Hogsback Arboretum

arboretum garden of peace sign
If you’re someone who loves to be super busy doing things every moment of your holiday, Hogsback is not the destination for you. Unless your holiday only lasts roughly two days, you’ll run out of things to do quite quickly. If you’re more outdoorsy though, and you want to take some time to relax and surround yourself with nature, it’s pretty perfect for you. One of the things you definitely need to do when you visit Hogsback is take a trip to the Arboretum.

The Arboretum is a large area with a number of walking and hiking trails, and a small waterfall. It’s absolutely beautiful, and a great place to just escape from life for a few hours. The walk to the waterfall is a gentle amble called 39 Steps, so named because you walk up a flight of steps (of which I am definitely not convinced there are 39), and the waterfall itself is breathtaking.
39 steps waterfall
There are little signs like this all around the Arboretum.
fairy glen sign arboretum
arboretum garden of love sign
frog crossing sign
waterfall way sign
39 steps waterfall sign
wild berry bush
pink flowers
giant tree
The “39 steps” (LIIIESSS).
39 steps
stone bench
purple flowers
These two waterfall pictures are among my favourite I’ve ever taken.
39 steps waterfall
39 steps  waterfall
The lighting was completely playing along the day we went, causing beautiful reflections on water and lovely dappled lighting while walking among the trees. This first picture was a complete accident, and it’s one of my favourites! I was actually trying to get a shot of the moss when I realised how beautiful this purply shaft of light was.
sunlight shining on mossy log
moss on a log with dappled light
running stream
sunlight shining through leaves
dappled light on forest floor
dappled light on forest floor
sunlight on water
view of trees
sunlight streaming through leaves
This little red patch made me think of a broken heart, and I found it both sad and beautiful.
pretty log
fruit on forest floor
My sister nailed the High School Musical jump.
high school musical jump
Hogsback Arboretum - 39 Steps (1)
After our walk up to the waterfall, we sat down for a picnic (shhh, you’re not actually allowed to eat there), and afterwards my sister and I stayed there for a while and read our books in the shade of a big tree. It was a really lovely, relaxing day, and if you’re looking for things to do in Hogsback or the Eastern Cape, I would definitely recommend a trip to the Arboretum.

If you’re keen for a more serious hike, rather than the little walk that 39 Steps provides, the entrance to Kettle Spout can also be found in the Arboretum. Just be aware: when you reach the sign that gives you the option to follow the easy or difficult Kettlespout path, don’t be fooled by the 25 minute guideline that they give you. It’s about a 30 minute (almost entirely uphill) walk to get to the start of the Kettlespout trail. And from there it’s 25 minutes. It’s an exhausting hike, but I would recommend that you do it, if you’re into that sort of thing. I’m super unfit (and took a detour that made my hike last over two hours) and I felt AMAZING afterwards. A bit dead. But amazing.

Have you ever been to Hogsback? Where’s your favourite day to relax and be in nature? Let me know in the comments!

Kelly x



  1. January 30, 2016 / 6:03 pm

    This place looks amazing! Where is Hogsback? I tried to Google it but I keep getting different countries haha.

    • Kelly Hoggons
      January 30, 2016 / 8:03 pm

      It’s in South Africa. It’s a little village on a mountain in the Eastern Cape 🙂

  2. February 3, 2016 / 12:04 pm

    This is such a beautiful place. I love waterfalls, and the photos came out beautifully. One of those days when the sunlight is in your favour haha. I’ve only ever been hiking once (when I was 15) to the mouth of waterfall. But I definitely want to go on more hikes! (Someday.)

    – Somdyuti | One Tiny Wish

    • Kelly Hoggons
      February 3, 2016 / 8:43 pm

      I honestly used to find going to Hogsback so boring, but since going on these hikes, I’m so keen to keep going back and being active there! Exercise doesn’t seem as bad when it’s in such a beautiful place haha

      Kelly x

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