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Fanie Botha Hiking Trail


Our motto: Hike more, worry less…

About

Location

The Fanie Botha Hiking Trail is situated in the Sabie area in Mpumalanga. It is located on the Drakensberg escarpment and provides hikers with marvellous views over a variety of landscapes far below.

How to get there

From Gauteng, take N4 to Mpumalanga, turnoff at R539 to Sabie – or alternatively via Schoemanskloof. Traveling Belfast via Lydenburg – is also an option. From Lydenburg, take the Longtom Pass route to Sabie. When entering Sabie follow the signposts in the direction of Graskop. Mac Mac Forest station is situated 15km from Sabie on the Graskop road.

To get to Ceylon Forest Station

The last road in Sabie, Lydenburg Road – turn left, drive through towards Bridal Veil Falls - the Ceylon Plantation. Drive for ± 2km turn right onto gravel road. Drive ± 2km until signage Ceylon Hut on left. Parking: Cars must be parked at the Ceylon Workshop.

To get to Mac Mac Forest Retreat (President Burger Hut)

Mac Mac Forest Retreat is situated 15km from Sabie on the Graskop road.

Parking: Cars can be parked at the Mac Mac Forest Retreat only at the Electrified fence Workshop

To get to Graskop Police station (Graskop Hut)

Should you start from Graskop hut, follow the N4 to Graskop (R532). When entering Graskop, turn right (before crossing the bridge) into Trichardt Avenue, follow signposts to Graskop hut (+ 2km on gravel road). Walk + 1km to Graskop Hut from Police station. Starting at Graskop, make own arrangement to park at the Graskop Police Station.

General information

Some highlights on the this delightful trail include Lone Creek and Mac Mac Falls, both national monuments, Mount Moodie and Mac Mac Pools 2 Starting at Mac Mac, you park and walk 400m to the President Burger Hut.

Special precautions
  • Hikers must carry their own first-aid kit
  • For assistance during emergencies, Please call 083 677 0904
Main attractions

Birds - The region is rich in bird life. Species which are commonly encountered are listed below.

Stony sites and krantzes - Rock kestrel, black eagle, jackal buzzard, rock pigeon, little swift, lesser-striped, swallow, Cape rock thrush, red-winged starling Grassveld Swainson’s francolin, helmeted guineafowl, brown-hooded kingfisher, white necked raven, stonechat, fiscal shrike, red-collared widow, bronze manikin

Plantation - Hadeda ibis, diederik cuckoo, rameron pigeon

Indigenous forest and kloof - Knysna lourie, red-chested cuckoo, somber bulbul, chorister robin, paradise flycatcher, malachite sunbird, scarket-chested sunbird

Along or near watercourses - Blue crane, rock martin, long-tailed wagtail, Cape wagtail, masked weaver, red bishop

Although the area traversed by the hiking trail is, comparison with the Lowveld, not richly endowed with wildlife, a fairly extensive diversity of game occurs along the route. On the grasslands, especially at Hartebeesvlakte, oribi, grey caracal, rhebuck, mountain reedbuck and klipspringers may be encountered. Buck like bushbuck and duiker make their homes in the forests and plantations. Baboons and monkeys are common along the trail. Wild animals which 3 are not so easily detected, but are definitely present, are leopard black-backed jackal, serval, civet, otter, porcupine, badger and mongoose. Dassies are often to be seen on rocky ridges while bush pigs dig up the plantation floor in search of the larvae and pupae of several types of insect. The brightly-colored green and red larvae of the pine emperor moth are often visible on the pine needles in plantations. A wide variety of butterflies is to be seen.

Hut facilities

All the Huts, Ceylon, Maritzbos, Stables, Mac Mac, President Burger and Graskop have in common:

24 bunkerbeds, no hot water, no pots and pans, undercover braai area, firewood and toilets.

Ceylon hut however, has electricity and hot water, and Mac Mac hut has no shower while the rest have a shower.

