrace our steps down the jeep track to the cars.
Some of the plants that we should see at this time of year are: Aspalathus ciliaris, Berzelia intermedia, Bobartia aphylla, Bobartia robusta, Erica densifolia, Erica rosacea, Erica seriphifolia, and so many more.
BRING: Swimming or place to swim – bring swimming kit, Binoculars recommended, Bring your own lunch, Hiking boots are required, Bring your own first aid kit.
EXTRA NOTES: Wildlife and Birding Interest, Flowers and Botanical Interest.
DIRECTIONS: George library parking Caledon St, from there to start of hike in convoy. Parking is very limited at the start of the walk, so it would be helpful to share vehicles.
Fran Hunziker082 940 0939
April 19(Friday) 7:30am - April 19(Friday) 6:00pm
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