The Donkey Trail

Die Hel’ in the Gamkakloof Valley was first inhabited by farmers in 1830. It was accessible only by foot until 1963 when a road was built winding from the Swartberg Pass down into this remote valley.

Before the road, a ‘donkey trail’ over the Swartberg Mountain from Calitzdorp to ‘Die Hel’ was the only commercial life line with the outside world. This historic donkey trail starts at Hans and Erika Calitz family farm Living Waters near Calitzdorp.

The walking tour takes four days and three nights and visitors will experience a whole Klein Karoo cultural and scenic wonder including Ostrich farms, Groenfontein Valley, Calitzdorp Port, Swartberg Nature Reserve with a night in the veld (as in the days of old), Gamkaskloof, a return drive over the Swartberg Mountain Pass.

All donkeys used in the project have been rescued and are guaranteed a life of excellent handling and health care. All guides used in this project will be drawn from underprivileged backgrounds. Local flavour, stories and history will be emphasized throughout the tour, even through the catered meals served.

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