The Overberg is beautiful and surprisingly covered in vast tracts of pristine fynbos. This morning the hiking group that I have joined walked the Waterfall Trail at Fynbos Retreat, 10kms off the main Stanford- Gansbaai road. Getting to Fynbos Retreat in a low-slung car would not be easy but the experiences to be had there would certainly be worth the effort. The drive to the farm in itself is exciting, passing as it does through a variety of fynbos landscapes

Hiking at Fynbos Retreat between near Stanford. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

The Grootbos conservancy area has in the region of 754 plant species, including 108 Red Data (threatened) species and six species that are new to science.Photo: Viv

Four of us from Stanford had done two “rekkie” hikes at the Retreat last week where we were shown the accommodation available to hikers and weekenders by Perdita who, together with her husband Jan, manages the farm which is part of the Grootbos Nature Reserve. (For more information on the reserve and all that it has to offer see


After meeting Jan this morning and deciding on our route we set off on the Waterfall Trail which took us through the Witvoetskloof valley past an impressive waterfall and up to the old flower-picking jeep track back to the starting point, a walk that took us in the region of two – three hours. (Who hikes with a watch!)

Fynbos Retreat 1. Photo Viv of Scenic South

Heading down into the Witvoetskloof valley. Photo: Viv

With the volume of rain that we have had this past month, the path at times was very wet and slippery. Along the floor of the valley, fallen branches from the magnificent old trees in the afromontane forest and “latte” bridges with some rotting bits made progress slower over a short stretch, as did the eroded and not-too well defined steep path out of the valley. All good to get the heart pumping! (The fallen branches were the result of the wind last weekend, as they had not been there when hiked the same route a week ago.)

Waterfall on one of the Fynbos Retreat hiking trails. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

The waterfall would be a perfect place for a picnic stop in summer!

I would love to have a log like this one, used as a bench at the waterfall, in my garden!

On the Fynbos Retreat Waterfall Trail. Photo: Viv of Scenic South

At our” tea-time” spot we were rewarded with views over the Uilkraalrivier and Lamond Dam, the ocean and Pearly Beach in the distance …

View from Fynbos Retreat overlooking the Uilkraalrivier valley. Photo: Viv of Scenic South


while the path back to the farm along the old flower picking jeep track allowed for companionable conversation and further enjoyment of fynbos offerings.

Photo; Viv of Scenic South

I would be grateful if someone would give me the name of the plant above – I have not managed to find it in any of my books. It is exquisite and widely spread on the mountain sides at Fynbos Retreat, as you can see in the first picture above.

All too soon the houses at Fynbos Retreat came into view, picturesquely framed by pink and perfect proteas.

Proteas with the houses of Fynbos retreat in the background. Photo: Viv of Scenic South


Day hikes in Fynbos Retreat cost R40 per person and should be booked through

Fynbos Retreat Reservations
+27 824144586

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