Karkloof Fall2Falls Trail
The Karkloof Falls2Falls Trail offers the chance to immerse oneself in the natural splendor of the KZN Midlands. If magnificent waterfalls, spectacular escarpment views and gliding on a zipline through the forest canopy gets your pulse racing, then this hike has just the right combination to test your stamina and sense of adventure. Heading along historical logging paths through the second largest indigenous forest in Southern Africa, this guided hike provides contrasting scenery with new surprises each day. Together with the plentiful birdlife, there is a chance to encounter the rare Samango monkeys and occasional sightings of zebra, giraffe and reedbuck among other mammals. On the third day, we trace the Umgeni Valley escarpment across pristine grasslands showered with wild flowers and shady trees to finish our journey at the legendary 95 meter Howick Falls, known to the Zulu people as KwaNogqaza, meaning "Place of the Tall One".
The trail is located in the Karkloof Valley region of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
The trail is not far off the N3 with Howick being the closest hub. For group bookings, a shuttle can be arranged from Durban or self-drive.
Trip Duration / Options
Option 1: 3 nights / 3 days of hiking
Additional days accommodation and hiking in the area can be arranged.
Start / Finish
Start: Thistledown Country Lodge
GPS: 29˚31'25.82 S / 30˚26'79.82 E
Finish: As above
Daily Time / Distances
Day 1: 10-14 km Day 2: 12 km Day 3: 10-12km
On a grading of grading of Easy-Moderate-Strenuous
This trail should be regarded as moderate with short strenuous sections.
Average fitness required with a few very steep ascents
Technical detail / Terrain
The path varies from well-maintained forest paths to off the beaten track, traversing farmland and grassy plains. There are a few steep sections with longer grass to negotiate at times. The terrain varies between well maintained Yellowwood forest logging paths, terraced bush paths, open grass and farm land
Farm stays & 3-4 Star equivalent B&B's and lodges
Food Supply / Catering
This is a fully catered trail with good quality local country food.
Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks not included, own supply can be transported.
Logistic support / Guiding
This is a fully-catered & vehicle supported trail, sleeping in comfortable BnB and guesthouses accommodation. The trail is guided.
Gliding through the forest on a canopy tour, healthy, local and ethically sourced country cuisine, dramatic views of the Karkloof valley, hidden waterfalls, world class bird hides with a chance to spot rare and special wildlife like the Wattled Crane, Midlands Dwarf chameleon Karkloof blue butterfly and Samango monkey, plenty of viewpoints for picnic lunches.
Birding, wild Flowers Spotting, Horse-Riding, Mountain Biking, Midlands Meander Art and Crafts
Fauna & Flora
This highly endangered and fragmented Mist-Belt grassland and forest region is considered by the World Conservation Union to be part of the 5 rich floral regions in Africa. It boasts a wide selection of special trees and flowers including Lemonwoods, Yellowwoods, Cape Chestnut, Watsonia, Clivias, wild fuchsias, pelargoniums and some endemic orchids. Other resident animals include Samango monkeys, bushbuck, dwarf chameleons, serval, zebra and giraffes.
The relative altitude has a moderating effect on summer temperature with day time temperatures seldom exceeding 30 degrees C. Summer nights can be cool > 15 degrees C. The rainy season is in Summer ( November to February)
Winter days are warm and dry, often above 20 degree C with night temperatures 1-10 Degrees C. Occasionally there is a small scattering of snow in surrounding higher altitude areas.
Seasonality & Best Time Year
All year round. In late Spring and Summer, light mist and drizzle is to be expected. Whilst days are shorter in winter but the weather is more stable and pleasantly warm. Spring & Summer are the best months for wild flowers. March–May and Sept–Nov are particularly good months for hiking. Try avoid months when they burn the grasslands (June to August)
Preferred min of 4 persons – maximum 10 for single group.
Price varies based on group size, but on 8-10 persons : R 5250 /pp
3 Nights Accom (per person sharing basis)
Full Catering: 3 packed/picnic/restaurant lunches for the hike days and 3 dinners and 3 breakfasts at the accommodation
Hiking Guide – an experienced guide to explore the fauna and fauna with you on the trail.
Hiking Permits and land permissions for the 3 hike days
10% donation to local conservation
Travel and health insurance
Own alcoholic and sports drinks
Travel to and from the Trail head
Here you'll find any scheduled trails that you can join. Trails may be booked up to one year in advance, so be sure to scroll ahead using the arrows on the left to find if there are any available. The trail operator page will also list any scheduled trails.
If you would like to enquire about different dates, please fill in the form below. Trails are initiated when someone makes an enquiry, and go ahead once the minimum numbers are confirmed.
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