If there is one thing that will keep you busy in the Garden Route of South Africa it will definitely be the hiking. Now I don’t mean pack a backpack and head out for 3 days, no, you simply grab a day pack and head to the forest, rivers, fynbos dunes or beaches. Make sure you stock your pack with ample water, a good sun hat, cozzy, some snacks and sunscreen before you heading out.
One on of my favourite hikes is the Giant Kingfisher Trail. It is situated near the village of Wilderness and is a short and easy half day walk, with its lush greenery and natural beauty it is easily one of the most scenic hikes in the area.
The whole trail meanders along the Touw River and has various views with picnic tables along the way and you can stop at any point to just pop into the river for a quick cool off. But like most peeps I opt for the “head to the waterfall” option.
As you stroll through the indigenous forest look out for the famous Knysna Turaco, there are plenty around and you will hear their harsh call echoing over the tree tops. The tree and plant lovers will find the names of most of the popular plants along the way or you can just soak up the cool green shade it has to offer.
One of the exciting moments of this trail is crossing the river on the pontoon. A good old fashion pull along barge that can fit about 6 people at a time and it never goes without some laughs and giggles as you work your way across the tea stained river.
Keep your eyes peeled for the little blue duiker that feeds along the trail as well as chameleons, butterflies and other creatures that live here. It really is an indigenous paradise for nature lovers.
At the end of the trail is a rocky waterfall with various tiers. Once here you merely work your way to a “rock spot”, shed your clothes and jump in to indulge in the cool river water that the Outeniqua Mountain delivers here.
Spend some time here to explore the scenic views, snack away and let the warm African sun dry you off before heading back on the same track.
On the return hike take a bit of time to look at some of the views and rock formations and remember its not a rush but a gentle journey and you need to enjoy and appreciate the surroundings as there are very few of these unique places left in the world.
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Please Note : This is a SANparks product The Giant Kingfisher Trail