The Leopard Trail Slack Packing Experience
The Leopard Trail is a 4 day, 3 night slack pack hike in the magical Baviaanskloof. The trail is beautifully diverse and well laid out, winding through the unique and ancient landscape of the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve. Hikers will enjoy incredible views of the Kouga and Baviaans mountains, many rockpools to cool off in, be surrounded by magnificent flora along the way, and bask in the silence of the region.
Distance from Cape Town - 7 hours
Distance from Port Elizabeth/Gqeberha - 4 hours
Start point: Go Baviaans Base Camp
End Point: Go Baviaans Base Camp
The Leopard Trail is a circular hike staring from, and returning to, the Cedar Falls Base Camp where vehicles are left. The route is moderately difficult, with the longest day being 22km. It is designed for people of good hiking fitness. There are many opportunities in the first 3 days to cool off in one of the many mountain pools.
Day 1: 9.75km (3-5 Hours)
The hike starts with a pretty decent uphill and makes one wonder what lies ahead. The rest of the day’s trail takes one past a lovely kloof which is an ideal lunch spot and further down the valley to the overnight huts.
Day 2 : 18km (5-8 Hours)
The second day is a mix of easy flat sections with a few up-and-overs after halfway. Take the optional detour into the kloof before the first climb of the day. It is worth it.
Day 3: 22km (6-9 Hours)
Day 3 is the longest and a 6am start is a good idea. The halfway point at Wegdraai is a good lunch spot and running water can be found upstream. From there the trail follows the kloof all the way down to the overnight huts through the most amazing rock cliffs and unexpected forests.
Day 4: 13km (5 Hours)
The last day follows the kloof upstream untill a steep exit. At the top there are beautiful views of the Baviaans. From there it descends into a few up-and-overs to the finish. Look out for leopard tracks down the final kloof. (pic below)
Scuttle Tip: Book the Hikers Hut at the Go Baviaans Basecamp for the night before and the night after the hike. Make sure you visit the Ceder Falls, an absolute highlight.