Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hikers Paradise- the Penduka Trail

After a week at Ezemvelo I’ve done a fair bit of walking and today I hiked the Penduka Trail. It is spectacular and has been created and maintained by a wonderful group of volunteers called the Friends of Ezemvelo. It’s possible to walk to the Penduka Trail from the main camp in a hour. I took a longer route along the Wilge River trail beginning north of Rhino House. The wildbeste were very close by on this little used trail. This leads to the picnic area at the start of the Penduka Trail. The trail itself took me 2 hours including a break at the Valley View lookout. From there I could look down on the Wilge River (pictured above). It is an exhilarating and delightful spot, very silent except for the sound of the river far below. I was lucky enough to see a large bird on a rock in the river far below with wings outstretched to dry after it had taken a dive in search of fish. My bird watching neigbour at the camp, tells me it was a Darter and is rather rarely seen around here. This is the perfect halfway resting spot on the trail.

On the way back I stopped at the rapids below Raptor Ridge, and found the remains of a small crab – left most likely by an otter. The Cape Clawless Otters are seen along the Wilge River here.
Walking the road back to the camp one can enjoy expansive views of undeveloped land looking to the north east across over 10,000 hectares of nature reserve. Nearing home I was met by a group of horse riders setting out for an afternoon ride. It was long hike and very interesting with a wide range of landscapes and wildlife along the way.

More pictures here...

One hiking family has made a nice website of their hiking weekend at Ezemvelo, including pictures of 2 hikes: the Protea Trail and Day 2 on the Penduka Trail. Click here.

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