I have always considered Duiwelsbos the Miss World of short hikes. In the past I have chosen Duiwelsbos as my default hiking trail when I wanted to do a short hike with friends, because of its beauty and the fact that you can take small children along. Well, if Duiwelsbos was my Miss World, I think Koloniesbos (her next door neighbour) might be Miss Universe.
This was the first time that I have hiked Koloniesbos. Koloniesbos and Duiwelsbos share the same parking area. The route starts in the open (first 600m) and then pass through dense forest, which makes you think of Knysna, Harkerville and Tsitsikamma. This route has no boring bits. The 90 minutes we spent hiking felt like non-stop jungle. My oldest boy is 6 and kept saying that he is a Jungle Man, with this excited (cave man) smile on his face. It is hard to believe that this trail is less than 10 minutes' drive from the great coffee shops, restaurants and the Drostdy in the old quarter of Swellendam.
When my wife and I hike Duiwelsbos with our children, she is usually afraid that one of our boys (cave men) might fall or jump into a deep water pool. With Koloniesbos this is not the case. The pools are not as deep and the trail not as steep. Because the trail is not that steep it is easier to enjoy the amazing "junlee". During the 90 minutes of hiking we stopped for snacks and water twice. Even though it was an extremely hot day, the shade of trees cooled everything down.
There are picnic benches at the Koloniesbos Parking area and at the start of the circular route. From the Koloniesbos parking area you hike 600m to the official start of the Koloniesbos hiking trail. This section is not under the trees. At the start of Koloniesbos hiking trail there is a picnic bench under the trees and next to a stream. If you have fitter hikers in your group, they can do the circular route from here, while the others can start the picnic and children can play in the stream. The circular route is about 900m with 150m of climbing.
Afterwards we rewarded ourselves with milkshakes at Tredici. Next time I take friends on a hike - this is the one we will be doing.
Spot the tiger in the tree above :)