Klipkraal Hiking TrailEnquire Now
39km from Heidelberg GT
+27 86 152 2262 www.footprint.co.za/klipkraal.htm
Moderate difficulty; Suitable for children from 10 years old
The Klipkraal hiking trail runs across the old farmsteads of Rietfontein, Hartebeesfontein and Stryfontein southeast of Johannesburg. The farms have numerous old kraals and dry stone walls that are evidence of ancient habitation and are currently used for cattle and game farming, so hikers often see zebra, blesbok and black wildebeest.
The trail begins at Habitat, an old restored milk shed that can be booked by those who wish to make a weekend of it, and for the first two kilometres you hike through rock-strewn bush along a mountain track that offers views across the valley with its herds of game.
A further two kilometres of gradual uphill leads to the Letsa view site, where there are some fine vistas of the surrounding area. A short scramble takes you down into the valley and a small stream that might have water in it during the rainy season. Once over the stream, the trail rises through grassland to the Uitkyk lookout point, from where you can see the nearby Vaal Dam.
The trail now heads down into the valley and through pastureland before descending to a stream and a farm dam - a good place for a break during the summer months.
The next kilometre or so is along a small kloof to the Panorama view site, which offers more lovely views of the Vaal Dam and the surrounding valleys and hills. A short descent follows and then you head through more pastureland and past two windmills, a distance of nearly three kilometres. Another section of uphill takes you close to the old farmhouse, Ouma se Huisie, then it’s a brief walk back to the start.
A second trail of nearly 12 kilometres, on which you visit more old kraals and ruins, is also available. As the trails are mostly in open grassland, remember to take sun protection with you. Electric storms in the late afternoon can also be a problem, so start early in summer.