Wild horses in wetlands

These wild horses (about 23) roam free on about 500 hectares of wetlands near the mouth of the Botriver close to the town of Kleinmond. They are rumored to be descendants of horses hidden in the vlei during the Anglo Boer war (1899 – 1904).  Some say they swam ashore when the Birkenhead sunk in the nearby ocean a long time ago (1852). The truth might be very simple – it could be descendants of farm horses!

 

Free from human intervention, these magnificent creatures have braved the elements for many decades. They roam the flats and river estuary as they please. They fight often and fiercely and are covered in scars. Their bodies have adapted to suit the constant wet surroundings. They play an important role in nature by keeping the clogged waterways open with their paths.

No one looks after them, and most people are totally unaware of them.   I took photos of them over a period of time.  You can easily touch them – they do not shy away.   Remember that they are still wild, strong and very dangerous – so keep at a safe distance. But if you were to go there, please keep them wild – don’t touch or feed them!

Advertisements

Boesmanskloof Trail

Walking gently in a wide ravine, flowers all around you, birds singing and a big blackwater pool to cool down. A Rejuvenating experience!

Boesmanskloof is a one-way hike. Either from Die Galg or from Greyton, depends on which side of the mountain you call home. We hiked to Greyton and back. Boesmanskloof literally means “bush man’s ravine”. The trail is 14km long. I’d grade it as a moderate hike.

Approximately half way through a unique waterfall with a circular plunge pool arises, Oakes Falls. This  is where I photographed the pink disa in Desember. Lots of other fynbos plants can be spotted including the little turkey. We also found several southern rock agamas with their blue scaled heads and tendency to do “push ups” when you stare to long!

P1150769Boesmanskloof is worthwhile!     

Leopard’s Kloof

A ravine forest. Streams the color of black tea.Twisting past yellowwood and hard pear, towers of the forest. The thundering waterfall displays the red disa along the rock face.  

The Harold Porter National Botanical Garden (located in Betty’s Bay, South Africa) features the magnificent Leopard’s Kloof Trail. The garden has a rich diversity of cape fynbos, including the renown marsh rose. Pay it a visit any time!

Leopard’s Kloof is a refreshing 3km walk in a ravine and turns around at a waterfall where the red disa can be spotted in December. The route has a few wooden ladders, but is otherwise quite easy. The forest is full of ancient, endemic trees like the yellowwood, hard pear and cape beech. A couple of waterfalls comes by where (if the sun doesn’t shine) one can take some beautiful long exposure photo’s. Look out for the metallic glint of the sunbirds in the garden and the small cape batis in the forest.

 

 

 

A place to replenish the soul. Make it one of your destinations! 

Genadendal Hiking Trail

Trees and  boulders passing by like wraiths in the mist. A baboon barking somewhere in the distance. Surrounded by a white abyss.

Genadendal is a small town on the Southern side of the Riviersonderend mountain range. It’s home to the first mission station in southern Africa. Genadendal Moravian Mission Station

The hike starts at the old church and takes you 12km over the mountains to the Agterkliphoogte valley.  After a night in the luxurious DeHoek Cottage you start with a tough ascent then a descent to Genadendal. Day two’s distance is 9km.

Spectacular views – on a cloudless day. Beautiful rocks and refreshing streams. We stumbled across old leopard dung, a reassuring taught, and some beatiful fynbos like the green heath.

Money matters. Permits cost R40 per adult per day (CapeNature) and the Cottage cost R150 per person per night (DeHoek farm owner).

Hope you enjoy!

Hike to Hangklip

With the african sun beating down upon us, we ascended Hangklip. What we got on top is an experience hard to describe. For many minutes we gazed at our vast earth.

Hangklip appears to literally be a “hanging” mountain. It’s situated between the costal towns of Betty’s Bay and Pringle Bay, South Africa. One can start at either Betty’s Bay or Pringle Bay. No permits required.

The hike starts easily along Hangklip. Once you start ascending, the slope becomes steep and you’ll be stopping for some periodic rests. Have courage. On top there’s a breathtaking 360′ view. The descent is much more gradual with nice scenery.  I recommend ending your hike at the beach, for Brodie’s Link is the link between the mountains and the ocean. We covered 13km in 5 hours.

The fynbos was healthy when we hiked (in December). We found a blue disa, which I consider a special find. We also heard a troop of baboons and many sunbirds.

Remember your water, sunblock and camera.

Palmiet River Hike

The mountain air is clean and suddenly one feels alive again!

One of my very special places. A pleasant 5km hike along the Palmiet river. Lots of beautiful rock formations and swimming pools along the route to wind down. Various fynbos species thrive along the river. Situated in Kogelberg Nature Reserve which lies between the towns of Kleinmond and Betty’s Bay.  Its accessible via a paved road in excellent condition. A route for the whole family!

Disa species I’ve photographed.

All the different species of disa one can find amazes me. Keep an eye out for these pretty orchids!    

There are still many I wish to find. Keep a look out for the disa in December. Its important to know which disa  you’re looking for, some grow on sandstone slopes while others grow on wet cliffs. A field guide to the fynbos of Southern Africa helps a lot.

I’d like to see your disa photos and where you took them.

Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife and Hiking in South Africa

Ladycations

Stephanie Stohre's Travel Stories

Pete on the Path

Adventures on and off New Zealand's Long Pathway

My Alpine Lakes

An adventure blog

Thru We Go

Kerrie and Ray's thru hikes, packraft loops, and other adventures