South Africa's Eastern Cape

Walking Hogsback

Hogsback is a tiny village in the mountains of the Eastern Cape, known for its distinctive magical quality. In fact, many restaurants, guesthouses providing accommodation in Hogsback and homes are littered with artwork of fairies, dragons and other mystical creatures, giving the entire area a somewhat ethereal quality.

 

Set amongst the mountains, forests and deep valleys of the inland, Hogsback offers spectacular views at just about every turn. These are best enjoyed on walks and hikes through the surrounding countryside. Breathe in the fresh, crisp air and cool down in one of the mountain streams or waterfalls, while immersing yourself in the unspoilt tranquillity and beauty of this scenic escape.

 

There are a number of defined trails in and around the village of Hogsback. Some of the most popular include …

 

Hogsback Trails

 

Military Path

 

Taking only about 40 minutes to complete, this is an easy walk that extends from Red Coat Lane and into the forests. It is about two kilometres long, and was once used by the British soldiers as they made their ways between Fort Hare and Fort Michel. Hangman’s Tree is a popular feature along Red Coat Lane, and is rumoured to have been used for any soldiers trying to desert their mission.

 

The Bluff

 

This trail is a firm favourite amongst those that love the flowers and natural vegetation of the Eastern Cape. As you follow the path around The Bluff, the proteas, Watsonias and Satyrium orchids delight the senses (specific flowers depending on the time of year, of course). This walk takes about 45 minutes to complete and is easy to manage.

 

Madonna and Child Falls

 

This is an extremely popular attraction, promising magnificent views and very rewarding walk. The outcrop on the face of the waterfalls has a feature resembling the famous piece of art entitled “Mother and Child”, which is also rather fun to see. The walk features a relatively steep downhill from Wolf Ridge Road, and then a scenic portion through the forest. If accessed from the Main Road, the walk is longer, but the downhill is avoided.

 

Kettlespout Falls

 

For a fantastic display of the power of water, the walk down to Kettlespout Falls is a must. The water of these falls is known to create magnificent sprays, sometimes reaching impressive heights of up to five metres.

 

When going on a hike in Hogsback, as with any other destination, it is important that you wear comfortable shoes, apply plenty of high-factor sunscreen, keep hydrated and carry a mobile phone so that you are able to call someone if you find yourself in a precarious situation. Winters become very cold in this part of the world, with snowfall around July.

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