Duration: 2 days
Total distance covered: ±9km
Total height gain: ±233m
(All distances should only be used as a guideline and a detailed route description needs be supplied on confirmation of booking.)
What makes this special: A double decker cave with an amazing waterfall and swimming “pool” included.
Highmoor is most probably one of the most underutilized hiking areas in the Drakensberg, but being able to drive just about all the way up the Little Berg makes it ideal for beginner hikers. This easy overnight hike is suitable for the whole family or for first time hikers wanting to experience hiking. This cave has a wonderful pool and waterfall to swim in and spacious enough for the maximum of 12 people. This site is ideal for birding, and trout fishing is available but needs to be booked beforehand.
Route: Aasvoel Krantz Cave is situated at the top of a small gorge overlooking the Tier Kloof special conservation area and there is a well-worn path all the way to the cave. From the main office follow the path to the Kamloops Dam and follow the route marker with Aasvoel Cave and then the path over the dam wall and up an easy uphill section. The path crosses a stream that eventually flows over the lip of the cave and is a convenient resting spot for everyone. The water is safe to drink straight from the stream and just below the path is a small waterfall. The path follows a relatively easy contour line to the cave and sections can disappear in thick mist so always carry your map and compass just in case. The path down to the cave is badly eroded so care needs to be taken when walking down, at the time of writing, there was a new path being cut to make entering easier.
The cave is actually a double story cave that can sleep 12 people with ease. However the top story is not that suitable to sleep in and has quite a drop so not suitable for small children. The bottom section is the best sleeping option and also gives you access to the waterfall and the pool. Care needs to be taken when allowing small children to go down to the river as it is quite steep and rocky.
It is a very comfortable cave however the water noise can make conversation a bit difficult but has the advantage of drowning out the snoring of the rest of the group.
Water is not a problem as the river flows year round and the pool is a refreshing swim and the water can be cold even in the middle of the summer.
The cave is east-facing and gives you a good view over the gorge and valley below, however to get the best views it’s better to climb back out to the top of the ridge to get the maximum view of the sunsets over the escarpment or sunrises over the valley below.
Included: Park & overnight fees, rescue levy and first aid kit.
Excluded: All meals and snacks, stove & pots, sleeping bag, backpack, personal gear and equipment, personal medication and footwear.
Gear Hire is available.