Hiking, Trails and Routes

ID #2663

Thandweni Lapa and Day Trail, Riet River, Port Alfred (Portalfred), Eastern Cape.

A magical setting for lapa evenings at Thandweni Farm (the place where you love one another). After a bumpy ride (easily negotiable by car) a footpath leads down to the lapa clearing.  Carved out of thick bush and among beautiful palm trees next to a stream of fresh water.  Feast of local food including starters, lamb or piglet on the spit, served with health bread and traditional desserts. Served around a huge log fire. Singing and ululating by an African dance troupe in colourful costumes. Lessons in drumming and Xhosa singing.  Sleeping in the bush under canvas can be arranged.

The Thandweni Trail is a unique experience, leading to the secret and best preserved grove of Altenstein cycads in the Eastern Cape. The late Cynthia Giddy, author of “Cycads of South Africa” collected seed in this valley and declared that she, at last, had found the “mother grove” of these rare prehistoric plants.  There are three trails, the longest of which is 6-km that takes 2-3 hours to complete. The shorter route is about 500-m and takes an hour.  The trails wind along the banks of the Riet River, through pristine valley forest. It is home to Knysna loeries, puti-buck (blue duiker – the smallest antelope in South Africa) and rare tree hyrax.

View the only herd of Nguni cattle in the district.  They are multi-coloured cattle that migrated southwards with the Nguni. The breed goes back thousands of years and are the cattle best adapted to the environment.  There are more than 100 names for the different colour patterns.

Riet River is on the R72 east of Port Alfred, which  is on the R72 west of East London, which is at the intersection of the N2 with the N6. BHThand

Contct:            Francois and Wendy Vosloo
+27 (46) 624 3335 telephone
+27 (82) 490 8454 cell
+27 (46) 624 1235 telephone Port Alfred Tourism (Bev Young)
+27 (46) 624 4139 fax Port Alfred Tourism
e-mail: patourism@intekom.co.za

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Last update: 2014-05-11 16:15
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.3

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