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Sporekrans Hiking Trail

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The Sporekrans hiking trail is a two day backpack trail situated between the towns of Bethlehem and Fouriesburg. in the Eastern Free State, approximately 310Km from Johannesburg, 280Km from Bloemfontein and 45Km from Bethlehem. The Eastern Free State is full of surprises for the hiker and offers some exciting and very interesting trails. The Sporekrans trail is one of the best in the area.

Accommodation and Facilities

The base camp (4 bedrooms) has electricity and offers accommodation for up to 24 hikers. Facilities include a kitchen with fridge, hot plate, pots, pan and electric kettle. A Lapa with braai facilities, hot showers, bath and flush toilets are available.

The overnight cave has rustic log beds but no mattresses. Water and braai facilities are provided along with a long drop toilet which offers a spectacular view over the plains of the reserve.

The Trail - Day 1

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Across the bridge Over an obstacle

The trail is situated in the Bergdeel Private Nature reserve in the heart of the Witteberg Mountains. The hiker can see up to 17 game species and numerous bird species.

The trail starts of by crossing a rustic bridge under a sandstone cliff and then passes the rare Bald Ibis's breeding site.

The trail then leads the hiker into Rameron ravine which is full of White Stinkwood trees. From here the trail takes the hiker to "Marriage Corner", a romantic resting place. Further on, "Caracals ladder" takes you up to "Guardian Angel's Post, "God's Little Finger" and the "Bushmen's Baths".

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Some interesting obstacles
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Mermaid Pools

At about midday the hiker will arrive at Mermaid Pools and can take the opportunity to cool off in the crystal clear waters. It is also an ideal place to stop over for a relaxing lunch.

The day ends off in Bushman's Cave where the ancient Bushman's presence can be felt and the turmoil of city life is forgotten.

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Overnight in a cozy cave

The Trail - Day 2

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Valley View

The second day of the trail is about 6Km long, so hikers can take it at a leisurely pace and admire the unspoiled beauty of this lovely nature reserve as the trail explores deeper into the area.

Conclusion

The Sporekrans hiking trail is another example of a trail that opens up the Kaleidoscope of diversity that is the epitome of the Eastern Free State. It is well laid out and constructed and a welcome addition to the hiking trails of South Africa. It is quite short (18Km in total) and should be taken at a leisurely pace so as to experience the fullness of what this area has to offer.

 

'In a Nutshell'

Distance from nearest town 45km from Bethlehem
Access road status Although gravel the road is normally in good condition
Trail type Two day backpack route
Difficulty  Moderate
Marking When evaluated the trail was well marked
GPS Co-ordinates Turnoff S925  S28 29.320 E28 03.972

Base camp - S28 29.442 E28 03.100

Cave-    S28 29.595 E28 02.579

Cell phone reception Base camp - No

River camp- No

Facilities Well maintaine basecamp. Cave basic

 

Bookings for the Sporekrans Hiking Trail can be made through

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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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