This story was updated on 21 May 2019.
Amy Pieterse gives us 10 things to do in Hogsback during your next visit.
1. Walk, walk, walk
There is simply no better way of experiencing the magical Afromontane forests of Hogsback than to walk through them. Luckily, there are a variety of walks suited for people of all ages and fitness levels, from the gentle Swallowtail Falls walk, to the more taxing trek up Tor Doone.
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2. Attempt the Labyrinth
At The Edge Mountain Retreat try to circle your way to the centre of one of the largest labyrinths in the world, at 1.4 kilometres in length. It gets a bit dizzying, but it also makes you think.
+27 (0) 45 962 1159; +27 (0) 82 603 5246.
3. See the Eco-Shrine
The Eco-Shrine an assemblage of paintings and sculptures by Diana Graham that pays homage to the Earth. Graham guides each visitor through the shrine, while also using it as a chance to educate people about climate change.
The Eco-Shrine is open Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays, and daily during school holidays from 9:30am to 3:30pm. There is a R30 entrance fee for adults, and it is free for children.
4. Go horse riding
Experienced and beginner horse riders can buckle up with either Amathole Horse Trails or Lowestoffe. It costs R250 for one and a half hours with Amathole Horse Trails and R100 for each hour thereafter; while a two-hour ride with Lowestoffe will cost R300.
Amathole Horse Trails
082 897 7503 or 072 615 7899
Contact Robyn Conroy or Neil Evens on +27 (0) 45 843 1716 or +27 (0) 83 654 5935
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5. Be a little adventurous
Get your adrenaline fix with activities like abseiling, mountain biking and archery with Hogsback Adventures; or rent a bike to go around the village and explore the forests for yourself.
+27 (0) 74 721 4885; [email protected]
074 721 4885
6. Explore Mirrors gardens
At the Mirrors gardens, you can find the Crystal Corner shop, a stone circle, a labyrinth different to the one found at The Edge, as well as a photo gallery of Ken Harvey’s mystical photographs of Hogsback, prints of which are for sale.
+27 (0) 45 962 1331
7. Visit St. Patrick’s Chapel
Possibly the only church in South Africa that is never locked and always open to the public, St. Patrick’s Chapel has appeal for both secular and non-secular visitors. The chapel was originally small and round, but was rebuilt in 2010 after a fire broke out. It’s quaint, peaceful, and has a fantastic view of the Hogsback greenery. Sunday services are at 10:00.
+27 (0) 83 5566962
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8. Walk with the fairies
At the Fairy Realm, you can meander along the 500-metre Fairy Walk, a magical path along which you’ll meet a cast of fantastical characters. A wonderful trip for children, adults will enjoy this equally as much.
+27 (0) 45 962 1098; +27 (0) 76 331 7313
9. Take a Hiku hike
Walk and write with poets Norman Morrissey and Silke Heiss on their Hiku Hikes. Along the walk, listen to poems from ‘Hogsback Hiku’, while writing your own to share with others at the end.
The Hiku Hike together with a copy of ‘Hogsback Hiku’ costs R250, and you must bring your own pen and paper.
+27 (0) 45 962 1034; +27 (0) 74 132 3101
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10. Listen to the birds
Go on a guided birding tour walk in the forests of Hogsback with birder and bird photographer Graham Russell and discover over 150 species of birds.
Contact Russell to arrange a walk at +27 (0) 45 962 1084 or +27 (0) 82 374 6583.
Words and Photography Amy Pieterse