TravSA Guided Short Hikes: Accompanied by a Registered Tour Guide
For those wanting something a little more strenuous than a stroll along the beach, there are a number of lovely walks in the Wilderness and George area. All the hikes are accompanied by Marius Boshoff, a registered Nature Guide for the Garden Route.
Don’t forget: binoculars, sunscreen, a sun hat, good walking shoes, drinking water, a bird reference book and your camera. Let’s go walking!
|Forest Buzzard Short Hike – 45 minutes
This is a short hike at the foot of the majestic Outeniqua Mountain. It passes through indigenous fynbos, forest and pine plantations. The mountain streams are crystal clear and tree ferns grow on the banks. Giant Yellowwood and Stinkwood trees turn the forest into a magical fairyland. The trail passes a man-made dam with an awesome view from a rocky cliff. It is an easy hike that can be done with training shoes. Just before you break a proper sweat, we are back at the start.
|Old George Dam Day Hike – 2 -3 hours
This hike forms part of the Tierkop hiking trail. The walk will take between 2 and 3 hours to complete and exertion is medium to high. It is a circular route that goes past the old George dam. This dam used to supply George with drinking water but is no longer in use. The route covers typical indigenous fynbos with forests in the gorges. The old dam projects images of desolation and spookiness with George CBD in the far distance. This hike is not for the weak of heart and hiking boots are more appropriate.
Half Collard Hiking Trail – 2 -3 hours
This route is in the heart of Wilderness (15 km from George) and follows the Touw River to a beautiful waterfall − a beautiful setting to sit down with an ice cold drink or to have a splash below the waterfall. Hikers may be lucky with a sighting of the Knysna Lourie or the majestic Fish Eagle. Bird identification plaques are displayed on the route. This is a one-way return hike and is easy walking along a wooden boardwalk. The distance is approximately 7 km. The river is crossed on a “flotilla” and youngsters will be thrilled by this adventure. Vegetation is indigenous and most trees are tagged with their biological and common names. This is a one-way return hike and is easy walking along a wooden boardwalk.
|Pepsi Pools – 45 minutes
The name was given to this waterfall and rock pools due to the dark tea colour of the water. Vehicles are parked at the Nelson Mandela University and an easy walk (30 minutes) leads you to this natural wonder. The road passes through a pine plantation and indigenous fynbos. Troops of baboons are found but they are extremely shy of humans. Bushbuck is often seen and a few leopards still frequent the rocky mountains. The route is easy enough for young children and riding your mountain bike brings great rewards.
|Doringrivier Circuit – 5 ½ hours
Walk this pristine fynbos circular route nestled between Witberg and the Outeniqua Mountains. The trail follows the Doring River Valley through typical fynbos such as proteas, ericas, and restios. This is a 14 km hike with moderate exertion taking about 5 ½ hours to complete. The hike is of moderate exertion and hiking boots are recommended.
|Circles in a Forest Hiking Trail
Follow one of the hiking trails to experience the forest first-hand. Two trails start at Krisjan-se-Nek: one trail of 3 km (about 1,5 hours) and one of 9 km (about 3 hours). The effort level ranges from easy to moderate, making these trails accessible to anyone over the age of 5. This route was previously known as the Woodcutter’s Trail but was named after Dalene Matthee during the unveiling of the memorial. Hence, these routes are now known as the Circles in a Forest trail.
This route takes you to the heart of this indigenous forest, past Outeniqua Yellowwood trees that have been growing there for hundreds of years, tree ferns that are over 3 meters tall, babbling streams and exquisite fungus. And if you’re lucky, you’ll spot a loerie.
|The Harkerville Coast Hiking Trail – 2 Days
The Harkerville Coast Hiking Trail between Plett and Knysna is often regarded as a mini version of the Otter. It might only be 26 km long, compared to the 43 km Otter, but it packs just as much of a punch. The first 8 km cuts through stands of Yellowwoods before reaching the coast. On a couple of sections along the coast, chains have been bolted into the rock to help you along. On day two you will appreciate how strange it is to find such a wild stretch of coastline, still undeveloped and unscarred by human hands, between two fast-growing towns like Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.