Hiking in winter is one of our favourite things to do at Bastiaanskloof, it is a beautiful time of the year with many things to do without the heat of the summer sun. One can hike at any time of the day, which also allows for a lie in before heading up into the mountains on one of our trails.
We have two hiking trails on the property, the first is a hike that anyone can do, and takes you up into the mountains with the Bastiaanskloof river flowing along side you, a 2-3 hour round trip.
At this time of year, the mountain sides are purple with the flowering Erica’s and luminously yellow with Leucadendrons (protea species), amongst many other species. The river narrows as you climb higher and mature afromontane trees begin to appear, next to river pools which one can scramble down to.
Recently we discovered two more beautifully swim-able river pools with gorgeous waterfalls near the end of the hiking trail, we can’t wait to come back in summer to dive into them – a great reward after an hour and a half hike. Those brave enough can take a winter plunge!
We packed a picnic of egg and bacon rolls and a flask of coffee and enjoyed an alfresco breakfast next to the waterfalls at the top. No one else in sight and all to ourselves. Splendid Isolation!
This is the aspect of the farm that I love the most, the ability to step out of the front door of India House or the cottages and roam free without fear, surrounded by 2500 hectares of pristine fynbos, rivers and mountains all to yourself – how lucky are we!
Our second hiking trail is the Tallulah trail, named after one of the farm’s Great Danes, sadly no longer with us. This hike is more challenging and takes around 2 hours door to door. Discover Bushman’s cave on the route and see if you can spot the faint traces of the Bushmen paintings. Standing behind the flowing waterfall, which gushes over the cave is definitely a Bastiaanskloof winter experience!
As always, with hiking anywhere in the world it is good to always remember a few basic rules:
- Always let someone know where you are going
- Take water and something to snack on
- Pack something warm to wear
- Leave yourself enough daylight for the whole hike or pack a headlight just in case
Enjoy getting out into nature this winter!