Madonna and Child Falls Hike - Hogsback, South Africa

Madonna and Child Falls Hike - Hogsback, South Africa

Rate this Adventure Away With The Fairies - Trailhead

Activities

Photography, Running, Swimming, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Year Round

Added by

LJ Nielsen

Food Nearby
Forest
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

Picturesque WaterfallsAn 800 year old "Big tree"South African Flora and FaunaBath with a view

Hogsback is a picturesque town located in the scenic Amathole Mountains of South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province. Although made up of only several streets, and with a population of just over a thousand, Hogsback delivers its visitors with artistic cafes, quiet inns and a wealth of small town charm. However, it is the natural features of the town that truly make Hogsback a memorable destination. The beautiful forests, streaming waterfalls, rewarding hikes and local history that make this Eastern Cape marvel a local favourite are all encapsulated in the Madonna and Child Falls hike, a four-hour journey that you can start with a bath and end with a swim.

The Trail head for this walk is located at the end of Ambleside Close, in the Away with Fairies Backpackers. This hostel is world-famous for its bath with a view, where visitors can strip down and “bring the hygiene” whilst gazing in awe across the Hogsback State Forest in the valley below. This is a popular spot for a bath however, and many of the guests don’t mind sharing, so get in just after sunrise to ensure an empty tub.

The trail begins slightly east of the bath, and is clearly sign posted. Staff at the hostel can provide a mass-produced hand-drawn map for the various trails in the valley below, however, it would be best to bring a more-geographically correct alternative. The trail descends steeply to the valley floor and can be reasonably slippery, so your favourite boots will need to ready to work if it’s raining.

The track to the valley loops back as it reaches the floor, and while there isn’t always wildlife to spot, the hike boasts a healthy range of native flora. At the heart of the hike stands the Big Tree, an 800-year old Yellowwood that looms over the rest of the forest at 36.6m high. From here, there are various trails to choose from and for the brave, plenty of rock scrambling options.

The hike also has several branches to nearby Swallow Tail Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls, however, the jewel in Hogsback’s crown, is the Madonna and Child Falls. The falls are situated next to a deep plunge pool that offers exhausted hikers the opportunity for a much-welcomed swim. During wet weather, however, this may not be necessary.

From the falls, it is a steep 150m climb up a set of rickety wooden steps to the main road, effectively lifting you out of the forest. The walk back to Hogsback is a 3km stint on a dirt road, which appears to be a bland end to an otherwise fantastic hike. Fortunately, you will have the pleasure of witnessing the locals out for a sojourn, baboons and monkeys racing through the trees, various cottages and even a water wheel. Once back to base, you can put your feet up, but why would you? There is always something else to discover in this beautiful part of the world.

Community Photos

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating:  Rate this Adventure

Have you done this adventure? Leave a review!

Activities

Photography, Running, Swimming, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Year Round

Added by

LJ Nielsen

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Rappel Maletsunyane Falls

Adventure

Cave Camp in Sehlabathebe National Park

Adventure

Hike to Qiloane Falls

Adventure

Sandboard the Brenton-On-Sea Dunes

More Nearby Adventures

Related Stories

destinations

A Magical Yosemite Valley Winter Storm

A Yosemite Winter Wonderland

gear

La Sportiva Women's Skwama Climbing Shoe Review

Super sticky, super responsive, and just as badass as the men’s version of the shoe.

travel

A Few Days in Rossland, BC - A Must-Stop on the Powder Highway

If this town of less than 4,000 friendly folks doesn’t charm your socks off, the terrain at RED M...

destinations

WATCH: A Way of Life Under Attack - 'Welcome to Gwichyaa Zhee'

All over this country, indigenous people are literally just fighting for their identity.

More Stories