The Kalander Kloof hiking trail extends for some 4.8 kilometres and begins just opposite the entrance of the camping site of de Vasselot. The trail takes hikers up the Kalanderkloof Mountain, but is not too difficult, requiring only relative fitness to master.
Nature’s Valley is, undoubtedly, one of the natural gems of South Africa. Its peaceful ambience and breath-taking beauty is simultaneously humbling and awe-inspiring, bearing testament to the natural wealth of South Africa. It is a very scenic 45 minute drive from Plettenberg Bay and can be combined with the Salt River secret beach hike for a fantastic day of hiking with a gorgeous variety of scenery.
At the top, a lookout point awaits, showcasing the stunning beauty around and below the mountain. After relaxing, taking countless photographs, and savouring the magnificence of the South African coastal landscape, the descent begins, winding back towards the campsite.
Grade: Moderate to fairly difficult
Features: Mountain scenery, fynbos, indigenous forest, optional equipment porterage
Permits: Free. De Vasselot campsite.
This network has numerous trails ranging in difficulty and length. Maps and information on birds and trees can be obtained at the campsite. Choose your walk carefully according to your own ability. A special place of interest and beauty is the Salt River mouth (where one may picnic and swim). The Kalander Kloof trail has magnificent big yellowwood trees and one may be lucky enough to spot the elusive Narina Trogan. Paths are well defined and junctions are clearly signposted. It is advisable to walk the coastal routes at low tide. The forest routes can become slippery after heavy rainfall. It is a hiker’s and bird watcher’s paradise with its diversity of fauna and flora. Viewpoints offer breathtaking views of the coastline and distant mountains
Directions to Kalanderkloof hiking trail
The trail is in Nature’s Valley, which is 30 kilometres east of Plettenberg Bay. Take the N2 from Plett, and then, just before you reach the toll gate, turn right onto the R102. Travel about 11.5 kilometres to the Grootrivier and De Vasselot Camp site.
The Kalanderkloof trail starts from this camp site. You’ll see a small parking area and a picnic table just off the road. From the picnic table, cross the tar road and you will see a path that leads into the fynbos. The vegetation here is quite tall, and you will not be able to see very well until you reach the view point, which is about 15 minutes’ walk away. The path that leads into the valley and Kalanderpad is off to the right just before one reaches the view point. It is well sign posted.
Take the path across the tar road from the picnic table. Follow it until you reach the view point; from here you’ll see the sign that marks the start to the trail.
Back at the Campsite, or at the De Vasselot gate, if you took the last stretch to the “Uitsig” viewpoint.
Fairly Difficult to Difficult
Obtain a free permit and a pamphlet from the office at the gate of De Vasselot Camp Site
Very beautiful indigenous forest, deep valley, breathtaking views of the whole area.
You will need the following:
- good walking shoes,
- insect repellent,
- refreshments and water,
Important points to remember about this hike:
- It’s advisable to do this walk in the second half of the day, because there is more light in the valley then, and you’ll be able to photograph the views better.
- The path can get quite slippery after there’s been rain.
From the viewpoint with its terrific views, you’ll follow the path. It will drop quite steeply down from the ridge into the valley. At the bottom of the valley, you’ll be treated to fairytale surroundings of towering ferns and trees, and a meandering stream that you’ll need to cross several times. At the far end, the forest starts to thin, where you can either turn around and climb up the other side of the ridge and return to the camp site, or follow the signs to another viewpoint, “Uitsig”.
The path is also quite steep, but again will reward you with some brilliant scenery and photo opportunities. This short section of the route is well marked, and will pass through the forest, across the main road, to end at the De Vasselot gate.
Highlights of the Kalanderkloof hiking trail
- Spectacular views of the whole valley, with the sea and mountains in the background.
- A beautiful example of some of South Africa’s indigenous forest. You’ll see breathtaking flora – you’ll look down upon many magnificent Outeniqua Yellowwoods as you descend parts of this trail, and also many giant stralitzia.