Kingdom Trails / Slagthoek: (Olifants Gorge Trails)


Our motto: Hike more, worry less…

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About

The longer 3-4 day Option is known as the Olifants Gorge Trails – including: Kingdom, Slagthoek, Klip Camp and Grootdraai Camp.

2 Day Option – Kingdom/Slagthoek Trails

Kingdom Trails is a 15,000 ha privately owned nature reserve, one of the largest in Mpumalanga and South Africa. This pristine nature area is about 120 km north-east of Pretoria and Johannesburg. Hidden within a natural amphitheater of the Olifants River Gorge, it encompasses the confluence of the Olifants and Wilge rivers in the escarpment break above Loskop Dam. It is an area of outstanding natural and scenic beauty that includes Highveld grasslands, red granite cliffs with seasonal springs, bushveld woodlands and dense riverine vegetation.

Activities at Kingdom Trails include hiking trails of differing durations and challenges, bird watching, game viewing, and fishing on 32 km of unspoilt river frontage. Accommodation facilities include four choices. One of these, a rustic base camp on the banks of the Wilge River, offers accommodation for up to 30 hikers in several separate huts.

Numerous indigenous wildlife species occur on the Kingdom Trails property, including kudu, impala, buffalo, hippo, crocodile, leopard, wildebeest and zebra. Only 1.5 hours from O.R. Tambo International Airport and Pretoria via the N4, Kingdom Trails is easily accessed by road. The last 10 km, however, are on farm tracks which sometimes require 4WD during the rainy season or after rain showers.

Kingdom Trails is a malaria-free area.
  • Part of the idyllic nature of Kingdom trails is that there is no cell phone reception and no electricity.
  • In order to enjoy your stay we strongly advise that you plan your trip to the farm carefully and have a clear understanding of where you want to hike and take your maps with you.
  • The manager of the farm is very hard to reach because of the lack of cell phone reception so please plan your visit well in advance and pay attention to detail.
Animals:
There are wild animals at Kingdom Trails
  • Beware of crocodiles and hippo’s in the rivers (especially in rainy season)
  • Beware of free roaming leopards and buffalos (They have walked across from the Loskop Dam Nature reserve)
  • During the summer months please be careful when it comes to snakes, they are everywhere!
  • They have never had a serious incident with any of the above-mentioned animals. Please be vigilant and careful
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Travelling to Kingdom Trails

NB: Please note:
  • There are 2 access points to the trails. Please ensure you know which one to use.
  • You cannot travel across the farm if you make a mistake. The farm is 15,000 ha big.
Kingdom Camp (Entrance A):
Slaghoek House (Entrance B):
Klip Kamp (Entrance B):
Grootdraai Hut:
  • Can only be accessed on foot

Trails

  • There are various routes you can use between camps.
  • Ensure you are clear as to which route you are using.
  • You must take your hiking trail map with you.
  • To help you find your way we have numbered various trail intersections so that you can easily orientate yourself using your map.
River Crossings:
  • There is only one place to cross the river when it is in flood. It is a low level car bridge
  • During the rainy season if this low level crossing is also under water there is NO other safe river crossing.
  • We advise some form of water proofing for your bag when you cross the river at any time of year
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Kingdom Camp Base Camp Hikes

Kingdom Camp - Paradors Loop 12km, Difficult
(Kingdom Camp from main parking, head east down jeep track, left up the mountain, A3, A2, Kingdom Camp)
Vistas of the Wilge River Valley and Kingdom Camp, a valley with a beautiful fresh water stream and huge trees and a variety of animals.
Kingdom Camp - Snaaksekrans Loop 13km, Difficult
(Kingdom Camp, 1,2,3,4,7, A2, Kingdom Camp)
Vistas of the Olifants River gorge, Snaaksekrans mountain and a variety of animals. Caution: Hippo and Crocodile (at 1)

Slagthoek House Base Camp Hikes

Slagthoek House - Cycad Loop 11km, Difficult
(Slaghoek House, B9, B8, B7, B6, Slaghoek House)
Cycad forest, rock pools to swim in and a beautiful lookout over the Olifants river gorge and a variety of animals.
Slaghoek House - God’s Window 12km, Difficult
(Slaghoek House, 12, Slaghoek house)
Beautiful vistas of the Olifants River gorge, fresh water stream with big trees. Caution: Save some energy for the ascent from 12!

