Quagga’s Pad TrailEnquire Now
26km from Balfour MP
+27 86 152 2262 www.footprint.co.za/quagga.htm
Moderate difficulty; Suitable for children
The Quagga Pad trail is situated on the farm, Rusfontein, close to the small town of Balfour. During World War One, the beautiful old farmhouse was used as a hospital and there are many other historical sites in the area, including old farmstead remains and old graveyards.
The trail begins at a camp, where hikers can leave cars overnight.
The trail follows a farm road for about 500 metres before turning off to the left and ascending gradually to the site of an old grave yard and the ruins of an old homestead. From here, the trail ascends for roughly a kilometre to a ridge that offers you views of the surrounding area. A short walk further and you descend slowly into a valley where in summer you might find water.
The trail now rises over rocky ground to the top of Grootkop, from where you can enjoy beautiful views of the Vaal Dam, then heads down across a valley to another viewpoint about two kilometres away. This is a good place to have a rest and take in the scenery before following the path back across the valley, then turning southeast to cross a sand road.
Once over the sand road, you continue on an easy descent to Ernest’s Dam, a beautiful stretch of water which, in summer, has some excellent opportunities for birding.
The final three-and-a-half kilometres of the trail should take you a maximum of two hours. After following the path through some rocky ground for about 400 metres, you cross the sand road again and once more ascend into the low koppies that provide more panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
A brief descent to a stream is then followed by a final uphill, from where you look down upon the owner’s farm,after which you slowly descend to the hiker’s camp and your vehicles. A second, much easier trail of six kilometres is also available for those who want to make a weekend of it.
There is little shade to be had along the trail, so make sure you slap on the sunscreen and wear a hat.