REPORT & PICS BY: Dave Sclanders

“New Years Eve in A Cave in the Drakensberg”
Highmoor Wildlife Area
31 December 2007
South African Hikers

Spending New Years Evening in a Cave in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Mountains may not be ever ones cup of tea. However for something different, it certainly was a winner this last New Years Eve. The weather was perfect, hot clear days, cool nights, fantastic sunsets and sunrises. The cave not too far from then car park so that extra goodies for the new years eve supper could be well and truly enjoyed.

At the cave was a waterfall, that fell into a nice pool, so one could cool off easily after a days hike. The cave was lit with a multitude of candles at night, giving a “fairy grotto like” atmosphere. Supper was whatever special one had brought with , from steak, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes , to the more exotic spread of fruit , nuts, chips and champagne. Then straight into your sleeping bag, with the waterfall pounding just a stones throw away.

During the 3 days that we spent here we enjoyed walks to explore the area. In the bottom of a long valley was the remains of an old farmstead. Far away from anywhere- no doubt some ones dream of making it rich in the farming world. We found deep splits in the rock band, waterfalls, and and peacefull green valleys.

The sun setting on the farmlands far below us, showed the many farm dams a sparkling jewels in the evening twilight. The early sun rise on the mountains showing wonderfull colours in the clear fresh air, then gradually warming to the more usual colours that the “late comers” to the berg see . The grasslands were a maize of colours, flowers , grasses, sedges – all in brilliant colours and shades.

Not a very high profile noisy, filled experience, but an experience that brought every sense of sight , sound touch, smell and feel to the fore. It is a pity that so many people of today will never experience the basics of nature. We were the privileged ones.

May 2008 be good to you.

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