Suikerboschfontein Hiking Trail
Carolina in Mpumalanga might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think about hiking in South Africa, but after completing the Suikerboschfontein Hiking Trail, that might change. This challenging two day trail was an unexpected pleasure, because from the N4 highway the area’s landscape seems to comprise of nothing but Highveld grassland really. This isn’t the case. The hike takes you through a range of terrains, from high vantage points up to 47 metres above the valley’s floor, down into rocky riverbeds bordered by patches of indigenous forest.
On each of the two days it takes to complete the technically challenging but relatively short 20km kilometre trail, you will walk, climb and clamber over rocks and waterfalls, in some places assisted by ropes and ladders. You’ll come cross patches of Marloti aloes, sip from streams lined with ferns, and find rock art that not many other people have seen. Each night, you’ll watch the sun set or the moon rise over the veld, listen to nightjars and jackals call and sleep deeply in the basic but comfortable hiking huts. And on day three, when the last stretch of the walk is over - and your backpack is lighter than it’s been before - you’ll wish that you could keep on walking, just a little bit more.
- Dianne Tipping-Woods