Exploring “Twin Falls Farm”
The stream in front of the “Twin Falls” cottages is the Mholweni. You can follow the path upstream to access both the right hand and left hand falls. The natural mist belt bush is thick and home to many other water falls. The road above the cottages takes you up to the mist belt grassland.
There are birds aplenty, and a variety of buck, otter, trees, and other wonderful plants. Every season has its chance to show off some spectacular display of flowers: be it Clivias, Scadoxuses, Plectranthis or Impatiens, to name a few.
Situated a bit further up the main road, on the section of the farm called “Mholweni”, is a dam just off the road to Victor and Jennie Shaw’s home. A delightful place to spend a number of hours. Pack a picnic lunch, fishing rods and bathing costume.
The river and dam have been stocked with trout, but this fish is a favourite with otters which do reside here!
There are many wonderful birds that could be viewed from the “Twin Falls Farm” cottages if you are very lucky. Or you could go searching for them along the many paths that are being developed through the bush and up into the grassland. Some of the noteworthy species that we have encountered are the Olive Bush Shrike and Orange Ground Thrush, as well as Knysna Lourie, Blue Crane and Secretary Bird. The beautiful Narina Trogon is also found here.
On the main road from Howick is the Karkloof Conservation Centre, just past the Karkloof Club. There are a number of bird hides and the area is home to the three South African cranes: Blue, Crowned and Wattled; as well as many other birds.
On the main road you can take the turning just before the “Twin Falls Farm” turn, which is the driveway for the “Braco” farm house. Standing in the “Braco” garden you look up at the bush and a krantz with a waterfall (this can be seen from the main road). In summer you can see this beautiful Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall. In any season walking to the top of this krantz through the bush is a rigorous but enjoyable hike. You come out onto grassland and then walk to the left to access the top of the falls and stunning views.
For those who enjoy a strenuous hike, Mt Gilboa (1750m) rises up above the falls. It is the second highest point in KZN, after Inhlazane, between the Drakensberg Mountains and the coast. Our dad (Victor Shaw) said, as a young boy, on a clear day, you could see the sea!
A gentle stroll around “Braco’s” gardens (part of the KZN open gardens program) might suit others more. A garden famous for its blaze of colour all year round! Camellias, azaleas, blossoms, clivia and hydrangeas to name a few, as well as some colourful annuals. Please contact William or Victor Shaw for more details about these activities.
The Karkloof is renowned for its mountain biking trails, particularly in the SAPPI plantains around the Karkloof Club. At “Twin Falls Farm” you could explore the road behind the cottages up to the mist belt grassland. Alternatively you could take the main road up to the top of Gilboa mountain, and explore the many routes to get there.
Instead of walking through the bush, you might like to see it from above. The turn off for the Karkloof Canopy Tours is a few kilometers back towards Howick on the main road.