With the relentless heat of Stellenbosch having hit me, I decided to head for a swim. I invited Eduard along, and we headed for the Worcester side of the Huguenot tunnel where we would walk to the waterfall at the top of the Kromrivier.
We crossed the Molenaarsrivier and headed into the valley of the Kromrivier. The abundance of Protea nitida (Waboom Protea) was immediately evident to me – it was wonderful to see such full fields of these proteas, seeing as a fire had burnt down all the fynbos in Waboomskraal (clearly a keen place to see these proteas), where we had hiked the Doringrivier.
I had expected there to be a hefty amount of noise pollution with the N1 being so close to the trail, yet somehow the only sound we heard was the bubbling of the river. The trail continuously darted across the river and had us jumping from rock to rock under the canopy of trees. A constant companion all the way to the waterfall was the Brabejum stellatifolium (Wild Almond) trees with their feathery brown fruits – these are in fact a member of the protea family. We also spotted some beautiful heath which is pictured below.
In no time we made it to the first waterfall; snugly situated between two monumental cliffs. We were awestruck with the purity around us – the water fell in a fine mist from high up on the cliffs and the sunlight striking it made it appear as if golden flakes were floating down to earth. Moss covered the rocks in a thick green blanket while multifoliate ferns burst from the crevices in between. We took out time admiring the beauty around us.
From here we used the sturdy chains provided to head up to the second waterfall. The pool below the waterfall was much bigger than the first pool and the water was exceptionally clear. We ate our sandwiches and I went for a swim in the near-freezing water.
We headed back down to the first waterfall, and rest of the trip back went very quick. The trail is highly rewarding and takes very little effort to complete. I must add that there was an unsettling amount of rubbish at some points along the path – even at the final waterfall. I find it very surprising that the people who go out of their way to be exposed to nature, are the same people who litter!
As usual, I have attached the GPX file of the trip below. The fact that one walks between cliffs made the GPS lose its satellite signal rather often, so please be warned that the attached track is not highly accurate near the waterfall. I edited the track to remove some obvious outlying points, but I make no guarantees to its usability.
Max elevation: 577 m
Min elevation: 428 m
Total climbing: 602 m
Total time: 04:26:04