KwaZulu Natal DestinationsKarkloof, Natal Midlands
This area includes a steep, flat-topped kloof and an extensive range of mist belt forests, home to the Karkloof blue Orachrysops ariadne - a small, blue butterfly classified as ‘vulnerable’, with only five colonies of the species ever recorded - which occurs only in this, the most beautiful area in the province. Although a lot of this is privately owned, the Karkloof Nature Reserve is 936 hectares of indigenous forest that is home to yellowwood and black stinkwood trees that attract the Crowned and Martial Eagle, as well as porcupines, duiker and other smaller game.
The Karkloof falls form a wonderful 88 metre backdrop to picnics and braais under the shady trees that surround it; and through one of the magnificent Karkloof indigenous forests runs the Karkloof Canopy Tour, a unique eco-experience that involves moving from one platform to another along a steel cable suspended some 30 metres above the floor of the forest.
Karkloof also hosts the Classic Mountain Bike Festival, the country’s largest and longest running one-day mountain bike race, in early May. The event has adopted a festival format to make a weekend of the race, beginning with a 20 kilometre Bell Night Race and including a 10 kilometre family fun ride.