Away With The Rat Race
Can you imagine staying in a wooden pagoda (rock house) built into a canyon and for your comfort, equipped with hot showers and best of all, while you sit on the loo that magazine won’t even be missed, as you’ll have the most awesome view – a loo with a view! ‘God’s Window Base Camp’ has two double story wooden pagoda’s sleeping between 6 to 10 people in each, braai facilities with cooking and kitchen utensils. Get your muscles going with a medium to difficult all day trail of 13.5km down into the Bankspruit gorge with rock pools and take in the sounds of Bride’s Leap, one of the highest waterfalls in Mpumalanga. The ‘Hells Bells’ is a less strenuous half day trail of 8km that takes you down Hells Kloof with spectacular scenery and through a mystical magic forest of old yellow wood and enormous stink hout and tree ferns with smaller waterfalls along the way and plenty of game to be seen.
Immerse yourself in breathtaking views in the Skurweberg Mountains and Komati Valley with the Uitkoms Waterfall, the second highest in Mpumalanga, with sweeping beauty and panoramic views, an indigenous forest with more than 120 tree species, bird life in abundance and small game as you trail along the river with rapids and rock pools with crystal clear water. Try your hand at fly-fishing or go horse riding and when you’re ready to collapse stay in one of two cosy chalets, the ‘Bermanzi Base Camp’ or the ‘New ‘Stable’ Camp’ complete with facilities, braai areas and open air bomas where you can visualise a star filled sky like never before.
The ‘Quagg’s Pad Hiking Trail’ will take you through the Suikerbos Rand koppies, an indigenous bushy area with kloofs, Tswana kraal ruins, historical Anglo Boer war sites and where on a clear day, at the highest point with a 360 degree view, the Vaal dam, the Drakensberg, the Maluti mountains and Tafelkop can be seen. Take a healthy 7km trail through a fenced area where you’ll encounter game of zebra, hartebeest, reedbuck, blesbok and eland with the latter part of the trail going over the Adoons and Whisky koppies and past a small spruit. Indigenous trees and plant species with 85 bird species and 30 grass species have been identified.
The ‘Lindenau Trails’ offer a diversity of fauna and flora typical of the eastern region of Mpumalanga including a waterfall, the Elands River, Sugar Loaf Mountain and offer stunning views combined with awesome kloofs and gorges, eucalyptus and pine plantations. Hikers can pass by old gold mining sites including Anglo Boer War camp ruins and see out of 300 bird species they can identify including smaller cat families and the Cape clawless otter. Within a mere 12km you’ll find Mont Rose Waterfall and the Sudwala caves. Base camp at the ‘Old Plaas Skooltjie’ is suitable for 20 hikers with 2 separate rooms of 10 beds each.
If you want a sleep-over with a little more luxury, stay over in Machadodorp at the ‘Komati Gorge Lodge’ set on the banks of the Komati River and at the base of a miniature Grand Canyon or at the ‘Kloppenheim Country Estate Hotel’ with 14 attractive twin lakeside suites and 10 stylish two bed-roomed self-contained lodges, each with their own magnificent view of the rolling hills.