I have been fortunate to play in the snow with my kids but have never hiked in snow so this was truly a magical weekend. What makes it more special is that you must book in advance and hope that you picked the right weekend for snow! Thank’s to Marinda for making the booking and convincing us to do the hike with her. 🙂
A bit about the Silhouette Hiking Trail and Farm Holidays in Sutherland (Roggeveld, Great Karoo in the Northern Cape.)
You will see beautiful dolorite rock formations and I am sure in spring it will have beautiful floras and fauna. We found plenty of footprints and were told there are plenty of dassies, jackal, various cats, antelope, porcupines, hares, baboon, tortoises but it was just too cold for them to show themselves to us. 🙂 There are several routes from which to choose, but we did the Two-day Hike: (13-km and 9-km).
We arrived a bit late on the Friday night because our driver still had to work in the morning but we go to see a beautiful sunset along the long Karoo Road we drove instead of sticking to the main roads.
We made our dinner and were in bed nice and early due to the cold already setting in.
Day 1 of the Silhouette Hiking Trail
The 1st of the group was up at 6.45, so we all got up to walk around and watch the sun coming up over the frosty landscape. It was a rather chilly start to our day.
We stayed in the two overnight huts (that can accommodate 11 each) but I think 6 was just perfect in our case as I don’t like being cramped in. The 1st hut has a Queen Anne Stove to warm up the hut a bit. It also has a small gas burner and a fridge. Both huts have a toilet and shower. The 1st hut has a gash shower but not the 2nd. Keep in mind that in winder the water freezes up in the taps in winter, so make sure to fill a bottle or 2 for your morning coffee. Both huts also have braai facilities and braai-wood is available.
All packed and ready for our 1st day hike in a rather cold and chilly wind…
You get a so called map from the farmer and that tells you what to look out for at the different viewpoints. e.g. The observatory on the Southern horizon; The radar tower to the South West; The dolerite desert; Were to stop for lunch… The path is very well marked with yellow footprints all along the way.
Our lunch spot. It’s hard to believe you can there would be water here.
From here it’s a fairly long (slightly up) path until you reach the chimney where you do a bit of scrambling (optional); Lot’s wife and through a deep river valley with scattered pools where we also did a bit of bush scrambling…
And just over the hill is our hut for the night, set in a beautiful Poplar forest.
Mike made us a lovely fire were we relaxed, had a drink (sherry to warm the body), prepared our hiking dinner and climbed into bed nice and early due to the cold. I don’t think any of us slept very well. We had a mouse running around the kitchen, on our beds (very brave little bugger) and the wind and rain came in during the early hours of the morning.
Waking up to snow is so special I decided to split this hike into 2 separate days… click here for day two’s snow hike back to our starting point.
Contact Rudolf and Sunette Steenkamp for bookings on +27 83256 2688 – Please let them know you got the details on my blog.