In the kloof
Natal Spa warm springs
Shady camping at Natal Spa
|Kloofing - a new experience
All participants are warned to bring life jackets and make sure their day
packs are waterproof. Friday nigh will be spent in Paulpietrsburg, 360 km from Boksburg.
On Saturday morning we pack-up and drive into the hills to the kloof. This is a one day
circular trail and actual kloofing takes 4 hours. Only short stretches is possible to walk
on dry land. Normal hiking boots must be warn all the time as sandals are not good enough.
For hiking boots and other equipment visit Outdoor World. (Anton)
On Sunday we lick our wounds and relax at Natal Spa warm spring resort.
This hike is developing into an adventure. On Saturday morning we'll move to Natal Spa
where we leave all our things in tents and all of us drive to the kloof in two 4 x 4
vehicles. After kloofing we return to Natal Spa via an interesting 4 x 4 trail. That makes
it a total round trip of about 100 km.
Due to the nature of the trail, no children are allowed.
Note: Natal Spa gate closes at 18h00. Paulpietersburg camping is
opened all night.
Cost of hike is R60 all inclusive.
Get to know Paulpietersburg.
This is a small town, but important center for agriculture and timber cultivation. All
supplies for the weekend can be bought there and prices are low. Situated below a bulky
mass of rock known as Dumbe, Paulpietersburg was named after two famous South African
figures - President Paul Kruger and Commandant Pieter Joubert. It was first known as Paul
Pieters Rust, then Paul Pieters Dorp and got its present name in 1910. The area around is
the home of surprisingly large German community. This group are mainly descendants of
missionaries and craftsmen who established themselves in this area in 1848.
Natal Spa is situated outside town. After our kloofing, it's a marvelous place to relax
and soak away the fatigue of a long hot day. Hotel is in the resort.
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Drakensberg hike: Ndumeni
- Monk's Cowl traverse
Strenuous hike but well balanced as first day we only
walk uphill and last day we only walk downhill. Middle day is relatively easy walk on top
of the escarpement. Friday night will be spent at already very familiar camping site at
Cathedral Peak, 430km from Boksburg.
Hike calls for an early start, as any possible afternoon thunderstorm would better be
survived in our overnight cave rather then in the open.
Day 1 (12km): From the top of Mike's Pass we follow the jeep track to the
Contour Path and without hesitation continue from there straigt up towards an old forestry
lookout and on through Organ Pipe's Pass to Lower Ndumeni cave, our first night home. This
is a large cave that can accommodate 12 people.
Day 2 (18km): We are on top of the escarpment now and on our way to the Didima
Dome we'll be conquering one peak after the other. Walk on the front side of the Sphinx is
one of the most scaring experiences. Didima Dome at 3337 m is the highes point on our
trail and we'll be spending night near this top.
Day 3 (24km): Today is only downhill so we can easily cover large distance
involved. But an early start is advisable. After descending Gray's Pass we'll be on a
familliar path that'll take us to Monk's Cowl forestry station parking place. Transport
from there will be organized before we start hiking.
Cost of hike: Camping R35
Entrance fee R20
Cave overnight R20
Stan, your hike leader. Tel. 011 826 4743
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DAM NATURAL RESERVE
In this nature reserve between Naboomspruit and
Potgietersrus, you can embark on a challenging hiking trail, the Sterkstroom Tent Route.
The trail affords nature lovers an opportunity to see quite
a variety of animal and plant life in the Waterberg.
The route begins in a relatively flat area and passes
through about 4 km of acacia trees and veld before hikers climb Grootberg. From the top of
this mountain you'll have excellent views of the Springbok Flats and Hangklip Waterberg.
From Grootberg the trail enters the sandveld and crosses
the main road through the reserve. The camping site is about 1 km further on. The total
length of the route for the first day is 18 km.
Day two of the hike is 11 km and begins when you cross the
Stern River and climb the hills, from where you'll have a view of the dam.
Although the reserve is the natural habitat of duiker,
klipspringer, impala and warthogg, species such as giraffe, tsetses and sable antelope
were also introduced to the reserve for breeding and resettling and we saw couple of
You may also be lucky enough to encounter brown hyena,
leopard, charcoal and black-backed jackal, while the primates are represented by busybody,
baboon and velvet monkey.
About 290 bird species have been recorded, including
Wallboard's, martial and fish eagles.
The reserve makes provision for organised groups of hikers
wishing to visit the reserve, and there's a group camp available for this purpose. It has
a shelter, toilets, water and a lapa. A tent is needed for both nights, as no other
accommodation is available for the hikers on this route. The first night the hikers have
to overnight in the Boekenhout campsite. Wood for fire can be bought at the main gate for
the first night. At the overnight point 9 km the route, very basic facilities are
available. Drinking water is provided at both sites. For short periods during the rainy
season there will be run-off water available on route, but hikers are advised to carry
enough water on both days.
Various aquatic sports can be enjoyed on the dam.
The size of hiking group is limited to 10 people.
Parking is available at the Makoppa base camp or vehicles
can be left in the main camp.
Stan (tel. 826 4743)