Activities in Hogsback

There are a variety of activities and things to do at Away with the Fairies and in Hogsback.

At Away with the Fairies itself we have a large variety of hiking trails starting right from the garden.

We also have an in-house Yoga-teacher and Masseuse. Join us for yoga 4 times a week at the view point or in the garden.

In Hogsback you can choose from Abseiling, Mountain-biking, Combo-Tours, Horse riding or one of many other things on offer in the area

Massage and Yoga

  • Goup Yoga Sessions

    Join us for one of our group Yoga sessions down at the viewpoint, the garden or indoors if weather is bad.
  • Reflexology

    Align your body to rid of aches and stresses through rhythmic massaging of the feet. 30-40minutes ZAR150 per person
  • Private Yoga Lessons

    Get the personal attention you need with a 75minute, private yoga session. 75 minutes ZAR150 per person
  • Full Body

    Enjoy a gift to the sense with this 70 minute Full Body Massage package. ZAR450.00 per person
  • Back, Neck and Shoulders

    A 30-40minute session where relaxing the lower and upper back, shoulders and neck muscles is the objective. Sessions at ZAR200.00 per person

Hogsback Adventures

  • Abseilling R295.00pp

    If you enjoy less strenuous activities, then choose to abseil 35m down the Madonna & Child Waterfall into the indigenous forests below. Head back up for a second attempt or continue on through the forests to end up back in the village. This is one of Hogsbacks most popular activities.
  • Archery R80.00pp

    Fun for the whole family. For a budget deal with gear rental included, one of the less intense activities in Hogsback
  • Combo tour R550.00pp

    Get the most out of your stay in Hogsback by joining us on a Bike-Abseil-Hike Combo tour. Start with a very easy 5km bike ride which takes you past waterfalls, and through pine plantations ending at Madonna & Child Waterfall. Abseil down the 35m cliff into the indigenous forest below and hike back through the forest ending right back in town. This is a combination of the best activities Hogsback has to offer.
  • Mountain bike hire R60.00 per hour

    Rent a quality cycle for as long as you like and explore Hogsback with the help of the information given in the shop.
  • Guided mountain bike tours

    Join us on a 4 hour scenic ride past numerous waterfalls to viewpoints off the beaten track. Swim in a natural jacuzzi atop one of the highest waterfalls in the area, picnic at the dam below the Hogsback mountains and challenge yourself to some epic single track.
  • Do you have your own Bike?

    If you’re visiting Hogsback with your own bike, then don’t forget to stop by the office to pay your permit fee and meet Neels. He will provide you with a map of the trails and give some advice on the trails and other activities.
  • Need Some Repairs?

    Bike spares and goodies are on sale at the Hogsback Adventures shop. Bike services are also available.

Hogsback is famous for its forests, waterfalls and mountains.

Hogsback is a village overlooking the 3 Hogsback Mountains (or 3 Hogs) of the Amatola Mountain Range. You will find Away with the Fairies located at the lowest part of Hogsback, at an altitude of 1200m. Gaikas Kop is the highest point in the area, at 1963m.

From Away with the Fairies you overlook The Auckland Nature Reserve.

The Auckland Nature Reserve is the oldest forest in South Africa and one of only 2, grade 1 indigenous forests in the country. The reserve is pristine and has huge indigenous trees, such as Yellowwood, Iron Wood, Stink Wood and many, many others. As a result of this pristine environment, extremely rare species such as the Cape Parrot , Knysna Lourie and Samango Monkeys are still flourishing here.

Flora and Fauna is abundant.

There are species of bamboo and butterfly which are only found on Hogsback’s mountains. All sorts of fungi and mushrooms add to the magical feeling. The presence of delicate mosses and Old Man’s Beard indicates extremely pure air, as only a small amount of pollution will kill them.

Waterfalls are prolific

Within the Amatola Mountains there are more waterfalls per square km than anywhere else on earth. Hogsback alone has dozens of waterfalls. In front of Away with the Fairies there is Swallow Tail falls, Bridal Veil Falls not to mention, the famous Madonna and Child. From our Viewpoint we can also see Kettlespout falls. This alone is already a natural phenomenon, as in heavy winds the water flows backwards and causes a fine spray, resulting in the resemblance of steam from a kettle’s spout.

Hogsback Origins

The name Hogsback was taken either from Captain Hogg of the British army based here in the 1880′s, or more likely, from the shape of the 3 mountains which overlook the village. These stunning looking mountains are topped by rocky ridges which resemble the bristles on a hog’s back.

The Tolkien Connection

With its gorgeous forests, waterfalls, flowers and mountains, Hogsback has an atmosphere of pure fantasy. As a result there are several place names derived from Tolkien’s books – Hobbiton-On-Hogsback and Bag End (the official name of Away with the Fairies property) to name a few. Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, and his family reportedly visited Hogsback in the early 1900′s when he was a child. His African nanny came from Hogsback and is said to have told him scary stories of a giant flying snake. This snake, according to Xhosa legend, lives in the bowels of Hog 3 Mountain and occasionally manifests itself as a tornado before going back to sleep within the mountain.

While serving in the RAF, Tolkien’s son Christopher was stationed in nearby Queenstown and visited Hogsback several times. He sent back sketches and descriptions of the mountains and forests. These are more than likely to have contributed towards the J.R.R Tolkien fantasy creation, Middle Earth.

Hogs and Horses – The Picasso Connection

If you take a walk through the village, you are bound to meet a roadside Hog seller. They sell unique, painted clay figurines. These have been made in Hogsback for many years to the same design. South African artist Walter Battis (creator of Fook Island) kept up a long correspondence with Pablo Picasso. And in the early 1960′s visited him, taking along some hogs & horses. Picasso is said to have been most impressed, asking, “How does an Etruscan horse end up in Africa?” and pronouncing them the most interesting artifacts to have come from the continent. If one looks at some of the artist’s work of the period, it is easy to believe that the Hogsback figurines had a strong influence on him.

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Our Partners

Rivendell House of Healing

Rivendell House of Healing is a mountainside retreat where we focus on spirituality, meditation, personal growth, permaculture and yoga on a backpackers budget.

Amatola Trails, Hogsback

The Amatola Hiking Trail is a 6 day hike through the Amatola Mountains. The trail consists of several exciting loop trails and the main 6 day trail which is linear. The trail can be started at various points, from 2 to 6 days, with the main trail starting at Maden Dam near King Williams Town and ending near Hogsback.

Coffee Shack Backpackers, Coffee Bay

We have a reputation of being a fun, good-value hostel with excellent facilities and the most amazing, friendly local staff.

Sugar Shack Backpackers, East London

Sugar Shack is spectacularly situated on a sand dune on Eastern Beach, literally within spitting distance of the beach, yet only a few minutes’ walk from restaurants, pubs, clubs, restaurants, shops and East London’s very own Aquarium.

Hogsback Adventures

Hogsback Adventures, the Go-To Adventure company in Hogsback. Experience mountain-biking, abseiling, archery and guided tours with a professional and owner-run operator.