HIKE THE EDEN TO ADDO CORRIDOR
The Eden to Addo Great Corridor Hike is an expedition for and about conservation. All money raised contributes to building essential conservation corridors stretching from Knysna to Addo and linking the three mega reserves of the area: The Garden Route National Park, the Baviaanskloof World Heritage Site and Addo Elephant National Park. These linkages are vital for preserving biodiversity in times of climate change. On the hike you walk through portions of all these reserves and through private areas where only Eden to Addo is allowed access.
You will experience 5 of South Africa’s 7 biomes and probably some of the wildest areas in South Africa. The Eden to Addo Corridor is certainly the most bio-diverse corridor on the planet with fynbos, forest, thicket, succulent karoo and nama karoo biomes. Just one of the biomes, fynbos, consists of 9000 species of which 6192 are found nowhere else. Nowhereelse on earth will you be able to experience such diversity of terrain and species on hike.
You will be part of a small, exclusive group of hikers that makes its way to Addo. There is no organised trail to follow. You will not come across other hikers or chalets. It can be very tough at times as we bundu bash through the Fynbos and follow animal paths. You will walk through areas where the last truly free elephants, black rhino and buffalo still roam without fences to hamper their movement. You will follow the spoor of leopard, bush buck and red hartebeest. And as you walk your donation is contributing to increasing their range by establishing conservation corridors between the parks.
If you have friends who you think would enjoy the hikes why not get them to walk with you – new friends are made and old friendships grow stronger when out in the wild.
Pam Osborn 2012 Great Corridor Hiker
“It was no mean feat to walk in excess of 400 kilometres. It was hard work at times, but we were enveloped by tall mossy forests, fynbos flowers, spekboom thickets and nama karoo. Our “bush-whacking” route included some of the most attractive forest and mountain scenery in the country, although it is by no means pristine.
For centuries humankind has exploited – and damaged – nature’s bounty and today the region’s national and provincial parks protect the best of what is left. Bird life is prolific and I recorded over 150 species including the Knysna Turaco which we sighted on our first morning zipping through clearings in the Knysna forest as well as the normally elusive Narina Trogon.
We heard and sighted the African Fish Eagle as well as the Blue Crane, Kori Bustard, Secretarybird, Cape Vulture, Clapper Lark and Black Shouldered Kite, to mention but a few. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this unique pilgrimage and feel privileged to have contributed towards an Initiative that aims to link three Mega Reserves by means of biodiverse tracts of private land, a Corridor, and thereby restoring some of the ancient paths for not only mammals but also plants, insects and birds. I share Joan’s dream that the elusive Knysna elephants, the country’s only free-ranging pachyderm, may one day walk the paths we have just trod. They have fought their way back from the brink of extinction without any help from humankind.
I believe the Eden to Addo Corridor Initiative will play a very important role in their future existence. Please thank everyone concerned for their dedication, devotion and tender loving care in making this journey a once in a lifetime experience. I wish you all tremendous success in all future endeavours in making the Corridor Initiative a reality.“
HIKE PROGRAMME AND STRUCTURE
Just because your main packs are transported between camps, does not make these hike any easier. The hiking day starts at 6:00am with a wake-up call and we start hiking at 8:00am. After a full day of walking we generally arrive in camp between 3:30pm and 5:30pm.
The average distance covered in a day is in the 20-26km range, the shortest day being about 12km and the longest 30km. Even on a short day we will not get into camp before 3:30pm.
The hikes are facilitated by intrepid hikers with knowledge of the local fauna and flora, in depth understanding of the role of conservation corridors and a wealth of experience in the landscape that is walked through. The terrain is mostly remote mountain areas and some sections involve possible encounters with dangerous animals such as rhino and buffalo. We walk mostly on jeep tracks but the going can get tough when we have to hop across river boulders, bundu bash through the Fynbos, find a new path or ascend and descend mountain ridges. The average age of our hikers is 55 although we do have a 70 year old from time to time who out walks us all.
DAY 1 – DAY 8
Starting in a remote area near Knysna we meander through pristine indigenous forest of the Garden of Eden and that night we sleep on the banks of the Keurbooms River.
Then we head towards the wilder sections of mountain before entering the Groot Kosein, a cathedral of rock. There is a big climb to Soetkraal wilderness area of the Tsitsikamma National Park the following day.
For two days we traverse this mountain wilderness. The final day takes us to the Kouga River in the Kouga Mountains.
DAY 9 – DAY 14
Soon after the Langkloof valley we enter the foothills of the Kouga mountains, a hidden wilderness area south of the Baviaanskloof. Here we have ample time to improve our tracking skills as we enter the terrain of the Cape Leopard.
Our route takes us across the Kouga mountains and into the Baviaanskloof via the Skilderkrans Corridor towards Koue Nek.
The next two days are filled with extreme game walking in an expansive landscape of red rocks, thorny bush and countless river crossings. In this section we are likely to meet rhino, buffalo and lots of kudu and not to forget the odd tortoise.
DAY 15 – DAY 20
Leaving the central Baviaanskloof, we head to Bergplaas camp high on the plateau.
The next day we walk through Fynbos again and come out in the Cambria valley. Our meander through the Grootrivier in the Goode Hoop Reserve the next day is another highlight, a secluded river valley both wild and beautiful.
T’Numqua mountain beckons in the north-east before we cut through the Springbokvlakte for a night over-looking endless plains. We end deep in the Kabouga region of Addo with a celebratory dinner.
Ian McCallum 2006 Great Corridor Hike
““Here’s to the forest, the woods, the thicket, the sky and the mountains. Here’s to the valleys and the streams and the rounded rocks… to the birdcalls urging us on and the animal tracks showing us the way. Here’s to the land that lifted our feet and to the open road. Here’s to the privilege of pilgrimage, of knowing that what we have done will outlive us. Heres to the corridors of the human psyche, the oneness of friendship, the conduits of companionship and the road to love. Thank you….and again thank you.“
DONATION: PRICING ON BOOKING FORM
The hike provides all meals, maps, lectures, camping fees, experienced guides, permits, safari tents and return transfers to Plettenberg Bay or PE Airport after the hike.
You will receive free of charge special edition bags, consisting of a dry bag and carry bag per hiker. The hike is rustic and yet no expense is spared in making it an unforgettable experience. An honesty bar is on offer in the evenings and alcoholic beverages are available for purchase.
GREAT CORRIDOR HIKE FACTS AND FIGURES:
DISTANCE COVERED: +350km
MOUNTAIN RIDGES: 4
RIVER CROSSINGS: Many
NUMBER OF BIOMES: 5
DAYS: 20 HIKE DAYS 21 CAMPSITES
National Parks & Nature Reserves: 5
HIKE IN STYLE
The Eden to Addo hikes are ‘Slackpack’ hikes walked in ‘Safari Style’, where your main pack is transported for you, so all you carry is a small day-pack with your lunch and wet-weather gear.
On reaching camp at the end of the day you will find your safari tent already set-up, a fire on the go and a beverage of your choice. Meals are hearty and nutritious made by our amazing bush chef with mostly locally sourced products and ethically sourced free range chicken, eggs and lamb. All you need to do is put one foot in front of the other and take in the beauty and vast open spaces that surrounds you.
Washing consists of bucket showers made available wherever there is sufficient water.
On registration we will send you a link to a comprehensive booklet on what to bring and how to get fit.