Cape Town - The Hi-Tec Garden Route Walking Festival returns for a second year, taking place over the Easter Weekend with an offering of over 52 different walks to choose from between Mossed Bay, George, Knysna, Plettenburg and Natures Valley from April 14 - 17.
The festival said to benefit local Garden Route environmental charities and conservation initiatives by highlighting their work and facilitating donations by walkers to their causes is also exciting option for visitors and locals to get off the beaten track with easy walks or adventurous hikes on the Garden Route.
“Walking festivals are an ideal way to discover new places and meet new people who share a passion for the outdoors, and our festival is unique, as it involves the support and involvement of all the local communities, from volunteer walk leaders to professional guides," says festival founder Galeo Saintz.
"Hi-Tec is a brand which has become synonymous with hiking in South Africa, are committed to the event, which enables us to offer a wide range of walks for free and catering to all levels of fitness and adventure."
The festival encourages enthusiast and people alike to participate as there are walks for everyone, from slow saunters along the beach at the end of the day, to brisk walks up some of the regions highest peaks, such as George Peak and Peak Formosa in the Tsitsikamma.
SEE: Africa gets its first gold-status marathon + plus 7 other iconic marathons to add to your bucket list
The walks are all led by local Walk Leaders who are regular walkers in the region and know the local secret spots be it for swimming or insights into the area’s rich history.
"Everyone is welcome, the Hi-Tec Garden Route Walking Fest festival is about building a connection between us as diverse communities and between humanity and nature,” says Saintz.
Some of the traditional walks include the Brown-Hooded Kingfisher Trail or Circles in the Forest Elephant Walk, and for the more intrepid, there is a Nature’s Valley to Plett Walk. A collection of festive walks such as the Fancy Dress Masked Walk at sundown, or the Inner Magic walk for kids, promise great fun with friends and family. A highlight for the kids is the Coastal Pirate Walk and Treasure Hunt on Easter
The extensive programme also includes many unusual walks, such as the Walk with Poetry and the Yoga Walk. For those with an adventurous spirit, the Naked in Nature Walk is on offer again, and is a chance to experience nature au naturel. Adding to the selection is the Moonlight Meander, a favourite amongst festival goers, as is the Game Walk, which includes viewing giraffe, bushbuck and bontebok amongst others.
“Walking is one of the best ways to appreciate and discover the incredible natural beauty that makes the Garden Route a much loved destination. This is unlike any other festival and with an extensive programme of must do walks, a great way to tick that bucket list. Ideal for families and all lovers of the great outdoors, we look forward to inviting the world to our neck of the woods,” concludes Saintz.
NOTE: Registration for the festival is FREE, many walks are free, but those which require permits or a professional guide have a cost associated. See the full walking programme on the website for details.
What to read next on Traveller24:
- SA Insider Guide: Festivities all around Mzansi
- PICS: SA adventurer powers to new world record
- Fair Trade adds green thumbs up to major tour management group for Southern Africa