In the gorge with Kloof Conservancy

2016-04-19 06:00

THIS month we review the Molweni Trail (yellow) which gives you an exceptional view on all aspects of Krantzkloof, from stunning view spots, amazing riverine forest, beautiful waterfalls and open grasslands. We will describe the one way route from Kloof Falls picnic site to the Nkutu picnic site so you will need to make arrangements to be picked up!

Leave the car park at Kloof Falls and head past the dam on the well-marked path. You then come to a number of good view spots on your left from which you can see the main Kloof Falls.

After a short while you arrive at a stunning view spot from where you can observe the Crowned Eagles nest in a forest mahogany next to the Ronald’s Kloof Falls.

100m further on you cross the Ronald’s Kloof Weir and follow the path to your left which takes you down a steep descent to the Molweni River at which point you cross the river and head downstream.

You will now be walking in a dense riverine forest so look out the local cycad, Encephalartos natalensis and the more common Encephalartos villosus or “poormans cycad”. Along the river you will come across sections with massive granite outcrops, boulders and rock pools.

Continue to the second river crossing which takes you to the eastern bank.

The path is now close to the river and in places may be difficult to follow if the river level is high.

Along this section you will come across numerous giant Rauvolfia caffra (Quinine Tree) and the Copper-stemmed Corkwood tree with its characteristic bright green trunk and flaking bronze bark. Continue downstream until you enter an open grassland where you have a good chance to see bushbuck and many butterfly species.

The path re-enters the forest and you cross the Uve Stream before reaching a popular picnic spot at the Splash Rock. Cross the river for the last time and head up The Wall – this is a very tough 350m steep climb.

From October to January in this section you will see many specimens of Streptocarpus prolixus, one of five species of Streptocarpus found in the reserve. Once at the top follow the path to the right which takes you to the Nkutu Picnic Site.

Difficulty: this is a strenuous walk, allow four hours at moderate pace

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

Safety: take extra care when walking on rocky paths and wet-rocks.

This walk entails crossing one weir and four river crossings. The river is safe for swimming, but not for drinking.

- Paolo Candotti.

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