Reasons to walk the Green Mountain Trail
Fynbos is a distinctive heathland unique to the Western Cape of South Africa. It is both the smallest and the richest floral kingdom in the world, with an extraordinarily high number of it’s plant species found nowhere else. The Green Mountain Trail takes hikers through exclusive areas within the Kogerlberg Biosphere, a 100,000 hectare area within the Fynbos which is the world Hot Spot for plant diversity and is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are several endemics, among them the Marsh Rose (Orothamnus zeyheri), the Silver Pagoda (Mimetes hottentoticus) and the critically endangered Mace Pagoda (Mimetes stockoei).
All the farms we visit are family owned and each has its own story.
BEAUMONT is a family owned and managed farm situated in the heart of the town of Bot River (“Botter Rivier”)
and is the final stop on the Green Mountain Trail where lunch and wine-tasting is enjoyed. The farm, home to the region’s oldest wine cellar, was originally established in the 1700’s by the Dutch East India Company.
OAK VALLEY is one of the largest in the area known for its fruit, cut flowers, beef cattle and for its high quality, cool climate, wines. It also produces acorn-fed, free range pork, that source their food from the 4,000 plus oak trees that give the farm its name.
PAUL CLUVER covers an area of over 2,000 hectares, is the largest farm in the Green Mountain Trail family.
While half of the estate has been set aside for conservation into perpetuity, wine production and the farming of apples and pears is combined with Hereford stud farming as well as ecotourism activities, which include outdoor concerts in the summer.
PORCUPINE HILLS is an olive farm and is the starting point for the walk. Black eagles nest on the cliffs directly above the homestead. The farm also boasts a large expanse of renosterveld, an endangered feature in the Cape Floral Kingdom.
WILDEKRANS COUNTRY HOUSE is a historic 1811 homestead with a rambling country garden. Home to a private collection of South African contemporary art and antique furniture, the atmosphere is relaxed, quirky and ancient, all rolled into one.
The combination of fresh air and hiking never fails to build an appetite. The diversity of the area is also appreciated by the palate where the food and wines enjoyed by hikers reflect the differences in soils and rainfall. Feedback from hikers describes the food as: ‘a veritable feast’ and ‘it’s as much a gourmet experience as it is a hike’.
The cuisine is seasonal and fresh, produced on many of the participant farms. Olives, brinjals, asparagus, apples, pears, plums and peaches are just a few of the locally grown ingredients that find their way onto the dinner plates of Green Mountain Trail hikers.
Hikers frequently ask for the recipes of the dishes served on the trail so we figure we’re on the right track! Some of the favourites are: melanzane, slow-cooked lamb shanks, fresh herbed fish poached in Sauvignon blanc, and berry pavlova.
On the higher reaches of the trail hikers may catch sight of klipspringers, standing like sentinels against the sky. Nesting Verreaux’s eagles are another special sighting for the area.
Duiker and Grysbok may be seen on the lower mountain slopes while secretive Mountain Leopard and Caracal slip by unseen or by night leaving their tracks along
With over 200 species of birds sighted in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, the hiker can expect to be rewarded with the endemic Orange Breasted Sunbird and Cape Sugarbird and on the farmlands below the regal Blue Cranes are often seen striding through the fields or giving their melodic trumpeting call as they soar gracefully above the horizon.
FOUR DAYS OF LUXURY SLACKPACKING
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