Walking Trails and Viewpoints
This trail follows the north bank of the Phophonyane River with spectacular views over the Phophonyane Cascades and Potholes has several options (1) down the big steps to the bottom of the waterfalls to join Trail 3 and viewpoint D; (2) join the loop to Trail 3 will give you a spectacular view over the cascades and to viewpoint G; (3) pass the big steps onto viewpoint B (not for children!), viewpoint C with a view over the cascades and pot-holes and to viewpoint J (Otter Pool) with a great view up the Phophonyane River Cascades; (4) along the fence line with a view onto the neighbouring homesteads or (5) through the small forest. The longest option is about 1.5 hours. The big steps are strenuous and the left hand path to join the loop to trail 3 involves a bit of clambering. This should be avoided in wet weather.
Trail 2 is the longest trail taking you along the rugged Python Cliffs and the Riverine Forest of the Mbevane Stream. The upper loop takes you onto the eastern Cliffs, with a great view (Viewpoint I) over the Mbevane Forest. A good place for bird sounds. The Python Cliffs are a little steep and involve some clambering. These can be avoided by taking the link path between Trail 2 and 3. Time: 2.5 -3 hours.
Trail 3 (a,b,c)
Trail 3 is relatively short and gives you spectacular views of the Waterfalls through a series of loops. Time: 1.5 hours.
This is the nearest viewpoint, over- looking the waterfalls from the deck or viewpoint below the rock pool. This is where most accidents (some fatal) happen. Make sure you stay on the deck or designated area. It is highly likely that you will slip if you walk on the rocks over the waterfalls.
This has a great view over the Gorge but requires special caution as there are no protective railings.
A shady clearing with a view over the Cascades and potholes
A good view and rest point with a bench overlooking the waterfalls and the Ntfonjeni Valley.
An open clearing with a spectacular view over the Gobolondlo Mountain Range and the Ntfonjeni Valley.
This trail adjoins Trail 2 and takes you to viewpoint F. This is the easiest walk! Time 1-1.5 hours.
At the top of Python Cliffs with a great view over the Ntfonjeni Valley and the Mbevane Forest
The best view of the Phophonyane Waterfalls, with a seating area
Good view over the Mbevane Forest and Ntfonjeni Valley.
Good view towards the west, including Gobolondlo Mountain and the Python Cliffs. The forest below is full of bird sounds in the early morning
This offers a great view of the Phophonyane Cascades from the bottom looking upwards.
TIPS on viewing wildlife in the Reserve.
There is a fair amount of small game in the nature reserve and the most commonly seen animals are red duiker and bushbuck. However, these animals are shy and will only be seen if approached silently. Otherwise you may only hear the sharp whistle of the red duiker or the harsh bark of the bushbuck as they call in alarm and disappear!
Birdwatching is best in the early morning on the trails. Alternatively, an early morning or late afternoon walk up the entrance road can be rewarding.