Overberg region of the Western Cape
Elgin Valley in the Western Cape
Langebaan, Western Cape
Three days of slackpacking
Reasons to walk the Blue Mountain Trail
Fynbos is a distinctive heathland unique to the Western Cape of South Africa. It is both the smallest and the richest floral kingdom in the world, with an extraordinarily high number of it’s plant species found nowhere else. The Green Mountain Trail takes hikers through exclusive areas within the Kogerlberg Biosphere, a 100,000 hectare area within the Fynbos which is the world Hot Spot for plant diversity and is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are several endemics, among them the Marsh Rose (Orothamnus zeyheri), the Silver Pagoda (Mimetes hottentoticus) and the critically endangered Mace Pagoda (Mimetes stockoei).
All the farms we visit are family owned and each has its own story. WILDEKRANS COUNTRY HOUSE is a historic 1811 homestead with a rambling country garden. Home to a private collection of South African contemporary art and antique furniture, the atmosphere is relaxed, quirky and ancient, all rolled into one. View more details on Wildekrans Country House Farms also include Southhill Vineyards, Iona and Almenkirk.
Southhill Vineyards – A huge passion for wine, prompted the King family to create this contemporary, accessible, boutique wine farm. Hikers stop here to experience the pristine vineyards, an art gallery of continually changing local art; taste cool climate wines and bistro country style meals.
IONA – Hikers are treated to a visit to IONA at the end of the third day’s hike.The philosophy at Iona is to make wine that expresses the soils and climate as closely as possible, making use of sustainable farming methods and to maximise the use of natural products in farming and winemaking. Everything is done in-house. From the vineyard to the wine distribution, for Andrew and Rozy Gunn, Iona is the sole source of their focus, passion and great joy.
Almenkerk Wine Estate – The Blue Muntain Trail ends with a lunch at a small, family-owned wine estate, Almenkirk.The estate is owned by the Belgian/Dutch van Almenkerk family and run by Natalie and Joris van Almenkerk. Whilst Joris has fun making award-winning wines, Natalie is in charge of sales and marketing, PR and admin. Patriarch, Joep, helps out with sales, frequent wine tastings and as a mentor on the business side.
The combination of fresh air and hiking never fails to build an appetite. The diversity of the area is also appreciated by the palate where the food and wines enjoyed by hikers reflect the differences in soils and rainfall. Feedback from hikers describes the food as: ‘a veritable feast’ and ‘it’s as much a gourmet experience as it is a hike’. The cuisine is seasonal and fresh, produced on many of the participant farms. Olives, brinjals, asparagus, apples, pears, plums and peaches are just a few of the locally grown ingredients that find their way onto the dinner plates of Green Mountain Trail hikers. Hikers frequently ask for the recipes of the dishes served on the trail so we figure we’re on the right track! Some of the favourites are: melanzane, slow-cooked lamb shanks, fresh herbed fish poached in Sauvignon blanc, and berry pavlova.
On the higher reaches of the trail hikers may catch sight of klipspringers, standing like sentinels against the sky. Nesting Verreaux’s eagles are another special sighting for the area. Duiker and Grysbok may be seen on the lower mountain slopes while secretive Mountain Leopard and Caracal slip by unseen or by night leaving their tracks along the trail. With over 200 species of birds sighted in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, the hiker can expect to be rewarded with the endemic Orange Breasted Sunbird and Cape Sugarbird and on the farmlands below the regal Blue Cranes are often seen striding through the fields or giving their melodic trumpeting call as they soar gracefully above the horizon.
What people say about the Blue Mountain Trail
My friend and I joined the blue mountain trail in early March. I was coming from overseas so we decided to join an organized hike to save time and effort on planning and administration.
Not only were we treated to a beautiful hike, but also to incredible accommodation, food, wine tastings, a fantastic group of people and expert guides.
Overall it was a fantastic experience and I would highly recommend the trail to anyone looking to enjoy the Cape outdoors but with limited time to plan the route, food and accommodation.
A memorable mix of educational exercise, fabulous fynbos, beautiful breakfasts, lovely lunches, delicious dinners, and lovely lodging.
Our Lead Guide, the awesome Andreas, and his knowledgeable assistant Nancy, along with Alison’s excellent organisation, made this three-day hike an unforgettable experience.
The Green Mountain Trail was a great way to see four different areas around the Elgin Valley. Jeffrey and Patrick were very knowledgeable guides and their information about the area as well as plants and insects was amazing. Going through the different areas of fynbos and learning about the effects of fires on them,was great. The first day was long and strenuous in parts but beautiful.The following days were thankfully shorter! Definitely recommended.
Whether you are looking to hook up with another group to take one of our lovey hikes or just looking for a relaxing getaway, Green Mountain can cater to your every need. Click the button below to make a booking.