Climb Formosa Peak
Peak Formosa, at 1675m above sea level, is the highest peak in the Tsitsikamma mountains situated in the Eastern Cape. It is approached from the North via the Langkloof between Louterwater and Joubertina. It is quite a strenuous walk and, if you want to appreciate the incredible views, would take the best part of a day to complete so start early. Access to the base of the mountain on the northern side is gained via farm roads on the northern side (permission needs to be obtained). There is a large dam at the base and this is were you park your car. From here you start around the right side of the dam through the fynbos. Pay careful attention to the trail on this first section through the fynbos as the path is not very clear. You then cross one of the small steams that feed the dam, from here on the path is well established and easy to follow. Across another stream and then the trail starts climbing from here through a patch of pine trees and up to a ridge. Once on the ridge you climb up to a small high point and further along the ridge. From the ridge you can see what appears to be the very steep last slopes of the summit, but the summit is now hidden behind this big sub summit. The ridge narrows as you get closer to the steep section until it is almost just a rock edge. To some this upcoming section might look unclimbable, but along the right line it is not so hard but be EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS as slipping here would be very dangerous. As you look at this slope you'll see there is a grassy gully leading upwards slightly to the left, the path leads up this gully and brings you to the top of this sub summit from were you'll be able to behold the beauty of this majestic peak. Last time we climbed Formosa there was a rope fitted up a section of this gully. When you reach the top of this section, follow the path along the ridge spanning between these to peaks up to the final summit. Next to the summit beacon there is a plastic tub with a logbook to leave your name and to read fellow climbers' comments.
Precautions: This is a trail amongst mountains and should be treated that way. Weather in the mountains can change drastically in no time without warning. I've done this trail starting in warm summer conditions and shortly after reaching the summit was totally enveloped in clouds and fog all the way down and it became quite cold. It can also get really hot, especially on the lower slopes on the northern side so take enough water. If you have a fear of heights the exposure on the ridge before the gully section, the gully itself and the final ridge to the summit might be challenging.
Distance: About a 9km trip up and down. Very strenuous.
Permits & Costs: You need to get permission to hike Formosa from the landowner, Marius Strydom. There are no costs during the week but over weekends costs are R100 per group.
Contact Number: Marius Strydom 042 272 1721.
Directions: The turnoff is situated on the R62 between Louterwater and Krakeelrivier, just east of Joubertina. The roads are gravel but in good condition and can be travelled with a normal car.
Other: The water in the streams are drinkable, the dark colour is due to the tannins and humic acids from the leaves on the forest floor. Swimming in the dam is not permitted.
Turn-off from R62 - S33° 48.229' E23° 40.021'
Parking spot - S33° 50.926' E23° 40.378'
Formosa Peak - S33° 51.846' E23° 42.200'
250KB. GPX file, works with a variety of applications and devices.
7KB. GPX file, works with a variety of applications and devices.
14KB. Only Garmin GPS units supported, need MapSource or Trip & Waypoint Manager to open.
Click photos to enlarge.
Please preserve our environment for our posterity by not littering.