Kaapschehoop Hiking Trail

Ngodwana, Mpumalanga


The Kaapschehoop Hiking Trail consists of several individual trail sections that can be combined together to form a trail of between two and five day duration. There are four trail huts, each ideally placed to enable the hiker to explore the beauty of the area.

The trails are situated in the historic De Kaap Gold Fields which has various hills, valleys, gorges and streams with names such as Starvation Creek, Fools Rush and Poverty Creek. The discovery of Gold on the farm "Berlyn" (today the name of the plantation), led to a Gold rush in the early 1880's and to the establishment of the village of Kaapsehoop.

Click on the map to show enlarged version

     

Barretts Coaches

Facilities at Barretts are in the form of two railway coaches with electricity, 3 toilets, 2 showers, donkey boiler and braai with firewood. Barretts sleeps up to 30 people.

The Trail-Barretts Coaches to Wattles 16,3Km

After passing the forest station the trail traverses patches of Pine trees and indigenous forest. The trail follows the cliff edge for some distance until Starvation Creek is reached. At this point the trail starts a gradual descent into Starvation Creek Nature Reserve. Follow an historical bridal path through the rare and endangered Starvation Creek Cycads and look down the embankment at the stream down below. Follow the stream up to the Starvation Creek Falls and then to Waterblommetjie Dam. The trail then winds through a patch of Pine Plantation before reaching a stream with beautiful examples of Tree Ferns. A short distance further on  the Wattles cut can be found.

 

 

 

Barretts Coaches
Barretts Braai area

Trail Options

There is a shorter 11,4km route to Wattles Hut from Barretts. This may also be used by hikers who wish to return to Barretts, making it a two day trail.

     
Wattles Hut
Wattles Braai
 

Wattles Hut

Wattles hut is an old Forestry house equipped with 30 bunk beds, 3 toilets, 4 showers, donkey boiler, braai facilities with wood.

The Trail-Wattles Hut to Kaapschehoop Hut 15,4Km

The trail follows the escarpment for most of the day offering magnificent views of the De Kaap valley. The vegetation varies between exotic Pines and Blue Gums to Fynbos and Grassland. Along the way take time to appreciate the Aloes, Yellowwood Trees and Veld flowers. Eventually the trail reaches a cemetery and it is worth spending some time exploring the graves. A short distance further on is the village of Kaapschehoop.

     

Kaapschehoop Hut

Kaapsehoop Hut is equipped with 16 bunk beds, no electricity, braai with firewood, donkey boiler, 2 showers and two toilets.

Kaapschehoop Hut to Coetzeestroom Hut 14Km

The path leads back to the escarpment edge and then descends through Pine trees to a forestry road. This road meanders through pine plantation and patches of indigenous forest until you reach a number of old mine shafts. From here the trail descends to cross Blue Swallow Plains, a 470ha patch of grassland set aside for the conservation of the Blue Swallow habitat. The Kaapschehoop colony is the largest single known population of this rare bird species in Southern Africa. After passing two old dynamite bunkers the trail passes through indigenous forest and past some beautiful streams before ending at Coetzeestroom Hut.

 
Kaapschehoop Hut
Kaapschehoop Village

Trail Options

From Kaapschehoop Hut it is possible to return to Barretts Coaches along a trail that is 9,8Km long. The trail starts with a visit to a lookout point which offer the hikers some magnificent views. The trail then descends and then follows Battery Creek for most of the way back to Barretts.

     
Coetzeestroom Hut
Coetzeestroom Braai
 

Coetzeestroom Hut

The hut is equipped with 30 bunk beds, 2 cold showers and 2 toilets. A braai and firewood is also provided.

Coetzeestroom Hut to Barretts Coaches 18,4Km

Follow Coetzeestroom to the top of Battery Creek Falls before descending into the creek. A short deviation will bring you to the bottom of the falls. At a small weir, the trail joins a forestry path which slowly climbs through Pine trees to an old lookout post. After crossing a plain the trail enters a patch of indigenous forest, then slowly climbs to a rocky outcrop which brings you to a forestry road and on to a dam. Barretts Coaches are just a few metres further on from here.

     

Conclusion

The Kaapschehoop Hiking Trail is well worth doing. Just the historical significance of the area is sufficient to make the trail worth doing and who know you might strike it lucky and find your crock of Gold! Apart from the historical interest, the trail traverses some beautiful patches of indigenous forest and passes some stunning viewpoints. For bird lovers, the Blue Swallows are certainly worth the visit.

 
Wild Horses
Board at Barretts
     

Koek a Pan pancake house

 

"Koek a Pan' pancake house

Kaapschehoop. Tel 013 743 4580

or cell 082 601 5455

After your hike, why not pay a visit and satisfy your thirst and hunger at this fully licensed restaurant in the village of Kaapschehoop

Bookings

Komatiland Forests (Pty) Limited (a subsidiary of SAFCOL)

Telephone +27 (0)13 754 2724  Fax +27 (0)13 754 2790

e-mail ecotour@klf.co.za

or

Jacana Travel 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

 


Footprint Hiking Club

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