Kingdom Camp Overnight Back Pack Hikes

Starting Camp Overnight Camp River Crossings Distance, Difficulty & Route What You May See
Kingdom Camp


Access only by 4X4 Vehicle in rainy season.

Access entrance A


If the river is knee deep even over the low level bridge, please do not attempt the crossing
Grootdraai Hut 0 River Crossings Day 1: 12km, Moderate to Difficult (Kingdom Camp, 1, 2, 3, 4, Grootdraai hut)

Day 2: 8km, Moderate (Grootdraai hut, A7, 8, A3, A2, Kingdom camp)
Great vistas of the Olifants River gorge, a bamboo forest at a small perennial spring on day 2 and a variety of animals.
Caution: Beware of Hippo and crocodile (at 1)in rainy season
Klip Kamp 2 River Crossings This route cannot be used when the river is high. Day 1: 10km, Moderate (Kingdom camp, 1, 9, 11, Klip Kamp)

Day 2: 13km, Moderate to Difficult (Klip Kamp, 10, 6, 5, 3, 4, 7, A2, Kingdom Camp)
A riverine forest and a waterfall in the Olifants River gorge. Beautiful vistas of Snaaksekrans and the Olifants River gorge from the ridge of the mountain and a variety of animals.
Caution: When the river is low you will still get your feet wet (at 9).
1 River Crossings (across the low level bridge)
This route is to be used when the river is high, sections of the hike will be covered on both days
Day 1: 14km, Moderate to Difficult (Kingdom camp, 1, 2,3,5,6,10, Klip Kamp)

Day 2: 13km, Moderate to Difficult (Klip Kamp, 10, 6, 5, 3, 4, 7, A2, Kingdom Camp)
Beautiful vistas of Snaaksekrans and the Olifants River gorge from the ridge of the mountain and a variety of animals.
Caution: Beware of Hippo and crocodile (at 1)in rainy season.
Slagthoek House 2 River Crossings This route cannot be used when the river is high.
ONLY FOR THE EXPERIENCED HIKERS:
Day 1: 14km, Difficult (Kingdom Camp, 1, 9, 11, 12, Slagthoek House)

Day 2: 20km, Very Difficult (Slagthoek House, B9, B8, B7, B6, B5, 6, 5, 3, 4, 7, A2, Kingdom Camp)
A riverine forest and a waterfall in the Olifants River gorge. Steep ascent through a beautiful forest past a substantial perennial stream. A beautiful stream will lead you to a cycad forest. Vistas of the Olifants river gorge and surrounding mountains.
Caution: When the river is low you will still get your feet wet (at 9). Hippo and crocodile (at 1). Save some energy for the last ascent on day 1!
1 River Crossings (across the low level bridge)
This route is to be used when the river is high, sections of the hike will be covered on both days
Day 1: 16km, Moderate to Difficult (Kingdom camp, 1, 2,3,5,6,10, 11,12, Slagthoek house)

Day 2: 20km, Difficult (Slagthoek House, A9, A8, A7, A6, A5, 6, 5, 3, 4, 7, A2, Kingdom Camp)
Beautiful vistas of Snaaksekrans and the Olifants River gorge from the ridge of the mountain, the cycad forest and a variety of animals.
Caution: Beware of Hippo and crocodile (at 1)in rainy season.

Slagthoek Overnight Hikes

Starting Camp Overnight Camp River Crossings Distance, Difficulty & Route What You May See
Slagthoek House


Access all vehicles.

