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7 Best hiking trails in Mpumalanga

Mpumalanga is South Africa’s most sought-after travel destination. The province has become a popular tourist destination due to its beautiful landscapes and wealth of outdoor activities, such as hiking, safaris, camping, waterfalls, and magical forest trails.

The Kruger National Park is the primary tourist attraction in Mpumalanga. This is where South Africans and foreigners alike go to experience the country’s famous wildlife on safari. However, not everyone is aware that safaris are not the only thing to do in this province.

There are a wide variety of adventure sports available in the areas surrounding Kruger National Park, including white-water rafting, canyoning, mountain biking, ziplining, and quad biking. Great hiking trails, from short, day-long treks to multi-day treks, can be found all around the province.

Here, we explore seven of Mpumalanga’s most breathtaking and unforgettable hiking trails.


1.    Wolwekrans Eco Lodge

The hiking trails at Wolwekrans are extremely popular among visitors. This verdant nature reserve features hiking paths that are appropriate for hikers of all skill levels, making it an excellent destination for families.

The hiking routes are ideal for leisurely strolls with the family and provide an unforgettable perspective on the significance of protecting natural resources, with stunning landmarks, waterfalls, and a wealth of naturally occurring biodiversity.

A climb to the summit of the Schoemans Mountains is available each Saturday for intrepid hikers, revealing powerful vistas that span the entirety of this beautiful area.

Located in the historic Schoemanskloof region of Mpumalanga, the Wolwekrans Eco Lodge is among the best this province has to offer.

High in the Schoemanskloof Mountains, this eco-friendly resort was designed and constructed to have a minimal impact on the environment.

Your self-catering accommodation consists of fully outfitted romantic cabins, which feature private terraces and boma spaces fully powered by solar panels and natural gas.

Twitchers and bird enthusiasts will find Wolwekrans to be the ideal destination. A large number of eagles, falcons, and other types of exotic birds make their home in the surrounding creek, along with magnificent sightings of Kudu, Rhebuck and Duikers amongst the diverse range of wildlife on the reserve.

Added to this, Wolwekrans is biker-friendly and has several stunning trails that are located on a servitude road. Trailing deep within Schoemanskloof, bikers pass through and alongside some of the most evocative mountains and woods that bring to life the iconic beauty of Mpumalanga.


2.    Num Num Trail

This self-guided hiking takes between three and five days to complete and travels through the widely varied landscape of the Highland Escarpment, which includes native woods, sandstone mazes, ancient meadows, and stunning waterfalls.

In addition to that, there is a rich diversity of flora, fauna, and birds to observe along the journey. Slackpacking is an alternative that available to less experienced hikers, with your baggage carried by a trained guide.

The trail requires a reasonable level of fitness and agility because it has a few sections that are steeply uphill and downhill while traveling through the gorges.


3.    Graskop Day Trail

This day hike is not as challenging as others, but it still goes rather far (13.3km). You can start your hike from the Graskop hut and make your way through pine and indigenous forests to the Forest Falls. Also included is a trip across the Mac Mac concrete bridge.

The Forest Falls has a pleasingly wide, deep pool at their base, making them an excellent place to swim after a strenuous hike. You must obtain a permit from the Graskop information bureau and sign an indemnity form before beginning the hike. The fee is R20 per person.


4.    Fanie Botha

Fanie Botha is a multi-day hike in Mpumalanga, South Africa. Several waterfalls, such as Lone Creek and Mac Mac, may be found along the Drakensberg escarpment.

This hike is best done in the colder months of autumn or spring because some parts can be challenging, especially in the middle of summer. The trail can be completed in two, three, or five days, with the shortest route covering 17 kilometres and the longest covering 59 kilometres.


5.    The Loerie Trail

The Loerie Trail, which is one of the most well-known day hikes in the region, can be found just on the outskirts of Sabie. Either the Castle Rock municipal caravan campground or the Ceylon forest station is a good place to start the 10-kilometre circular trip that you can take.

Alongside the Sabie River, this trail is very straightforward and flat, and it travels through pine and eucalyptus plantations.

You will need a permit, which can be obtained for a small price from Merry Pebbles (which is located adjacent to the caravan park) or from the Lowveld tourism centre in Main Street, Sabie. At the latter location, you will also be able to pick up a trail map.


6.    Belvedere Day Walk

The Belvedere Day Walk is a circular hiking trail that is ten kilometres in length and leads to the hydroelectric power station in Belvedere.

The vistas of the Blyde River Canyon that you get throughout the 400-meter descent to the power station make it well worth the effort, despite the fact that it is somewhat tough.

Although it is no longer in operation, the power plant was once the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Construction on the facility began in 1911.


7.    The Fairyland Trail

This should be at the very top of your “To Hike” list if you are seeking some unique and interesting locations to explore in Mpumalanga.

Around one kilometre to the southeast of the village of Graskop are some enormous rock formations that have quite distinctive names and features. These rocks have been in that spot for a good few thousand years.

Follow the walk in a clockwise direction for a total of three hours to see these natural sculptures. The Graskop holiday resort is where it begins and where it concludes.

You will have the opportunity to view some incredible places along the way. You will begin your journey through grasslands and make your way to the edge of Pinnacle Gorge for a breath-taking panorama.

Following this, you will get the opportunity to visit Sir Percy Fitzpatrick’s overnight camp, which is known as “Paradise Camp”, as well as “Fairyland”, regarded for its unusually shaped rock formations, as was previously described.