Top of the gorges up to the top of the Krantz
There are two hiking trails that run along the edge of the gorge, one on either side, beginning at the last picnic site at the Trails Map Board. Species to look out for along the cliff tops are Mocking Cliff Chat, Cape Rock-Thrush, Black Saw-wing, Lesser-striped Swallow, Little Swift, Rufous-naped Lark, Striped Pipit, African Stonechat as well as Cape and Yellow-throated Longclaw, the latter being the more common of the two.
Down below, look out for Trumpeter and Crowned Hornbill flying between the tree canopies as well as African Olive Pigeons.
Stop from time to time to scan the cliff faces, African Harrier Hawk, Peregrine Falcon and Southern Bald Ibis roost and/or nest on the many rock ledges. An early morning or late afternoon stop along these two trails will provide an opportunity to listen to the overwhelming number of different bird calls echoing through the gorge.
A walk along the left of the gorge will lead you to 'The Point' View site which provides views of a flat water section of the Umgeni river. Look out for resident African Finfoot below as well as Goliath Heron and African Black Ducks along this calm section of the river. On occasion Cape Clawless Otter are seen swimming in the flat waters.
TOP OF THE KRANTZ TRAIL
This trail is accessed by taking the trail to the right of the gorge from the last picnic site, where the trails map board is located. The initial part of the trail is summarized in the “along the cliff edges section”. This trail ultimately winds its way up to the top of the Krantz.
On the way, look out for Trumpeter and Crowned Hornbill in the Figtree behind the Krantz hut as well as below in the gorge. Lanner and Peregrine Falcon and occasionally Verreaux’s Eagle are seen overhead. Other species to look out for are Cape Rock-Thrush and Rock Martin.
Other species that may be encountered along the trail as you climb up to Krantz are Croaking and Zitting Cisticola, Brubru, African Firefinch, Natal Spurfowl, Green Woodhoopoe, Southern Black Tit, Cardinal and Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Southern and Black-crowned Tchagra and Little Bee-eater which are often see on the edges of the drainage line.
Occasionally Cape Buntings are seen along the road (not walking trail) from the last picnic site up to the Krantz Hut.
Once at the top of the Krantz, look out for the many African Pipits which love to make use of the many termite mounds as perches, and less common Plain-backed Pipits in the short grassland surrounding the Avocado plants. Cape Longclaw are occasionally seen too.
The view site at the top of the Krantz is a great place to stop for a cup of coffee or a sundowner and enjoy the fantastic views of the gorge below!