Porcupine Trail

TIME: 1 hour, return or round trip
TERRAIN: Undulating well-marked path.

The starting point is the car park behind the 70s block. There is an information board here with details of the trail, and many more information boards at points of particular interest along the way. Walk up the mowed slope, turning sharp right at the top, keeping the 70s on your right. Then down to the bottom of the mowed grass, picking up the path to the left. Cross the bridge into the Fern Forest, and then turn immediately right. The path follows the river and exits the forest. You will cross the Sungubala jeep track about 200 metres before the school. Take a left path ahead through the bushes, down to a narrow flood plain. This is the highest spot in the Berg where acacias occur. These are Acacia sieberiana, typical of plains where silt has been deposited by long-ago floods. This is a likely spot to see two special reptiles. One is the Drakensberg dwarf chamaeleon. Adults are turquoise, juveniles sandy-coloured, but the key feature is their armoured appearance. This species is endemic to the Drakensberg. The other is the legless lizard. At first sight it resembles a thin brown-striped snake, but it cannot glide like a snake, and has the tiniest legs imaginable. It lashes from side to side and is easily cornered. The legs can then (just) be seen.

Be prepared for a swim at the Natural Pool at the end. The rocks are slippery when wet, be careful. Come back along the main road.

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