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Vergezient Mountain Retreat and Trails


Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.

Nature's peace will flow into you

as sunshine flows into trees.

The winds will blow their freshness into you

and the storms their energy,

while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.

John Muir

The farm on which the Vergezient Mountain Retreat and Hiking trails is situated is on the borders of Kwa Zulu Natal and the Eastern Free State not far from the border town of Harrismith. To reach Vergezient one takes the Bergville road past Sterkfontein dam and then takes the gravel road to Retiefs Pass.

The Trails

The Vergezient trails consist of several connecting routes to suite the abilities of most people. There are basically three longer routes, three 1-3 hour rambles plus three short strolls.

Click here for trail map

We chose to do the 13,5 km "New Beginnings" on the Saturday and the "Razor Edge" trail on the Sunday.

The New Beginnings Trail

The New Beginnings trail starts off with a walk along the cliff edge until Yellowwood Kloof is reached, where the trail descends to the second terrace of the escarpment and to Folly Ridge falls. The well marked path then descends through a forested kloof until the "Old Opstal" is reached. From here the route follows an old road to "The Ford", where the Vergezient Stream is crossed. From the natural splash pools the hiker has a panorama view of the northern and central Drakensberg.

A short distance from here is the New Beginnings cave. Here can be viewed ancient bushman drawings of long ago. From the cave the trail ascends through a beautiful forested kloof passing the Vergezient falls and a lovely natural rock pool, after which a short walk takes the hiker back to the Barnhouse.

View before the descent The Drakensberg in the background
Time for a break Vergezient stream at the Ford
Snack Time Boulders at the cave
New Beginnings Cave Sunset on the Berg

The Razors Edge Trail

The Razor Edge trail is not as difficult as the New Beginnings trail and can be easily accomplished in a morning. The trail starts with a climb down through Vergezient Kloof. From the base of the kloof the trail continues along the steep slopes of the mountain side until aptly named Razors Edge is reached. Here the trail once more takes the hiker to the top of the mountain. From the vantage point at the top one has an incredible view of the Tugela valley and also the surrounding sandstone hills of the eastern Free State. The trail finishes with an easy walk back along the ridge to the Barnhouse.

Views of the Drakensberg

More Views

Up in the Clouds

Beautiful views of the Tugela Valley and the Eastern Free State

The Wingswept Trail

This trail, which is also 13,5 kms long, takes the hiker to the highest point of Vergezient and offers some incredible vistas of the surrounding mountains. The trail descends through the beautiful Oom Pieter se Bos and passes the 50m high Vergezient falls before returning the hiker to the starting point.

Accommodation

Hikers are accommodated in The Barnhouse, a well equipped and comfortable base from which to do the trails. Gas geysers provide hot water for the showers while fire places at each end of the covered stoop provide Braai facilities in all weather conditions.

Conclusion

The Vergezient trail is a very spectacular and beautiful trail and certain to become a favourite among hikers.

High Country

Thousands of tired, nerve shaken, over-civilized people are

beginning to find out that going to the mountains is

going home, that wilderness is a necessity, and that mountain

parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains

of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.

John Muir

Jacana Marketing and Reservations

Telephone  0861Jacana (0861 522262)

Direct phone: Port Elizabeth 041 378 1439

Pretoria: 012 803 9109

Direct fax: PE 041 378 2548

Pretoria: 012 803 4144

 PE e-mail  bookings@jacanacollection.co.za

Pretoria e-mail: rosa@jacanacollection.co.za

 


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