In the gorge - the Longshadow trail

2016-10-11 06:00


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THIS month we feature one of the easier trails in Krantzkloof, but which is a delight particularly for tree lovers.

Start at the Kloof Falls Picnic site and cross Kloof Falls Road and follow the Blue signs into the forest along the Molweni River. After approximately 500m you come to a split in the path and you take the clearly marked Longshadow Trail to the right. The path meanders along the Molweni through dense riverine forest with many very large and impressive Quinine Trees (Rauvolfia caffra) with their characteristic yellow-green bark.
Here you will also find many cycads (mainly Encephalartos villosus) and many Forest Toad trees (Tabernaemontana ventricosa), which look stunning on the tree but also leave a carpet of beautiful star-like scented flowers on the ground The fruits are large and always found in pairs.
On splitting, the fruits reveal the bright orange pulp and dark seeds, representing a grinning toad. Close to the river you will also find the only large tree ferns found in our area, King Ferns (Todea barbara) and the beautiful and endemic Streptocarpus molweniensis which you can admire for the flower or the large intricate leaves.

The path continues for approximately one kilometre and crosses the Molweni on a rustic wooden bridge. Continue on this path until you arrive at a sign indicating the border of the reserve. At this point you cross the stream and follow the path to the iNgungubane (Porcupine) Falls which are on a tributary of the Molweni. The trail ends there and you need to retrace your steps back to the picnic site.

This is an easy flat walk suitable for all ages although the path is rough in parts. Distance is approximately three kilometres return and you should allow 1,5hrs

Security: walking in the reserve is safe – normal precautions apply when walking in isolated areas.

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