Trail Details

Day 1

Maden Dam - Gwiligwili Hut (11 or 15.3km)

Get an early start from Maden dam as you climb 700m on the first day. If anyone in your party is unfit or the weather is bad take the short cut at the 5km point and save youself 4km of uneven rocky paths. You climb through the Pirie indigenous forest and leave the world behind for 6 days of bliss. You will notice what looks like fresh dog poo everywhere, dont panic, it's digested soil from giant earthworms and they can grow to 1m in length. Gwiligwili Hut is perched on top of a hill with views forever and an excellent separate braai area.

Day 2

Gwiligwili Hut - Dontsa Hut (18 or 19.6km)

This is a relatively easy day as you traverse through indigenous forest the entire distance with the Keiskammahoek valley below. Dontsa hut is in one of the few patches of pine plantation that you will pass through. It is simpler than the other huts but cosy and inviting with a wonderful fireplace and an impressive waterfall below it.

Day 3

Dontsa Hut - Cata Hut (16.8 or 19km)

For the first time you leave the forest behind as the trail ascends to the plateau, where macchia grassland and a myriad of wildflowers grow. Be careful of the waterfall at the 4km point if there has been any rain. You can either summit Doornkop or go through the Hovald forest and then descend through the Waterfall forest or stay on the contour before you reach Cata Hut. Cata hut is very modern with a gas fired hot water geyser and full lapa / braai area.

Day 4

Cata Hut - Mnyameni Hut (13.5km)

The easiest and shortest day starts with a 600m steep ascent to Geju peak(1880m) the highest point reached on the trail. Their is an alternate route which bypasses the peak if it is misty but if not the awesome views are worth the extra sweat. After 8km in the open you begin the steep descent into Mnyameni gorge and the Malan forest. A good day to relax and swim in the many rock pools in Mnyameni gorge as you have more time than the other longer days. Mnyameni Hut, the most isolated hut, has only recently been upgraded to timber frame accommodation.

Day 5

Mnyameni Hut - Zingcuka Hut (18,2 km)

Another tough day with the trail rising and falling 400m. There are many swiiming places on this day so get a really early start to make the most of them. Most of the day is out in the open except the last few kilometers through the dense wolf river forest, so the pools are warmer and more inviting than usual. Zingguca hut is truly special and has a donkey boiler to ease those tired bones.

Day 6

Zingcuka - Tyume River (15 km)

The last day begins with another series of fantastic waterfalls in the Schwarzwald forest before a long ascent of 800m to the main Hogsback peak(1845m) and then descending into the Tyume river basin and the end of the trail. You can easily walk the 3km to Hogsback if thats where you left a car. There is a short cut along the jeep track to tyume river forest station if you cant face another tough day.

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Language Translation

Don't miss these!

An Eastern Cape Trail that CANNOT BE MISSED!

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