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Suikerboschfontein Hiking Trail

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The Suikerboschfontein Hiking Trail is situated on a farm in the Carolina district of Mpumalanga. A portion of the farm has been proclaimed as the Paulina van Niekerk Private Nature Reserve and the trail traverses this reserve. The area is very rugged and scenic and the trail takes in the most beautiful areas of the farm. The trail can be started from either of the two camps and it is possible to leave a car at either end of the trail with extra food etc despite this being designed as a backpack trail.

The Accommodation

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Rooikrans camp

The Accommodation at the Suikerboschfontein Trail is very comfortable and the Rooikrans Camp is very beautiful and original in layout as it is set among high rock pillars. Bunk beds and mattresses are provided. There are donkey fired geysers at both the camps along with braai facilities.

Oom Japie's House is a renovated old holiday home with four bedrooms two bathrooms, two bathrooms, flush toilets, a back verandah and a lapa where hikers can socialize.

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Oom Japie's House

The Trail - Oom Japie's House to Rooikrans Camp

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From Oom Japie's House the trail passes some old graves before descending into the valley. The trail passes within view of some beautiful specimens of Marloti aloes. The route follows the foot of some cliffs where there are many indigenous tree and plant species.

The trail passes through a narrow gorge and then through some yellowwood trees that somehow seem to manage to eke out an existence at the bottom of the krans. This section of the trail can be a little slow going but the views of the valley below are very beautiful.c

After some time of scrambling up and down through boulder at the foot of the Krans the hiker eventually reaches the "Baboon Hotel". Those who wish to see these sleeping places can leave their packs and scramble up the steep path to the top.

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The Entrance to the Baboon Hotel
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Although the trail distance is relatively short, the trail is rugged in places and can be considered quite tough.

Close to the Baboon hotel can be found some fine example of bushmen paintings.

Please do not touch these or use a naked flame to illuminate these as it can harm these fine examples of the ancient art.

The trail is full of the unexpected and should be walked at a leisurely pace to take in the very special beauty of the area.

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Some lovely views A trickle of water
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Dying Sun Chariot Temple Rocks close to days end

2.8Km from the Rooikrans hut the trail passes the Dying Sun Chariot Temple. It is worthwhile spending time here as this is quite a remarkable bit of antiquity.

Close to the end of the day's trail the hiker has to negotiate some ladders to the top of the escarpment. Here one can see the care and attention that the farmer has put into the construction of the trail.

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Tunnel through Rocks

The Trail - Rooikrans Camp to Oom Japie's House

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Some lovely rock formations

This section of the trail is 10,2Km long. It starts off with some boulder hopping across large rocks between which magnificent species of Aloes grow. The route then crosses several narrow gorges.

The trail passes along the edges of some sheer cliffs and could cause some problems for those who suffer from vertigo. Several streams are crossed on this section of the trail.

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Scared of heights?
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Some lovely rock pools

The trail passes through some beautiful gorges with the help of ladders and ropes. The rocks can be very slippery so care must be taken.

There are several rock pools to cools off in along this section of the trail.

Conclusion

The Suikerboschfontein trail is one of the finest weekend trails in Southern Africa. It is not an easy trail, especially with a backpack. It is also not a trail to be rushed through as there is so much to see. What also makes this trail excellent is the fact that it is only 220Km from Gauteng.

Trail accredited by Southern Africa Trail Owners Association

 

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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