Suikerbosrand TrailEnquire Now
26km from Heidelberg GT
+27 71 602 7579, +27 11 439 6300 www.gauteng.net
Easy to moderate difficulty; Suitable for children from 10 years old
If there’s one spot to add to your upcountry to-do List, it is Suikerbosrand. This arresting nature reserve, more than 11 595 hectares in size, is named for the Transvaal Suikerbos, or Protea Caffra, which grows in profusion here along the slopes of the eponymous mountain range.
Geologically speaking, the Suikerbosrand Mountains prove to be an absolute revelation, with the landscape ranging from rugged outcrops and grassland plains to kloofs dense with relic indigenous forest. Exchange the Big Smoke for the tranquil bush, and you’ll soon feel as if you’ve recharged your soul, especially during the gorgeous spring and autumn months. Extreme weather conditions, irrespective of the season, are prevalent throughout the year though, so be ready for anything from violent thunderstorms to sub-zero night-time temperatures.
Pick up your permits and keys for the overnight huts from the reception, then boot up to explore a network of 66 kilometres of hiking trails. Either crisscross the whole of the reserve in six days or opt to do sections of the trail at a pace that suits you and your group. Family options include the easy, four-kilometre interpretive route (Cheetah Trail), or Bokmakierie Day Visitor Trail (options of 10 kilometres and 17 kilometres). It would be a pity to miss out on the adventure of sleeping overnight in the hiking hut though!
Reach Suikerbosrand along the N3 en route from Johannesburg to Heidelberg.