Report by: Christie Exall. Photos courtesy: Sven Jager

Mt Gilboa summit, Sven, Christie, Neville, Kevin

Our leader took us four hikers on a “wild goose chase” through the indigenous forest leading up to Mount Gilboa. Not intentional of course!!

Five of us Kevin, John, Neville, Sven and myself set off from the Bushwillow camp site, in the Kranzkloof area at 08h30 on Saturday morning.

We climbed steeply and steadily for about one hour. We reached a level area, which was extremely overgrown. We saw only two old markers on the trees, we tried to find a path but to no avail. By now getting ourselves totally entangled in Stinging Nettles. The men amongst men could not endure the pain and started to cry out! “Oh” and “ouch” was the order of the day, me shouting the loudest! Now some suntan lotion and hand cream came to the rescue and it worked, it was instant relief! Our leader decided that we should retreat, so after losing a lot of elevation we back tracked to the Waterfall path. Walking along this path was soothing, cool and silent. Soon we reached the top of the forest and the grasslands. Then on to the waterfall, cascading over the shear 200m rock face. What an impressive sight. Here we enjoyed half of our lunch.

Much to my dismay our leader decided to ascend Mount Gilboa and the beacon, straight up-and-down. Somehow it was accomplished and the other half of our lunch was enjoyed near the beacon on top of the mountain. We descended after a good rest amongst a lot of banter and laughter. Straight down off course…sigh!!

Our leader learnt a lesson in “not following his fellow hikers”! We were at a vantage point to notice Kevin taking a course through thick bracken. At times only his hat was to be seen. He was bleeding once he came out of the bracken but we showed no sympathy. We had a wonderful time just watching him getting himself deeper and deeper into bracken.

A tranquil descent through the cool forest saw us back at the Bushwillow camp. By now transformed into a hive of activity, it being Durban Backpackers annual fun camping weekend. I for one met up with a couple of familiar faces. After whiling the time away on the cool grass, it was time to go our separate ways.

Thanks you guys for making me so welcome on this super hike.

Christie Exall

Mt Gilboa summit

Mt Gilboa nearly there

Mt Gilboa nearly there

Mt Gilboa , Sven, ¾ of the way up!

Mt Gilboa summit,view from towards the south

Mt Gilboa view from

Mt Gilboa at the waterfall

Mt Gilboa at the waterfall on the escarpment

Overlooking the waterfall Mt Gilboa group, John, Neville, Christie , Kevin