kloofing in knysna

October 31, 2009 at 11:57 pm | Posted in south africa | Leave a comment

kloofing is a crazy adventure sport that involving going down a ravine or set of waterfalls; in afrikaans “kloof” means ravine or gorge. as wikipedia says, you have to “walk, scramble, climb, swim, plunge, jump, bumslide and abseil” to make your way down the ravine. We had never heard about kloofing before, but mark told us about it and how he had done the famous suicide gorge. suicide gorge was closed to the season (the water current are too strong in the winter/spring) and I was so bummed that we weren’t going to be able to go. Then in knysna we met this crazy guy, donnovan, who had been surfing and kloofing all his life.

you’ll have to look closely for our heads and feet popping out of the water.

he offered to take us and we had a blast. after a 40 minute trek through the woods, we reached the ravine. it was beautiful and the water was absolutely black – like oil. this made it super scary to jump into waterfalls and scramble over rocks. I had seen ravines before and never contemplated swimming in and out and through them. I wondered how we were going to do it.

my feet?

well, donnovan showed us that you basically make your way any way you can. the wetsuits made is easier (and less nasty) to slip over moldy rocks and to climb up steep cliffs – plus the water was shockingly cold so I was glad to have the suits.

kloofing was amazing and just as fun and scary as it sounds. i was glad to have the expert kloofer, donnovan, around, especially when he grabbed me when i was about to fall off the side of a cliff. thanks don! he was also really crazy and dove off rocks and waterfalls, but only after testing the water for depth and rocks.

One of the most beautiful bits was when we swam through a ravine – the passageway was so narrow and the rock walls were about 40 meters high on either side. it was very peaceful there in an eery way because of the black water. the water was so clean you could drink it, which we did – kloofing was hard work.


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