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Activities

VANWYKSDORP - DIE OOG TOURS (THE "EYE" SPRING) - Klein Karoo's Best kept secret ON ROUTE 62

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HIKING TRAILS AND MOUNTAIN BIKES

The Vanwyksdorp Nature Hiking Trails range from easy strolls to challenging climbs with panoramic views of mountain ranges and vistas.  Each hiking trail  is unique and representative of the distinct natural fynbos and succulent Karoo regions the Western Cape has to offer. 

The variety of trails provides a chance to intimately explore the complex protected fynbos environment.  Help Cape Nature protect this significant landscape. Remember that you are hiking in a protected wilderness environment. Leave nature in its place.  Hikers often seek beautiful natural environments in which to hike.

These environments are often fragile: hikers may accidentally destroy the environment that they enjoy.  While the action of an individual may not strongly affect the environment, the mass effect of a large number of hikers can degrade the environment. For example, gathering wood in a fynbos area to start a fire may be harmless once (except for wildfire risk). Years of gathering wood, however, can strip a fynbos area of valuable nutrients.

Generally, protected areas such as Cape Nature Reserves have regulations in place to protect the environment. If hikers follow such regulations, their impact can be minimized. Such regulations include forbidding wood fires, restricting camping to established camp sites, disposing or packing out faecal matter, imposing a quota on the number of hikers per kilo meter. Many hikers support the philosophy of Leaving No Trace: hiking in such a way that future hikers cannot detect the presence of previous hikers. Followers of this practice follow strict practices on dealing with food waste, food packaging, and alterations to the surrounding environment.

What to take with you on your hiking trip : ·       

Daypack · 

Water – min 2l for a half day hike ·       

Comfortable hiking boots or walking shoes ·

Sunscreen ·       

Warm gear; including wind and water-proof outer layers ·     

Sunhat/cap & sunglasses ·       

camera, Cellphone ·       

Snacks – hiking makes you hungry. Low GI energy snacks are recommended

MOUNTAIN BIKING ROUTES

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Slanggat  - 15km

The first 2,5km are relatively easy through Karooveld passing through 4 gates and climbing from about 420m to about 500m above sealevel.  The actual climb starts after this when the route climbs about 540m in the next 2 km to reach a high spot above the Buffelspoort Canyon from where one  has a fantastic view over the canyon.  From there the road drops about 100m to a turnabout point about 2km further.  The same route is taken back.  This is the most difficult route.

Buffelspoort Gorge - 20km

The route follows the river through the gorge (the same as the Rubicon 4x4 route). There are no steep inclines or declines.   The river is crossed many times and in some spots bikes will have to be pushed or carried.   A lot of acacias occur - sweetthorn as well as Thribulus - so be prepared for punctures.  Overnight under the stars and swim in the river.  

Overschot - 32km

This route is a long climb up the eastern escarpmen of the Poort.   It follows a well-defined 4x4 route. During the first 8km the trail climbs about 600m, after 9km the road turns east into the mountain and follows the summit of the mountain for about 7km before turning around.  Camping is possible on route. Fresh drinking water should be taken along on both mountain routes.

Waterkloof

This route tackles the typical Karoo koppies which could be steep in some places, but only for 100 - 500m sections. The route follows the foot of the Klein Swartberg mountain and covers a few narrow ravines, swimming dam and a hike of about 30m to a waterfall at the turnabout point.  The route is extremely rocky with a few sandy patches. 

Die Eike - 15km  4x4 route

A well-defined 4x4 route taking  3 - 4 hours through a 3600 ha game enclosure with breathtaking views of the surrounding Klein Karoo area. It has been graded as 2 -3 and time depends on the number of stops along the way.  The area is covered with succulent Karoo vegetation and during spring an abundance of wild flowers can be seen.   Eight different game species roam freely in the camp and in the late afternoon there is abundant birdlife at the dams.  The route can be tackled by serious hikers as well.  There is one picnic area with water at this stage and more waterstops are being planned

Courtesy of Ladismith Tourism - www.ladismith.org.za

 


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