Manoutsa Hiking Trail

Near Hoedspruit, Limpopo Province


One of the joys of life is coming across the unexpected. This is very true of hiking and being a hiker. There have been a few occasions when I have set off for a hiking trip expecting the mediocre only to be surprised by what I have found.

Manoutsa happens to be just such an experience and in my many year of hiking I cannot recall having spent a weekend hiking in  more spectacular surroundings.

         
 

The Accommodation

Manoutsa offers an assortment of accommodation from the basic hikers lodge to fully furnished chalets at the resort which is situated across the road from the lodge so that it is an ideal weekend breakaway for the whole family.

 
Hikers Accommodation The Restaurant and Bar at the Resort
The Resort Supertube The Pool Area at the Resort
 
         
 
 

The Trails - Day 1

There are two trails at Manoutsa, the first, if done in both directions, will take about 9 hours to complete. However, Manoutsa offers the opportunity of a lift to the top of the mountain on the back of a bakkie which enables the hiker to enjoy the trail at a leisurely pace.

 
         
 

The trail starts off with a short but quite steep ascent to a vantage point about 750m above the Lowveld. Here there is a lovely waterfall and stream.

 
 
         
 
  The stream offers the opportunity for a short break before the final ascent.  
         
  There are some lovely cools spots to get out of the heat of the day.  
 
         
 
  Swimming is also a possibility in the crystal clear pool.  
         
 

From the top the views of the Drakensberg are amazing.

 
 
         
 
 

Far below the panorama stretches out before one as one looks east towards the Kruger Park.

 
         
 

Once the descent begins, the path meanders through rocky outcrops down to a waterfall which is a good place to have lunch.

 
 
         
 
 

The trail continues along a path that can cause a few nerves to twitter, especially for those who suffer from vertigo. The trail passes some more lovely pools along the way before eventually leading the hiker back to base camp.

 
         
  The Trail - Day 2

The second day of the trail also starts with a lift up the mountain and it is well worth taking a little time to visit the craft stall along the side of the road.

The trail starts with a short but steep descent down to the stream. From here begins one of the most amazingly beautiful hiking experiences that I have experienced in all my days of hiking

 
 
         
 
 

The stream has deposited large amounts of Tufa over thousands of years and this has produced caves and rock formations that can only be described as amazing.

 
         
 

The gushing stream descends through these Tufa formations and  to follow the cascading water the hiker has to make use of several ladders.

 
 
         
 
  The path can be difficult in places and care needs to be taken  
         
 

On its way down, the trail descends through bat caves.

 
 
         
 
 

The main waterfall is an ideal place for a swim.

 
         
 

There are many swimming opportunities along the trail.

 
 
         
 
  There are several river crossings to negotiate.  
         
 

There are many large and beautiful trees along the route. The flora of the area is superb and there are several fine examples of Matumi trees along the river.

 
 
         
 
 

A visit to a neighboring Citrus farm to see the Hippo pools is a wonderful way to finish a beautiful weekend.

 

Conclusion

Manoutsa is an amazing place. A place that any nature lover should visit. The hiking is great and this is a trail that will find its place on the club calendar on a regular basis despite the distance that needs to be traveled to reach there.

Bookings

Bookings for the Manoutsa trail can be made directly through the resort

Telephone +27 15 795 5012


Footprint Hiking Club

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