Hiking, Trails and Routes

ID #4616

Valley of 1000 Hills Route, Durban, Central Kwa-Zulu Natal.

The beauty and tranquillity of the Valley of 1000 Hills has always wooed artists and crafters. The new route features Zulu cultural villages and stunning mountain vistas as a backdrop to this wealth of creative talent. Following the route of the Comrades Marathon (running), this is where rural Africa merges with urban living. Nature reserves fringe on vibrant villages and towns where specialist book, décor, bric-a-brac and wine stores jostle with delis and boutiques. Offshoots take visitors through the Krantzkloof Gorge and Inanda Dam to Shongweni Dam and Game Park. As well as along the Umgeni River Valley to Isithumba Village where visitors are invited into rural Zulu homes. It embodies the curiosities of a changing society – from colonial buildings and English pastures to the drumbeat of Africa.

In bygone days, wagons would travel along the spine of the valley that was the main road from Durban into the interior. Recapture this feeling with wagon trails along this route. Enjoy a steam train trip from Kloof Station to Cato Ridge. View the scenery from a microlight or go horseriding instead.  There are boat cruises on Shongeweni, Nagle and Inanda Dams and 4x4 trips into the valley.

30-km west of Durban, the route starts in Kloof and ends at Cato Ridge. There are six routes, as follows:

•    T1    Comrades Marathon Route
•    T2    Krantzkloof Gorge Route
•    T3 Assagay Alverstone Route
•    T4    Isithumba/Duzi Canoe Route
•    T5 Shongweni Shuffle
•    T6    Shongweni Shuffle

The Comrades Marathon, which is 90-km long and takes place annually on June 16, is undoubtedly the greatest ultramarathon in the world. 13000 or more competitors from all over the world compete to win coveted gold (top 10), silver (7 hours) and bronze (12 hours) medallions. The direction alternates each year, from Durban to Pietermaritzburg and vice versa. It is a race for all – regardless of race, religion, gender or national origin. It starts at 06h00 and by 11h00 the leaders start to finish. But the real drama starts 12 hours later. Cameras focus on stragglers who struggle across the finish line in time to win a medal, many of whom collapse shortly thereafter. Many collapse before the line and are carried over by their “comrades”. Their struggle has to be seen to be believed. Disappointment is etched on the faces of those who fail. It is a race of courage, tenacity, passion and drama with a proud 80-year history. Astonishingly, the oldest man to have completed the course within 11 hours is Wally Hayward, who was 80 at the time.

For more information, contact the 1000 Hills Tourism Office at Botha’s Hill. A complete map and brochure showing over 100 attractions and accommodation will be available in November 2000. AWValley

Contct:            +27 (31) 777 1874 telephone
e-mail: info@tourism.1000hills.com
web: www.zulu.org.za

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Last update: 2012-09-21 09:18
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.1

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