25 – 26 February 2012
Report & Photos courtesy of Dave Sclanders
Kamberg is one of the places in the berg that I do a lot of hiking. It is fairly easy terrain, with many wonderfull views of the farmlands far below , and the great Southern Berg and Central Berg to our west.
Our group of 11 set off on a great sunny morning to head up around and past Gladstone’s Nose to the hidden areas of the Kamberg plateau. The views of the Giants Castle on the horizon , and the great green Kamberg valley below us were really great. The first bit of a hill climb was up towards Gladstone’s Nose
Rounding a corner a group of 5 Eland thundered past us. The sight of wild Eland running across the uneven mountain is really a sight not to forget. The sight of these great animals running free is truly breathtaking.
After a bit of a brake for a breather, d to admire the view of the hills and valleys around us we set off again to follow the Eland tracks that would lead us on towards our final destination. We were now well and truly in the “footsteps of the Eland”
The going was getting harder as it became more and more difficult to find the path through the thick grass. In places we had to push through some dense stream vegetation where the path had overgrown completely.
We eventually reached our lunch stop , the sun was hot and we were feeling a little stressed . The stop in the hot sun was not the most pleasant experience of the day. However some still managed to have a few quiet moments on the hot rock.
After quite a few stops due to some cramping, and the heat, we reached the cave, packs unpacked, tea brewed, and a few headed into the nearby cliffs to get fresh running water from a spring that rises high above the cave.
On the way back to the cave, high on the skyline we saw some uninvited people traversing the mountain top with their illegal goods of trade.
Then it was back to our night spot, tents and caves spots were finally sorted , supper had, and then to sleep in the fresh open air of the mountain, wafting around your head.
Next morning broke with a beautiful sunrise over the Kamberg valley.
There can be no better feeling than walking through the great mountain spaces and enjoying a view that starts at your feet, and runs uninterrupted for as far as one can see. Far away is the great Drakensberg range with big white clouds billowing high in the sky. At times the mountains look so close, then you round a hill , and great plains spread out before you , pushing the mountains ever far away. What a privilege to be in a place like this.
From the high plateau we dropped down and down to the valley bottom , where a little later we came to our lunch place.
It is amazing what one can see in the mountains, here, from behind the waterfall a fresh, strong water hiker greeted us with open arms. A great place for lunch !
Our last stop on the way home was “Waterfall Shelter”, where legend has it that the water from this waterfall has magic and restorative powers. We certainly need that now , the last stretch home is always the longest and hardest. For one of our party especially this was very true. Her boots had caused a massive blister on the sole of her foot , so much so that it was deemed not fit to show here – in case it put others off hiking. How she managed to walk with her feet in such a bad state was truly remarkable, and a testimony to her grit and endurance.
(Ed. To see this area in another light visit Dave's website at www.bergfree.co.za and go to Newsletter 120 and Newsletter 36.