Finding activities to do within the Garden Route isn’t a difficult task. We’re actually quite spoilt for choice and have so many on our doorstep. The Half Collared Kingfisher Trail hike is the ideal excuse for a fun day out. It starts off in a shaded, wooded forest area which borders the Touw River overlooking Ebb-and-Flow Rest Camp, Wilderness. We saw plenty of happy campers canoeing, kayaking or swimming.
There are two choices to cross the river; the stepping stones or the pontoon. We chose the stepping stones route as we wanted more of a challenge but, be warned, it has a lot more elevation and requires good balance (make sure you wear the right shoes as grip is important). You also need to be vigilant with your steps. Once we crossed the river on the stepping stones, we were greeted by rainbow-coloured Turacos/Knysna Loeries flying in the lush tree-tops above us. Sadly, I was too slow with my camera to capture them. If you’re a bird or nature enthusiast, bring a pair of binoculars and admire them. You’ll be mesmerized by their colours.
The sound of the rushing water adjacent to the hiking trail reminded me that we were close to the waterfall that waited for us at the end. As we neared it, we encountered deeper, denser woodlands and the original “Wilderness International Park” sign, followed by stairs, wooden walkways and more gorgeous greenery. The picturesque waterfall was the perfect reward for our efforts. It has an area where you can stop, cool off and swim. The Half Collared Kingfisher Trail hike is manageable and oh-so-enjoyable for all ages. On the way back, we shared the pontoon with another couple to cross the river. It was a great end to our trip.
Take your time hiking along the 3.6km trail; appreciate the exquisite surroundings, fill your lungs with much-needed, crisp fresh air and recharge your busy mind. The recommended walking time is 3-4 hours one way.
Hiking essentials and tips (for a day trip):
* Comfortable backpack
* Loose-fitting, comfortable clothing
* A lightweight, long-sleeved jersey
* Hiking shoes with grip
* Bottle(s) of water to keep hydrated
* Lip balm
* Wallet with cash for permit
* Snacks (Granola bars are ideal)
* Multi-tool (such as a Swiss army knife)
* Toilet paper
Contact 044 877 1197 or visit www.sanparks.org for more information.