Matthew’s Springbok Hike

IMG_0148 (1)

30 September to 7 October

 The Springbok Hike was a great pleasure to do. The Outeniqua Trail was a blast with all of its mountains, streams, rivers, birds, animals, history and views. A total of 108km over great mountains and lush valleys of green over 7 days. Our hiking group was Andrew, Kyle, Aran and myself. We also met a great group of hikers that were friendly.

The first day was quite tough as we started with tough hiking conditions like uphills and heat. However, a cool swim in a river helped us on our way. The huts were of great quality as well with beds, a gathering place with a fire place, bathrooms and showers. The views were amazing.

The second day was a long day with walking up and down valleys to get to the other side. The view was great though with the ocean in sight and the mountain sides were covered in green ferns and vegetation. The hut was in a little forest with the same set up as the other hut.

The third day was a lot easier as it was more flat and there was cloud cover. There were a few river crossings but nothing too serious. We followed a miners route that had signs and boards with the history of the area on them. It started to pour as we just arrived at the hut. The hut is in a little village where you can have a meal if the owner of one of the houses is around. The fire place inside the hut was great to keep warm and dry off.

The fourth day was probably the highlight of the hike when it came to special memories. Since it rained so much the day before, the Knysna River was starting to rise and become stronger. We all got across with the kit staying dry. The water was freezing! We stayed to help the hikers behind us as they had children and elders who might have struggled without help. We tightened the rope and made sure that everyone got across safely. The hut was basic and my dad brought the rest of the supplies for the hike and some delicious grillers.

On day five we hiked to the highest point along the hike on Jonkersberg which was uphill all the way. The view at the top was spectacular as we could see all the mountains and the ocean in the distance. The vegetation was great as well. The rest of the day was downhill and reletavely easy. The hut was in another small village that also had a museum, a tea garden and good food.

Day six was an easy day as the path was flat with a few streams and lots of cover from trees. The paths often came onto grass and dirt roads. We saw a lot of different birds and reptiles and even a snake. Some areas were open for you to see the views. There were a lot of cyclists on the paths. The hut was great with a 360 degree view of the mountains and forests.

The last day of the hike was the easiest as the path was shorter and flatter. The path crossed the highway and over a few bridges. The path went mainly through the forests and there was a lot of cover from the sun. The hut is the largest on the route with a kitchen, lots of rooms, large bathrooms and a large gathering place with tables and a fire place.

The hike as a whole was brilliant and the people I hiked with were also excellent. We had laughs, jokes, talks, falls, groans (Aran – Our Pink Tekkie Award nominee) and a whole lot of memories made. This is one of my most favourite and memorable hikes I have been on.

Matthew Bouwer