This March, we were invited to be a part of the Hi-Tec Garden Route Walking Festival. With trails on each day of the Easter Weekend between Great Brak and Nature’s Valley, walkers had a plethora of trails to choose from. Walks ranged from easy, moderate and strenuous perfect for every fitness level and group. Times and distances varied and while some were charged for, others were free.
Being 34 weeks pregnant and walking with a toddler we chose only easy trails with minimal inclines but were seriously surprised by how beautiful and unique each trail was. Here’s the list of walks we did each day during the walking Festival, a few of which you can still do when visiting the Garden Route:
Giraffe Walk at Giraffe View Safari Camp
This was a leisurely walk on this private game reserve situated in Wittedrift just outside of Plettenberg Bay. Guided by the owner, we circled part of the property learning about the land and the animals who live here. We didn’t spot a single giraffe, however we watched as horses, impala, bontebok, wildebeest roamed around. Amongst the many interesting wildlife facts shared, I discovered that termites in fact produce most of the world’s methane gas and not cows or zebra as many people imagine.
Contact Giraffe View Safari camp for a guided walk and/or stay on their property. Wear good shoes and take water and a hat. During the Walking Festival this walk cost R150 per person. Price and walk may differ outside of the festival. More info on the Guided Game Walk.
Karlander Kloof Circle
From the Karlander Kloof picnic spot I was told there are steep drops to gorgeous valley and beach ( the opposite side) below. As we had only signed up for easy walks, this had me a bit worried. But as soon as arrived and met our small party of walkers and our knowledgable guide, Kellyn from the Nature’s Valley Trust, she put us at ease and let us know that we would only be doing a fynbos walk in a circle on the top and not down the mountain.
This was a truly lovely walk to do with a toddler and those not keen on anything strenuous as Kellyn frequently stopped to chat about the various kinds of fynbos especially the main ones of proteas, ericas and restios occurring in South Africa and this region in particular. We stopped to smell, feel ( which Caleb loved) and marvel at various flowers, leaves and discover their traditional uses to the native Khoi San people. It’s true that nature produces the best patterns and colours which humans are often unable to replicate.
We were well rewarded at the end of the trail when we reached the viewpoint over Nature’s Valley Beach far below and cascading mountains to our left.
I would really recommend getting in touch with Kellyn from Nature’s Valley Trust to arrange a fynbos walk of this area as you’ll encounter abounding natural beauty and knowledge of our local fauna and flora, most of which isn’t found outside the Cape Floral Kingdom.
During the festival this walk was free. Here’s more information about the walk: Karlander Kloof Circle.
Kid’s Coastal Pirate Walk
For families joining the Walking Festival this was an absolute highlight on Easter Sunday. Children and adults arrived in their private gear excited to trail along the otherwise deserted Keurboomstrand. This is a long beach with separate section separated only by rocks and sometimes fresh water lagoon water. From one beach to the next kids followed the private leader and his flag stopping at regular intervals for easter egg hunts and songs. Together everyone stood in circles singing the pirate song and digging in the sand for apples and easter eggs.
While Caleb was not really interested in wearing his pirate hat or eye patch, he loved taking in the beach walk action on his dad’s shoulders and joining in the dig at designated points. So if you have kids, don’t miss this walk come the next festival. Outside of the festival, I would encourage you to visit Keuboomstrand anyways. Park at the parking lot at Enrico’s restaurant and choose a little alcove of your choice. On a glorious day, this beach is true perfection set with rock pools, shallow streams of fresh water leading to the ocean and lots of sand to tan and play on.
During the festival this walk was free. See what the walk was about: Kids coastal Pirate Walk.