Lower Molweni is a short drive into the Valley of 1000 Hills from Hillcrest and is a hikers, birders and nature-lovers paradise.
New guided trails
A series of new guided hikes have been community-developed, taking visitors through the spectacular rugged cliffs, enormous ancient rocks, meandering streams and dense forests, hugging the perimeter of the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve. This reserve has is a biodiversity treasure trove including 50 mammals, 253 bird, 35 reptiles, 150 butterflies, 273 tree and over 1500 plant species.
The hike is best suited for those who are reasonably robust, strong and fit. It is quite hilly with plenty of walking uphill and down again. Having said that, the guides are hugely patient and affirming – especially with the less experienced or less fit hikers – helping, encouraging and supporting them throughout.
There are different configurations of the length and route of the hike. Clients can choose how long or how vigorous a trail they want to do.
One should book a trail ahead of time, which comes with a personal guide. Meeting point is at Philangethemba Impact, where there is safe parking, a craft shop in which to browse, ablutions and refreshments on sale. The team will take you in a kombi to your selected trail starting point, and bring you back afterwards. Their on-site catering business, K&X Café, can organise a picnic at the destination point (which is the half way mark of the trail), on request. We had coffee and biscuits before departing at Philangethemba Impact, and a picnic of juice, fruit and fresh muffins on an enormous sunny rock overlooking rivers and the gorge, at the end point.
Four organisations in Durban have been working together to support and develop the exquisite Lower Molweni Valley for local and international tourism, in an effort to stimulate and drive the community’s economy in a magnificent setting that has enormous untapped tourism potential.
1000 Hills CTO has been collaborating with Durban’s Green Corridors, with its vision to see communities thrive in balance with the habitats around them, and are working together with the local organisations Kloof Conservancy which aims to promote environmental awareness and conserve the area’s natural habitats, and Philangethemba Impact, a collaborative empowerment programme between the social outreach ministry of St Agnes Anglican Church in Kloof and the neighbouring Molweni Valley community, to develop eco-tourism initiatives that create local employment and business opportunities and at the same time protect the environment.
Much work is being done by partners on the ground including the community of Lower Molweni Trust around various new and exciting tourism opportunities, including a 1.4km zipline, which is planned to be the longest in South Africa, experiential and cultural tours around the local community, and Pop up Camping – Green Corridors’ unique portable camping experience which can move from site to site.
For local community members, microbusinesses have started up, as a result, providing employment opportunities and are expected to grow as interest in the area increases. These include trail clearers who cut paths and remove alien plants from the trails; litter and waste controllers, a catering business K&X Café and Ibongezi Crafters based at the Philangethemba Impact site – the start point of the nature trails. Local trail guides are being trained and mentored by experienced Green Corridors nature guides.
“Central to what we do is to promote the area to support businesses operating in this exquisite environment here in the Valley of 1000 Hills,” says Jennifer Gregory, of the 1000 Hills CTO. “Key to this is ensuring the environment lives up to the promise, so part of that is to have local buy-in and interest in what is being planned, to maintain its natural beauty.”
Good to Know
All trails are guided.
For more information or to book contact: +27 (0)31 322 6026/7 +27 (78) 726 4890 or email email@example.com
Durban Green Corridors: