Wolkberg Wilderness

Near Polokwane, Limpopo Province

There are no facilities apart from a few indistinct tracks that dissect it. The hiker can choose his own route and number of days he spends in the area and pitches his/her tent anywhere they choose. Normally wilderness hiking is undertaken by experienced hikers equipped with tents and everything they may possibly need to cover any eventuality. Map reading skills are essential as is a knowledge of First Aid. Examples of wilderness areas are Cederberg, Groot Winterhoek Wolkberg and The Drakensberg.

The Wolkberg is a rugged area and hiking in this area can be classed as strenuous and should be only attempted by those who are fit. The hike leader should be an experienced hiker with strong leadership skills.

It is important to plan your route before hand and let someone know beforehand  your proposed route, the equipment that you are taking with you, your date of return. Never hike alone, especially in a wilderness area.

Click on map for enlargement

         
 

Sarala Forest Station is the starting point for those hiking the Wolkberg. There are camping facilities with very basic amenities here.

 
 
         
 
 

A final night of comparative luxury can be had before taking the track down into the wilderness area.

 
         
 

The area is mountainous and rugged and there are some streams that can be difficult to cross after heavy rains.

 
 
         
 
 

The challenge and feeling of remoteness makes hiking in wilderness areas so rewarding.

 
         
 

The mountain splendour is enough to heal all those cares and worries that adorn everyday life.

 
 
 
         
 
Spectacular waterfall
Taking it easy
 

A basic map is available from the booking office but a 1:50,000 contour map is also a must. A GPS is also a useful peace of equipment in a wilderness area.

 

 

         
 

Weather can change in a few minutes. Mist is common and it can be dangerous to walk on when visibility is severely restricted. Extra food should be taken along to allow for staying longer if the weather gets really bad.

 
Mist can descend in an instant
 
         
 
 

There are no toilet facilities in the wilderness and provision has to be made to dig a whole and burry the excrement. All waste such a tin cans and plastic must be carried out and disposed of after the hike.

 

Conclusion

Participating in wilderness trails is hiking in its purist form. I find that usually once a person has participated in a wilderness hike, the "bug" bites and they become hooked on this type of trail.

 Wolkberg is an incredible area and one that deserves more attention from hikers. It is certainly not something that should be embarked on without proper planning, equipment and an experienced leader.

 

Booking for Wolkberg Wilderness are made through

Limpopo Province

Dept of Environmental Affairs and Tourism

Telephone Number +27 (0) 15 276 1303

Fax +27 (0) 15 297 8962


Footprint Hiking Club

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