Take a Hike! And discover the Makana region with a nature escape

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Wednesday, 18th November 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic doesn't have to halt your summertime fun. The Makana region has unique hiking trails that you can explore all year round.

The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly changed life as we know it, bringing the whole world to its knees with lockdowns. It’s kept us isolated from each other leading to a host of mental health issues.

According to South Africa's online Covid-19 Resource Portal, the Covid-19 virus is primarily spread via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. When you're indoors, you're more likely to inhale these droplets from an infected person, especially if you're in close contact, because you're sharing more air than you do outdoors.

The good news is that the Makana region is an outdoor birders and hikers paradise – with a diversity of bird habitats, trails of flora and fauna, river estuaries, breath-taking views and so much more.

It has landscape allowing for natural beauty and plenty of space between you and others, posing a lower risk for the spread of the COVID-19 virus than indoor activities do. Outdoor activities are therefore a plus for improving mental and physical health, but always remember to take your mask with you and maintain physical distancing when you are with other people.

So let’s get hiking!

Hot on the track with fun outdoor activities is Manley Flats Community Trails. The trails accommodate walking, trail running and cycling and are open every day throughout the year. Day fees are R30 per person (R15 for children) and a year fee with unlimited use is R100 per person. Trail permits and safe parking are available behind Radway Green B&B on the R67 tar road, 25km from Bathurst and 15km from Makhanda. There is no need to book, just rock up, sign into a permit book, pay a fee into the honesty box and enjoy. The permit book is located at a kiosk in the parking area alongside the honesty payment box.

Just take a look at the Manley Flats Community trails! These should get you up on your feet in no time. Remember to bring your water.

Check out ThatBush-Guy Matiwane's experience when he took on a 13km hike using the Manley Flats Community Trails which he said he thoroughly enjoyed.

The Makhanda Hiking Club also had a memorable time on the trails. Their photographs tell a great story!  

All income derived from the Manley Flats Community Trails are directed to their local community. Therefore, your money helps to feed their elderly and children. For more information, you can contact the Manley Flats Community Trails on 072 151 0519 or visit their Facebook Page.

Here are more trails to keep you busy right into next year!

Oldenburgia Day Trail: The hiking club has marked a one-day trail on the city’s southern commonage. The 17km circular and clockwise route begins and ends at the top of Mountain Drive, not far from the toposcope. The start is just a few kilometres from the town centre and can be reached by car from the caravan park off Grey Street. For more information, you can visit the club's Facebook Page.

Two River Trail: https://tworivertrail.co.za/

Assegaai Trails: http://www.assegaaitrails.co.za/hiking/

Cannon Rocks Nature Trail: https://cannonrocksvillage.co.za/nature-trail#start

Alexandria Trail: https://www.sanparks.org/tourism/activities/hikes_walks_trails.php

Waters Meeting Nature Reserve (Bathurst): Ranger/Manager: 079 496 7979 or 076 423 3492. 

Albany Trails (Near Port Alfred): https://www.facebook.com/albanytrails/

Looking for more outdoor fun? Check out the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency’s Nature Reserves guide. It’s packed with ideas for family and eco-adventure holidays. You can experience the great outdoors at Great Fish River to Wild Coast nature reserves. The guide has comprehensive information on well positioned campsites, hiker’s huts, forest huts or farm-style lodges that offer the very best in affordable and comfortable nature escapes. 

Disclaimer: Please note that there is always a risk attached to outdoor activities. The use of any of the trails mentioned in this article or Makana Tourism website is done at your own risk. Please exercise caution and familiarise yourself with the necessary skills for safe walking, running or cycling on the trails especially during unpredictable weather conditions and when coming into contact with wildlife such as baboons or snakes.

Information in this article may change without notice.

Photo courtesy of The Manley Flats Community Trails 

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