The amphitheatre hike starts at Robberg Nature Reserve entrance. You leave your car and turn right at the boom and head down to the coast. Our guide explained that this amazing trail was developed by the Robberg Coastal Corridor team during the lockdown in 2020. It was offered as a guided hike to tourists for the first time during the December 2020 holidays. It is possible to do this hike for a short distance there and back without a guide. However we recommend this as a guided trail as it is quite technical and difficult to find the amphitheatre. We would also be making a contribution to the Robberg Coastal Corridor fund managed by the Eden to Addo Corridor Initiative.
ALONG THE WAY
The scenery is incredible and the area untouched apart from the odd plastic bottle washed ashore or left behind by fishermen. Before reaching the amphitheatre we saw evidence of otters and baboons on the rocks. We also saw a large school of dolphins just behind the backline. In season one could see whales our at sea as well. To reach the huge amphitheatre cave involves a little backtracking down a narrow path and it is a good stop for a picnic and look around. There are huge stalagtites and stalagmites and there is a spectacular outlook from a high vantage point.
A little further on from the amphitheatre one walks under a beautiful hanging garden of ferns and greenery. Enjoy the droplets of water coming over the cliff and pause to enjoy the peace and tranquility. After a rest under an overhang, it is then time to decide whether to climb up some “staples” which is also quite technical. It is well worth the effort for the view at the top of the cliff. After that there is dead mans grotto for a swim before it is time to turn back and head home.
EXTRACT FROM THE EDEN TO ADDO CORRIDOR INITIATIVE
Between Robberg Nature Reserve and Harkerville State Forest in the middle of the Garden Rout, is a pristine 18km stretch of wild coastline.
With the help of Eden to Addo, the owners of this magnificent coastal corridor are testing South Africa’s conservation legislation for the first time by asking the MEC for Environmental Affairs and Development Planning to declare their properties a “Protected Environment” in terms of the National Protected Areas Act.
The coastal corridor identified by the Garden Route Initiative as a Critical Biodiversity Area. Although not all of the properties are currently members of the Protected Environment it is hoped that in time, the benefits of jointly conserving the corridor will draw the remaining landowners in.
This is a first for South Africa and could prove to be an important precedent and tool for reaching National conservation targets. Conservation corridors, essential for the exchange of genetic material required to keep plant and animal populations healthy are a hot topic in the climate change debate. Without keeping the linkages between protected areas open, the ability of the human race and of natural systems to adapt to the vagaries of climate change becomes severely compromised.
Thank you Mark Dixon for this lovely clip