Access entrance B


If the river is knee deep even over the low level bridge, please do not attempt the crossing
Klip Kamp 0 River Crossings Day 1: 13km, via Cycad Loop. Moderate (Slagthoek House, B9, B8, B7, B6, B5, 6, 10, Klip Kamp)

Day 2: 12km, via God’s Window loop. Moderate (Klip Kamp, 11, 12, God’s window loop, Slagthoek house)
Beautiful Cycad forest, vistas of the Olifants River gorge and Loskop Dam Nature Reserve, rock pools to swim in and a variety of game.
Caution: from time to time: Buffalo’s seen on the God’s Window loop, just keep a safe distance
Groot Draai Hut 2 River Crossings This route cannot be used when the river is high. Day 1: 13km, Moderate (Slagthoek House, B9, B8, B7, B6, B5, B4, River crossing, Grootdraai hut)

Day 2: 10km, Moderate to Difficult (Grootdraai hut, 4,3,5,6,10,11,12, Slagthoek House)
Walk through the Cycad Forest, rock pools to swim in, beautiful vistas of Snaaksekrans and the Olifants River gorge from the ridge of the mountain and a variety of animals.
Caution: When the river is low you will still get your feet wet (at B4).
1 River Crossings (across the low level bridge)
This route is to be used when the river is high, sections of the hike will be covered on both days
Day 1: 14km, Moderate to Difficult(Slagthoek House, B9, B8, B7, B6, B5, 6,5,3,4 Grootdraai hut)

Day 2: 10km, Difficult (Grootdraai hut, 4,3,5,6,10,11,12, Slagthoek House)
Walk through the Cycad Forest, rock pools to swim in, beautiful vistas of Snaaksekrans and the Olifants River gorge from the ridge of the mountain and a variety of animals.
Kingdom Camp 2 River Crossings This route cannot be used when the river is high.
ONLY FOR THE EXPERIENCED HIKERS:
Day 1: 20km, Very Difficult, but stunning! (Slagthoek House, B9, B8, B7, B6, B5, 6, 5, 3, 4, 7, A2, Kingdom Camp)

Day 2: 14km, Difficult (Kingdom Camp, 1, 9, 11, 12, Slagthoek House)
A riverine forest and a waterfall in the Olifants River gorge. Steep ascent through a beautiful forest past a substantial perennial stream. A beautiful stream will lead you to a cycad forest. Vistas of the Olifants river gorge and surrounding mountains.
Caution: When the river is low you will still get your feet wet (at 9). Hippo and crocodile (at 1). Save some energy for the last ascent on day 1!
1 River Crossings (across the low level bridge)
This route is to be used when the river is high, some sections of the hike will be covered on days 1 and 2
ONLY FOR THE EXPERIENCED HIKERS:
Day 1: 20km, Difficult (Slagthoek House, A9, A8, A7, A6, A5, 6, 5, 3, 4, 7, A2, Kingdom Camp)

Day 2: 16km, Difficult (Kingdom camp, 1, 2,3,5,6,10, 11,12, Slagthoek house)
Beautiful vistas of Snaaksekrans and the Olifants River gorge from the ridge of the mountain, the cycad forest and a variety of animals. Caution: Hippo and crocodile (at 1). Save some energy for the last ascent on day 2!
Caution: Hippo and crocodile (at 1). Save some energy for the last ascent on day 2!

Klip Kamp Overnight Hikes

Starting Camp Overnight Camp River Crossings Distance, Difficulty & Route What You May See
Klip Kamp


Access only by 4X4 Vehicle

Access entrance B


If the river is knee deep even over the low level bridge, please do not attempt the crossing
Slagthoek House 0 River Crossings Day 1: 12km, via God’s Window loop. Moderate (Klip Kamp, 11, 12, God’s window loop, Slaghoek house)

Day 2: 13km, via Cycad Loop. Moderate (Slaghoek House, B9, B8, B7, B6, B5, 6, 10, Klip Kamp)
Beautiful Cycad forest, vistas of the Olifants River gorge and Loskop Dam Nature Reserve, rock pools to swim in and a variety of game.
Caution: from time to time: Buffalo’s seen on the God’s Window loop, just keep a safe distance
Kingdom Camp 2 River Crossings This route cannot be used when the river is high. Day 1: 13km, Difficult (Klip Kamp, 10, 6, 5, 3, 4, 7, A2, Kingdom Camp)

Day 2: 10km, Moderate (Kingdom camp, 1, 9, 11, Klip Kamp)
A riverine forest and a waterfall in the Olifants River gorge. Beautiful vistas of Snaaksekrans and the Olifants River gorge from the ridge of the mountain and a variety of animals.
Caution: When the river is low you will still get your feet wet (at 9). Hippo and crocodile (at 1) in rainy season.
1 River Crossings (across the low level bridge)
This route is to be used when the river is high, sections of the hike will be covered on both days
Day 1: 13km, More Difficult (Klip Kamp, 10, 6, 5, 3, 4, 7, A2, Kingdom Camp)

