Twin Falls Toddle

Toddle (verb): to move with short, unsteady steps, as a young child.

With the recent rains which filled the streams, combined with the many forest obstacles, the toddle was the only mode of transport for the 27 hikers who joined us. Carol Owen, a member of the Karkloof Conservancy, organised this second quarterly hike which proved to be another great success. These hikes not only raise the much needed funding for our Conservancy, they also offer the unique opportunity to explore some of the most spectacular areas within Karkloof which are otherwise unknown/closed to the public.

It was an absolute privilege to experience the indigenous Karkloof forest in all its splendour. Our ears were treated to the sounds of birds, cicadas, running water and gushing waterfalls, while our eyes took in the many spectacular shades of green, the delicate and beautiful flowers (Streptocarpus gardenii in abundance) and some of the little creatures that live within the undergrowth, such as snails and pill millipedes.

Streptocarpus gardenii – Photographed by Richard Booth

The different textures of bark from the diversity of trees is incredible with the Knobwood being a highlight, mostly because of how easy it is to identify on a forest walk.

Forest Knobwood (Zanthoxylum davyi)

The slippery rocks made for some tricky river crossings. Everyone started out by trying to keep their feet dry, but soon remembered that the advert mentioned they must be prepared to get their feet wet – this made the crossings a lot easier.

Lots of river crossings

It was great fun watching the expressions and excitement on everyone’s faces when they caught a glimpse of the first set of the Twin Falls (the left-hand side one). They were much bigger than everyone had imagined.

Left Twin Falls looking magnificent – Photographed by Richard Booth

Then it was off to the second set of the Twin Falls (the right-hand side one), which once again had everyone in absolute awe.

Streptocarpus gardenii and Selfie time at the right Twin Falls – Photographed by Richard Booth

Some of the locals who joined were amazed that they had never known about this incredible gem in the Karkloof. We would like to say a very special thanks to Willy and Vic Shaw for their custodianship of the Karkloof forest and for offering us the opportunity to explore a part of their “backyard”. And thank you to Carol Owen for your sterling efforts to get people out and about to discover the uniqueness of the Karkloof.

Gill Arathoon (local) showing off her balancing skills as she navigates her way up to the falls through the river.

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