Swellendam Hikes, Umshanti Resort

I joined a group of friends for a 5 day, 4 night stay at Umshanti Resort @ Buffeljags Dam, where we did a few waterfall and forest hikes, swam, canoed, SUP’ed, had fun and relaxed. The houses we stayed in are very basic but clean and fully equipped with everything you need for a few days away. The whole place is really beautiful and the family that run the place are very friendly. The highlight for most of us was the huge amounts of birds that fly over the accommodation area for sunrise and again at sunset.

On the Thursday we drove to the Marloth Nature Reserve in Swellendam to do the Duiwelsbos Waterfall Trail. This is a short uphill hike, but you walk past the flowing water under a canopy of leaves all the way up the the stunning waterfall. (Permits are required at the gate unless you have a wild or green card)

I have loaded a short video on my YouTube account so that you can enjoy the waterfall hikes better. This is where the IPhone 7 is super amazing 🙂 

We had a nice lunch break on another part of the Reserve and then had time to visit the Berry Farm, Fairy House in Swellendam or just relax.

On Friday we woke up to the most beautiful view of flat water with reflections of the mountains… After breakfast we took the Riverboat cruise (an on a double-decker barge) to the end of the gorge…

We hiked up to the Waterfall from here, following the trail through the forest. Some of the people stayed at the lower waterfall while a few of us went to the top to swim in the cold water. Watch the video here.

We walked along the forest trail to the barge (about 45 minutes) that was left in the gorge so that we could have our lunch on deck and swim. This day just got better… the water in the gorge was freezing cold but worth the swim down. A must when visiting Umshanti!

We were taken back and because the water was still so flat my friend took me and a few of the others out SUPPING on his 2 boards.

On Saturday it was a bit overcast with a slight drizzle but that stopped and left us with a perfect morning to hike. We drove to Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve (The name translates to “big father” in honour of Roelof Oelofse who owned the land in 1723. It has only been a reserve since 1986 and was declared a world heritage site in 2004.) and did the short Bushbuck Trail. A few of us also did the waterfall trail but there was not much water. Permits required from the office. View Video… 

Our sunset that evening was absolutely stunning! Perfect ending to a magical stay.

Sunday we just walked around on the farm a bit, relaxed and packed up for our drive back home. Hopefully soon I will take my kids to Umshanti to enjoy some of the hikes and adventures.

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