Hogsback is an enchanting, tranquil place that begs to be explored. Mom and I enjoyed leisurely walks exploring the indigenous forests which lead to beautiful waterfalls, a majestic ancient Yellowwood tree and the breathtaking beauty of nature. The forest walks take one through the mystical forests, past the many waterfalls and streams and up towards the local peaks where you can have a magnificent view over the entire Amathole basin.
Waterfalls in the local area include the Madonna & Child, the Thirty Nine Steps, the Swallowtail Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls, the Tyume Falls and the Kettle Spout Falls. The vegetation in the Hogsback area is lush with cherry blossoms, rhododendrons, azaleas and lilies everywhere. There is also a rich variety of birdlife (more than 100 species), which includes the rare Cape Parrot (which I believe are less than a few hundred left) as well as the beautiful Knysna Lourie, and many more.
I also hope to visit Hogsback during the winter months when the snow has fallen on the higher ground which, I understand, is a breathtakingly beautiful experience. The most likely months for snow are June to August and some of the photos taken during this time of the year are spectacular.
It is rumoured that the famous author, JRR Tokien, spent time here as a young child which possibly influenced his later writing of the ‘Lord of the Rings’. Tolkien was born in the Free State town of Bloemfontein in 1892, but he went back to England with his mother and brother when he was just three years old, never to return to South Africa. Some say the family visited Hogback in those early formative years of his life, while others claim that his nanny came from the Hogbacks area and told him magical tales of her home at the foot of the Hogs mountains where, according to Xhosa legend, the giant flying snake resides. Tolkien’s son also apparently visited Hogsback several times, sending home stories and drawings of the captivating knolls, streams and forests he explored.