Just bring your boots: The first big game fynbos walking safari
In November 2019, the award-winning Gondwana Game Reserve (www.gondwanagr.co.za) on the Garden Route will be launching its Pioneer Trail – a 3-day walking safari for groups of maximum 8 guests. With most big game walking trails taking place in the lowveld area, Gondwana offers the first such opportunity in a fynbos-covered, malaria free landscape within easy reach of Cape Town.
Exploring the 11000 hectare Big 5 game reserve by foot will give guests a deeper, more intimate connection with their surroundings. Expert trail guides will intimately expose guests to Gondwana’s unique biodiversity and eco systems while experiencing the Big Five and multiple species of antelope on foot. Covering 15 – 20km over two days, the wilderness trail takes keen bush walkers on exclusive, remote footpaths and game trails to three different remote tented camp locations.
Each night is spent in a different unfenced camp with guests carrying only a light day pack, while their overnight kit is sent ahead to the next camp – the ultimate slack packing adventure. A beautiful high tea and G&Ts await the well-deserved hikers as they arrive to their new camp each day. By evening, every comfort is provided, with walk-in tents exquisitely appointed in a different theme per camp all with en-suite bathroom facilities including claw foot tubs. Delicious homemade meals made around the campfire are elegantly served in the dining tent or under the stars by the campfire in the boma.
With views of the Langeberg and Outeniqua Mountains on the horizon, Gondwana’s open grassland and fynbos landscape makes it perfect for walking, and the climate suits summer activity when other parts of South Africa are too hot and humid. Gondwana is home to a range of big game including lion, hippo, elephant, rhino, buffalo, and plains animals such as eland, giraffe, and zebra. But it is the diversity of plant life that makes walking so unique on Gondwana. The reserve boasts over 1000 different species of plants, many of them threatened Fynbos species and a few that can only be seen on the reserve and nowhere else in the world. There is something special and colourful flowering in abundance at any given point in the year which is equally exciting to learn about on foot as the wildlife. Various species of Erica flower all year round and attract prolific endemic bird life, and a splendid variety of succulents and Renosterveld plants are also found on the reserve.
Mark Rutherfoord, founder of Gondwana Game Reserve comments:
“The Pioneer Trail might just be the most exciting guest experience we have launched on Gondwana. It will allow guests to not only experience an open system game reserve on foot but to truly appreciate the reserve’s fynbos landscape which is comprised of 1000s of colourful flowers, bulbs and succulents that are best appreciated at close range. The trail will access areas of the game reserve that are inaccessible to vehicles including the remote tented camp locations which are spectacular and each occupies a different vegetation type on the game reserve.
We have created many exciting amenities at each of the three tented camps which will delight our guests at the end of the day on the trail. We have had a lot of fun navigating the journey of the trail as it moves to three different camp locations on the Reserve.”