Highmoor Nature Reserve
17 Feb 2019
Report and photos courtesy of hike leader Dave Sclanders
[CLICK ON PHOTOS TO VIEW FULLSIZE - or view pics in accompanying SIMPLEVIEWER Presentation]
Ka-dedeakusha is a very lovely waterfall in the back of Highmoor, known only to a few people as it is off the beaten track, and no paths lead there.
Highmoor is basically a huge wetland during the rainy season, so the chances of getting boots wet either at river crossings, or just traversing a low lying area are good .Nevertheless the are many great scenery changes as one hikes along , as on the Western side of the reserve there is always the high Drakensberg to ad value to the views, and from the high plateau, great views of magnificent valleys running down from the heights.
A short break was had at the old plaque, the memorial tribute etched in brass was borrowed a long time ago. Now, just the concrete plinth remains on a high point overlooking a great sea of valleys, rolling vlei areas and grat mountains.
Pushing on towards the falls, one's eyes can play tricks on you, depending on the way the sun shines, or a cloud shadow, or just an angle of something in the grass or rocks tells you that there is something there. When you look closer, it is not what you thought.
Walking now became harder as we dropped into the valley to get to the stream. The grass was long and tough and tangled. Legs had to be lifted with effort to get over the grass. Eventually, the stream was reached, and a little later we arrived at our destination. By now the sun was fairly warm, but a good stout breeze kept us cool. After a quick recce around to find the best view point, and checking out the rainbow in the left hand falls ( there are 2 waterfalls at this site. With the heavy rains during the week, both falls were pretty impressive.) It was time for lunch.
What goes down must come up. So it was a bit of a hard slog up the hill through the long grass and rather a steepish hill, not made easier by the fact that I missed the faint path that we walked down on, and only later, found the path that was well overgrown, but easier to walk on. The slow climb, and the frequent stop did give one a chance to admire the views again. Eventually the old plaque was reached, and from then on it was nearly downhill all the way.
We decided on a short detour on the way back, and enjoyed a pleasant easy stroll back to the cars.
A lovely day was experienced by all.
It is also worth the effort on any day walk into nature, especially with unstable weather, to have a mall bag of dry clothes in the car. There is nothing more uncomfortable than to drive home in the evening in wet, uncomfortable clothes and soppy boots. Travel in comfy shoes, and change into hiking boots for the day, and back to comfy shoes for the trip home.