KLOOF HIKE -  2½ to 3 Hours

This is mainly a scenic hike with extensive panoramic views, but a number of wild flowers and shrubs will be apparent depending upon the time of year.  It can be done in either a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction.

 CLOCKWISE:- From Information Centre walk up Main Str, turn right into Van Reenen Str, then turn into le Roux Str.  Continue to the end of le Roux Str and at Hill Str turn right, through the gate at the bottom (ignore the gate where le Roux Str runs into Hill Str) and pick up the white marker.

Cross over the dam wall and at the end follow the white marker’s direction to the right.   When you reach the fir trees pick up the signboard indicating right and follow the white painted arrows through the kloof with sandstone cliffs to your left. (*3)

The route traverses along the contour above the sandstone (*2) and finally descends through the sandstone cliffs (*1) overlooking the tennis courts and into Berg Str.

 *1. Tarchonanthus camphoratus (camphor bush, Vaalbos No. 733)

Walking up (or down) the path through the sandstone cliffs you will pass several small grey trees with distinct camphor scented leaves, reputed to have medicinal properties.  A splinter which breaks the skin is very poisonous causing septic sores difficult to heal.

 *1.   Buddleia Salviifolia (wild sage No. 637)

Do not confuse camphor bush with buddleia, which grows up to 8 meters.  Bark is reddish brown; it has rough dark green-grey leaves with whitish hairs below.  A decoction of the roots is said to provide a remedy for coughs and for the relief of colic.  It has tough wood used for assegai shafts and also for fishing rods.

 *2. Buchenroedera latononoides (grey leaf bush - grysblaarbos)

Frequently seen alongside the path above the sandstone.  Grey leaf bush is a member of the pea family.  It is a shrub about 1/2 meter high with bluish green silky leaves, and has abundant small blue pea-shaped flowers blooming during December and January.  Being a legume it enriches the soil.

 *3. Euclea Crispa (Blue or bush gwarrie No. 594)

Descending towards the kloof you pass a very good specimen of blue gwarrie.  It has hard dark wood used for rough work, while the bark and fruits are said to produce and effective purgative.

SCILLIA WALK -  1½ to 2 Hours
(Named after the plant “Scillia Natelensis” (Blue quill or Blouberglellie. (*1)

From Mac’s Superette , walk down van Zyl Str towards the mountain and where Berg Str commences you will see the yellow marker pointing to the left (South).  Follow the yellow markers through Ouhout bush until  you come to le Roux Str.  Walk up le Roux Str and at the end of Hill Str you will find another marker at the gate.  Go through this gate and walk up the track to waterworks turn left and then right.   Continue to follow the yellow markers around the “Horse paddock”. (*2)

The path crosses the stream (*3) (sometimes dry) and takes a U turn back towards Clarens.   Markers and yellow arrows painted on Sandstone indicate a route to a ridge near watertanks (*4) where there is a marker pointing top the left.  Continue diagonally downwards, aiming for the green roof in main Str, following painted arrows and markers, until you reach the gate at the top of main Str, walk a short distance down Main Str, then turn left into Collette Str, with the school on your right.

Again follow the yellow markers to the right down the meadow, pass a house in your right until you reach van Reenen Str and continue following the markers back to van Zyl Str. 

*1. Scilla natalensis (Blue quill, Blouberglelie)

Flowers mainly in October and lasts for about a month.  You will see them clinging to the sandstone cliffs with large partly exposed bulbs and broad tapering leaves, from which the long blue or mauve quill-like flowers emerge.  Poisonous to stock, while the bulbs are used by Africans as an aperient and for soapmaking.

*2. Lassiosiphon SP. (Possibly capitatus or polyanthus) (Gifbossie)

As you walk through the horse paddock you will see these shrubby plants up to a meter high with masses of brilliant yellow flowers and reddish stems.  They flower in winter and continue into spring.  They have a characteristic fragrance in the evening.   Poisonous to stock.  Africans are said to use the plant for wounds and bruises as well as for snake bite.  Closely to Gnidia species.

*3. Aloe Maculata (Saponaria - common soap aloe or Bontalwyn)

When you cross the stream it is worth while walking up towards the kloof at the head of the stream to see masses of Aloe Maculata with their salmon pink to orange flowers from about August to November.  Leaves are broad, light to dark green spotted above with brown horny teeth.  Very resistant to fire.  Said to be used for ringworm and other medical purposes.  Basotho plant them as a charm against lightening.

*4.   Here there are magnificent panoramic views of distant Maluti Mountains.  Note also the rings of various sizes eaten into the sandstone by lichens, a dual plant consisting of a fungus growing in intimate association with an algae from which it obtains nutrition . They look like little black spots and thier action helps to break down sandstone in a soil producing process over a long  period.

 There are numerous other wild plants flowering at different times of the year including Erica, gnidia, satyriums, cyperus, gazania, orchids and others.