In the gorge with conservancy

2016-09-20 06:00

THIS month we walk the forest (white) trail, a one-way route so you need to make arrangements to be picked up at your end point. The trail is best started at the Nkutu Picnic Site on Valley Drive, Forest Hills.

As you leave the picnic site you immediately enter the grasslands on the south side to the Nkutu Gorge, which is a pleasant section with birding opportunities and good chances of spotting Fish Eagles.
After 1,5km take the right turn and head south and then you cross the iNgloube (Bushpig) Stream – here you are likely to see the tiny herd of Burcell’s Zebra with a recently born foal. Just after crossing the stream there is a path to the right which takes you to a magnificent view spot overlooking the main gorge.

Continue on the trail and you soon enter a scarp forest with the trail negotiating its way along the edge of the western gorge. The forest here has a wide range of plant species so look out for the many cycads, dracaena’s, streptocarpus, plectranthus etc., but also look for the small and rare Haemanthus deformis with its lush round leaves and a beautiful paint-brush like flower or bright orange seedpods.

After approximately four kilometres you arrive at one of the wonders of Krantzkloof Nature Reserve, the Nkonka Crack – this is a deep dyke in the sandstone cliff and the trail negotiates its way down the “crack” after which you arrive at the Nkonka Falls.
A steep climb after the falls takes you to the grasslands near Watsonia Place followed by your most dangerous event of the day – the crossing of Bridle Road! After you have crossed Bridle Road the trail winds its way downhill to the Kloof Falls Picnic Site, which is the end of the trail.

Difficulty: allow four hours (one way). This trail is moderately difficulty with very uneven terrain in parts and some steep descents and ascents.

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

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