Hikers sleep in a simple wooden 4-room chalet at Horseshoe Bend. We supply the following at the camp: firewood, braai grid & tongs, fresh rain water, small gas cooker, pots, kettle, cutlery, crockery, cold water shower and flush toilet. The camp sleeps 18 (in beds) but can accommodate more if you bring additional sleeping equipment (restriction on sizes).The camp is on the East Bank of the river below the cliffs of the Horseshoe Bend. Keep an eye out for the jetty (it’s the only jetty on the river that far up) because the camp is not clearly visible from the river.
The trail is a marked 12km or 6km circular route which can be comfortably walked in 3 ½ hours and 2 hours respectively. It is recommended that you take a water bottle (camera and binoculars).
You can spend either one or two nights on the Kowie Canoe and Hiking Trail. Two nights is more relaxing and will give you ample time to enjoy the tramping trails, but many people do only one night. It should take you roughly 4 hours to reach the camp site from the start at the small boat harbour at the Port Alfred Marina. There is also a picnic site (Windy Reach) en route as a resting place for the weary.
The Kowie River is tidal all the way up – don’t fight the tide! The ideal time to leave Port Alfred is 30 minutes after low tide. The rising tide will then help you up the river. (The tide takes about 2 hours to reach the Horseshoe Bend). It is recommended that if you are paddling into the tide, you stay on the edges of the river, out of the main current. Note that because the river is tidal, canoes must be carried up onto the bank at night.
Towel, sleeping bag, pillow, fire lighter, food, condiments, toilet paper, candles and/or torch, hat & sun block, mosquito & tick repellent and first aid kit.
25L bucket with lid or strong black bags – if you are transporting your own equipment this is highly recommended.
A pair of binoculars to enjoy the birdlife/wildlife and look out for the fish eagles at Horseshoe bend. A foam cushion will also make the ride more comfortable and can double up as a pillow at night (just because it’s out in the wilds, it doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable!)