Suikerboschfontein Hiking Trails / Voetslaanroetes
Situated about 20km north east of Carolina, Mpumalanga, Suikerboschfontein offers 38km of trails which include base camp, back pack, slack pack and day trails.
The farm of 1244 hectare is within easy reach of Gauteng (250km). Suikerboschfontein has been in the Van Niekerk family for over 100 years and was proclaimed the Paulina van Niekerk Nature Reserve in 1965. Due to large variation in terrain forms and flora, Suikerboschfontein can be visited throughout the year. There is not necessarily a “best season” for hiking in this beautiful nature reserve.
Suikerboschfontein offers an outdoor experience any hiker would like to share with other enthusiasts and experience again and again. The gorgeous unspoiled natural beauty, with interesting variations offers surprises around every corner. Fern-rich indigenous wooded ravines with clear streams and waterfalls create a restful atmosphere. Ancient ruins as well as rock art contribute to the large variety of experiences along the trails. Unique rock formations of weathered sand stone covered with lichen create a fantasy world of form and colour. The seven streams encountered on the routes arise from fountains on the property and yield pure clear drinking water.
There are more than 90 identified and marked tree species and even larger varieties of wild flowers. 160 bird species have been recorded on the terrain, amongst which the Knysna Lourie, Bald Ibus and large eagles, baboons, monkeys, bush pigs, wart hogs, klipspringers, rhebuck and other small fauna are frequently encountered along the trails. The two overnight camps are 10km apart and linked by a circular route. Both camps can be reached by means of ordinary vehicles and the hike can start at either of the camps. By including some of the day trails of 8km, 4.5km, 3km and 2.5km one can hike for 3 days in which case 2 nights would be spent at Rooikrans camp. Each camp sleeps 21 hikers in huts or rooms with 3 to 7 beds each.
The units are self-catering and only beds, mattresses and cooking facilities are provided. The bathrooms have flush toilets and warm water is provided by “donkey” fired boilers. Fire wood, cooking facilities, hiking sticks, candles and small gas stoves are also provided. Hikers must bring their own sleeping bags, food and drinks and a torch to light the way to the bathrooms at night. The trails with GREENFLAG accreditation are scientifically designed and expertly laid out to meet the needs of hikers and also conserve the area.
The day trails have a flush toilet at the starting/finishing point.There is a lapa in the shade next to a stream about 2km from the end of the 8km trail (Grootkloof). A gas braai is available at this picnic spot. The 2.5km trail (Sederberg) is specially designed for inexperienced or unfit hikers. It covers a beautiful area and is an easy walk.