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Hiking in the Katberg, Winterberg Mountains, Eastern Cape

Several half day hikes and gentle 1 -2 hour walks start from the Katberg Forest Station and the Katberg Hotel, as does a 2 day trail and the 3 day 40km day Katberg Hiking Trail. Both leave from the Katberg Protea Hotel and Mountain Spa, situated in the Winterberg Mountains of the Eastern Cape Amatola Region.

The Katberg area is studded with plantations, citrus and lucerne farms. Other than in deep ravines, along the Katberg Pass and in the Katberg State Forest, there is not a whole lot of the indigenous forest left in this area, and open patches of grassland on the summits are interspersed by valleys of pine trees and various other exotics such as American Redwood. The trail routes are probably the best way to enjoy the indigenous forest, though they move through all terrains. The trails also feature mountain streams and waterfalls.

The Katberg is a tranquil and remote area with spectacular mountain scenery and a sense of vast space.

These trails are easier (not to mention shorter) than the Amatola Trail, but overnight accommodation is a mountain hut and once again – you need to take everything, including bedding, and the up-and-down nature of the trails can make them strenuous – particularly for the unfit. Temperatures can veer between hot and chilly, and it can get very cold at night.

For more info and to book: at the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry – DWAF.

Getting there: The Katberg Protea Hotel is situated near Fort Beaufort. Take the R67 north from Grahamstown to Fort Beaufort. From Fort Beaufort take the R351, following the signs for the Katberg Protea Hotel, about 12km out of town.

More info on the town of Katberg More info on the Amatola Region

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