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Tsitsikamma Hiking Trail

The Tsitsikamma Hiking Trail extends from Nature's Valley in the west to Storms River in the east but instead of going along the coast as is the case with the Otter Trail, it goes inland passing through the Tsitsikammaberge. The hike has a good mix of forest and fynbos and passes through some beautiful mountain scenery and across (when we did it) roaring streams. From an environmental point of view, the  invasive pine and hakea that are scattered through the fynbos are a cause for concern.  

The full route for the Tsitsikamma Trail is as follows: 

  1. Day 1. Kalander Hut (in Nature's Valley) to Blaawkrantz Hut
  2. Day 2. Blaawkrantz Hut to Keurbos Hut
  3. Day 3. Keurbos Hut to Heuningbos Hut 
  4. Day 4. Heuningbos Hut to Sleepkloof Hut
  5. Day 5. Sleepkloof Hut to Storms River mouth.

The photographs below were taken on a trip we undertook in January 2005. We took an abreviated route, which was as follows:

  1. Day 1. Travelled from Cape Town to Bloukrans Forest Station. Drove on to the parking area at Boskor, parked one of the cars, and drove back in the other.  In the late afternoon hiked from Bloukrans Forest Station to Blaawkrantz Hut.
  2. Day 2. Spent the whole day at Bloukrantz Hut, enjoying the view, the waterfall and the pools.
  3. Day 3. Blaawkrantz Hut to Keurbos Hut.
  4. Day 4. Keurbos Hut to Heuningbos Hut.
  5. Day 5. A short hike from Heuningbos Hut to the National Road near Boskor. Drove back to Bloukrans Forest Station in the car parked at Boskor (had to do this twice). Then travelled back to Cape Town. 

See waypoints (latitude, longitude, elevation) along the trail.

Besides the general scenery photographs below, see the plants, lichens, fungi and insects we enountered. 

 

Blaawkrantz Forest Station to Blaaukrantz Hut

This is not actually part of  Tsitsikamma Trail, which in fact starts from Nature's Valley, but it is a useful quick route to the Blaawkrantz Hut.

Hiking through indigenous forest shortly after leaving Bloukrans Forest station.

Bloukransrivier Bridge

Looking back to the Bloukransrivier bridge, with pine in the foreground. From this bridge you can plunge down on the longest bungi jump in the world.

Blaawkrantz Hut

Beautiful view. A short, steep walk takes you down to the stream in the valley where there is a beautiful waterfall with pool at its base.  

Blaawkrantz Hut
Blaawkrantz Hut

L - R: kitchen, sleeping hut, toilets

Kitchen

Blaawkrantz Hut

View from the balcony

View into the valley with waterfall.

Waterfall in the valley.

Stream in the valley with hut in background. 

At the bottom of the valley looking up to the hut with Erica diaphana in the foreground.

Blaawkrantz Hut to Keurbos Hut

Looking north up the Bloukransrivier valley - the trail keeps to the left of the river for a long while, bypassing the steep gorge.

After passing through Buffelsbos, the trail eventually comes down to beside the Bloukransrivier - we had a short break here before walking a short way up the river to where the trail crosses at rapids.

Crossing the Bloukransrivier with a chain provided for support.

After a steep climb out of the Bloukransrivier, the trail more-or-less levels off along the c460 m contour and proceeds a long way going east, passing through fynbos. 

Keurbos Hut
Keurbos Hut

After passing through Benebos, and then some more fynbos, one eventually comes to Keurbos and the Keurbos Hut: kitchen in foreground, sleeping hut in middle ground, and ablution facilities in the background.

Keurbos Hut to Heuningbos Hut
Lotteringrivier

Crossing the Lotteringrivier.

Lotteringrivier valley

View looking NW up the Lotteringrivier valley.

Rushes Pass

Nearing the summit of Rushes Pass, looking SW.

Group photograph at the summit of Rushes Pass. L-R: Hamish Robertson, Jurie Conradie, Ina Conradie, Taryn Wyngaard, Carina Conradie, David Robertson and Stefaan Conradie.

Elandsbosrivier valley

View north up the Elandsbosrivier.

 

Elandsbosrivier suspension bridge

Crossing the Elandsbosrivier on the suspension bridge (damaged in recent floods).

Heuningkloof indigenous evergreen forest

One passes through an extensive forest section up Heuningkloof.

Heuningbos Hut
Heuningbos Hut Kitchen at Heuningbos Hut

See the plants, lichens, fungi and insects we encountered. 

Text by Hamish Robertson 


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