Day 2: 14km, More Difficult (Kingdom camp, 1, 2,3,5,6,10, Klip Kamp)
Beautiful vistas of Snaaksekrans and the Olifants River gorge from the ridge of the mountain and a variety of animals.
Caution: Hippo and crocodile (at 1) in rainy season.
Groot Draai Hut 2 River Crossings This route cannot be used when the river is high. Day 1: 6km, Easy. (Klip Kamp, 10,6,B5,B4, Grootdraai hut)

Day 2: 7km, Moderate. (Grootdraai hut, 4,3,5,6,10, Klip Kamp)
Beautiful vistas of Snaaksekrans and the Olifants River gorge from the ridge of the mountain and a variety of animals.
Caution: When the river is low you will still get your feet wet (at B4).
1 River Crossings (across the low level bridge)
This route is to be used when the river is high, day 1 and 2 follow the same routes.
Day 1: 7km, Moderate. (Klip Kamp, 10, 6, 5, 3,4 Grootdraai hut)

Day 2: 7km, Moderate. (Grootdraai hut, 4,3,5,6,10, Klip Kamp)
Beautiful vistas of Snaaksekrans and the Olifants River gorge from the ridge of the mountain and a variety of animals.

Recommended 3-4 day options:

  • Arrive and spend first night at Slagthoek.
  • Day 1: Hike from Slagthoek to Grootdraai.
  • Day 2: From Grootdraai to Kingdom.
  • Day 3: From Grootdraai back to Slagthoek (3 day option).
  • Day 3: From Grootdraai to Klip Camp. Day Four: Klip Camp back to Slagthoek (4 day option).
  • OR
  • These trails can also be started from Kingdom Camp – keep in mind you need Bakkies/ 4x4’s to get to Kingdom camp specially in rainy season.
kingdom_trailsKingdom Trails Map

Detailed Camp Information

Kingdom Camp Slagthoek House Klip Kamp Groot Draai Hut
Road Access Bakkies / 4x4 only in rainy season. Any Vehicle 4x4 Only On Foot
Access From Point A (See hiking map) Point B (See hiking map) Point B (See hiking map) On Foot
Accommodation Thatch Roof Huts (you will be assigned rooms on your permits) Large Old Farmhouse Rooms cut into the rock, some have Thatch Roofs One Large Hut with 3 Walls
Beds with Mattresses 28 18 20 15
Hot Water Showers 'Donkey’
make the fire yourself (wood provided)
'Donkey’
make the fire yourself (wood provided)
'Donkey’
make the fire yourself (wood provided)
No Shower Facility
Ablutions Flush Toilets
(Bring your own toilet paper)
Flush Toilets
(Bring your own toilet paper)
Flush Toilets
(Bring your own toilet paper)
EnviroLoo
(Bring your own toilet paper)
Drinking Water From the tap From the tap From the tap Provided in 20L Plastic Drums
Cooking Area Braai Boma Braai Area Outside House Braai Boma Open Braai
Braai Grid Yes Yes Yes Yes
Kettle Yes Yes Yes Yes
3 Legged Pot Yes Yes Yes Yes
Flat Bottom Potjie Pot Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gas Stove Yes
(bring your own gas)
Yes
(bring your own gas)
No No
Gas Fridge Yes
(bring your own gas)
Yes
(bring your own gas)
No No
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Don’t forget to bring:
  • Torches or some form of lighting (No electricity available)
  • Sleeping bags or bedding
  • Cutlery and crockery
  • Hiking maps and directions (Cell phone reception limited to the top of the mountains)
  • Wood to cook at your base camp (wood can be ordered for the camp you are hiking to, orders must be made at least 3 days in advance)
  • Toilet paper
Tags: Long Distance Trails Two Day Backpacks Mpumalanga
Price available on Request

Contact 082 663 6168 or 064 523 1807
info@ecotrail.co.za

Disclaimer
All information adapted with permission of owner