I am extremely happy to say that we had a very busy and successful holiday season at Kamberg Valley Hideaway. We had guests right through until the 14th January 2018. So, this week, as it was a little quieter, with just one cottage booked, Bryan and I decided to take a day out exploring another hiking trail at Highmoor Nature Reserve.
We previously did the hike to Vulture's Cave, so this time we decided to try out Caracal Cave. It was a pretty warm day, so we headed out about 7h40am in order to reach the reception at Highmoor Nature Reserve for its opening at 8am.
The first part of the trail is very familiar as it takes you from the reception along the trail to the two trout dams, where Bryan often fly-fishes.
We passed a third dam, on our left, but the majestic Giants Castle Range and the array of wild flowers almost diverted our attention away from this dam (until we saw the reflection), which on a calm morning like it was, was stunning!
Bryan and I both agreed that the scenery on this hike is absolutely stunning and a real treat for the eyes, much more so than the hike to Vulture's Cave.
The trail path continues on and then you come across a fork in the trail. The left hand route takes you to Fulton's Rock and the right hand fort continues to Caracal Cave. The great thing about the trails in Highmoor Nature Reserve is that they are clearly sign posted.
So as we looked down from the top of the hill, we had a split second where we looked at each other as if to say, are we sure about this!?
Then we continued on. We would just face the uphill later! (And boy did we know about it then...)
The scenery continued to be spectacular as we made our way towards the cave.
We fought our way through the bushes and came upon Caracal Cave. It was not as large as Vulture's Cave and there was no waterfall or water pool, but the view was still incredible.
That hill was going to be an absolute killer!
And it was!
We had to have several stops on the way up. I was literally gasping! I know that i am definitely not very fit at the moment, but with the altitude of 2300m, we really did struggle.
We finally made it to the top, had a rest and then continued back along the same trail we had walked up. We were treated to a variety of wildlife and bird life, with a herd of blesbok, a mountain reed buck, what looked like a bush buck in the far distance and a large troop of baboons.
As we came around a bend in the trail, we gasped at the sight of two crowned cranes in the grasses ahead of us. They looked magnificent.
Unfortunately, i only had my short lens with me, but I had a go and managed to capture a couple of mediocre shots.
The same goes for the Widow bird that was flying around flashing his extremely long tail in the hope of attracting a female.
The hike to Caracal Cave is about 10kms. The majority of the walk is very easy, it is just that section of uphill that was not much fun!
The scenery is truly breathtaking and the opportunity to see wildlife and bird life just adds to the thrill of this wonderful trail. We thoroughly enjoyed 90% of the hike!
I would definitely recommend this walk, just be prepared! :-)