Starting points - (Parking is only available at these points)

Ceylon Forest Station (Ceylon Hut)

Mac Mac Forest Retreat (President Burger Hut)

Graskop Hut

 

Trails

2 Night Options

  • Mac Mac 2 night trail
  • Graskop 2 night trail
  • Hartbeesvlakte 2 Night Trail
  • Mac Mac / Bonnet 2 night trail
  • Burger 2 night trail
  • Maritzbos 2 day trail

3 Night Options

  • Burger 3 night trail
  • Lone Creek 3 night trail
  • Hartbeesvlakte 3 night trail
  • Maritzbos 3 night trail
  • Mac Mac 3 night trail

4 Night Options

  • Ceylon 4 night trail
  • Maritzbos 4 night trail
  • Mount Moodie 4 Night Trail

5 Night Options

  • Burger 5 night trail
  • Graskop 5 night trail
Trail Options:

2 Night Options

Mac Mac 2 Night Trail

Parking: Park at the Pres. Burger Hut and start hiking immediately to Mac Mac Hut

Distances:      Pres. Burger – Mac Mac Hut 6km

Mac Mac Hut – Graskop Hut 13.6km

Graskop Hut – Pres. Burger Hut 23.1km

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

Graskop 2 Night Trail

Parking: Park your car at the Graskop Hut

Distances:      Graskop Hut – Pres. Burger Hut 23.1km

Pres. Burger - Graskop 13.6km

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

Hartbeesvlakte 2 Night Trail

Distances:      Ceylon Plantation Office - Maritzbos 8.7 km

Maritzbos - Stables 13.3 km

Stables - Ceylon Plantation Office 8 km

Difficulty: Difficult.

Pres. Burger 2 Night Trail

Distances:      President Burger – Graskop 19.6 km

Graskop - President Burger 23 km (via the Mac Mac Pools and Falls)

Difficulty: Difficult

Bonnet/Mac Mac Pools 2 Night Trail

Parking: Park your car at Graskop Hut

Distances:      Graskop – Mac Mac 23 km (via the Mac Mac Pools and Falls)

Mac Mac – Graskop 19.6 km

Difficulty: Difficult

Maritzbos 2 Day Trail

Parking: Park at the Ceylon hut

Distances:      Ceylon – Maritzbos 8.7 km

Maritzbos – Ceylon 9 km

Difficulty: Easy

3 Night Options

Pres. Burger 3 Night Trail

Parking: Park at the Pres. Burger Hut

Distances:       President Burger – Graskop 19.6 km

Graskop – Mac Mac Hut 23.1km

Mac Mac Hut – Pres. Burger Hut 6km

Difficulty: Difficult

Lone Creek 3 Night Trail

Parking: Park at Ceylon Hut and start hiking immediately to Martizbos

Distances:      Ceylon Hut – Maritzbos Hut 8.7km

Maritzbos Hut – Stables Hut 13.3km

Stables Hut – Mac Mac Hut 16.3km

Difficulty: Difficult

Hartbeesvlakte 3 Night Trail

Parking: Park at Ceylon Hut

Distances:      Ceylon Hut – Maritzbos Hut 8.7km

Maritzbos Hut – Stables Hut 13.3km

Stables Hut – Ceylon Hut 8.5km

Difficulty: Difficult

Maritzbos 3 Night Trail

Parking: Park your car at Ceylon Hut

Distances:      Ceylon – Maritzbos 8.7 km

Maritzbos – Stables 13.3 km

Stables – Ceylon 8 km

Difficulty: Difficult.

Mac Mac 3 Night Trail

Parking: Park your car at Pres. Burger Hut and start hiking immediately to Mac Mac Hut

Distances:      Pres. Burger – Mac Mac Hut 6km

Mac Mac Hut – Graskop Hut 13.6km

Graskop Hut – Pres. Burger Hut 23.1km

Difficulty: Difficult.

4 Night Options

NB: Should you do a 4 or 5 day route, please arrange slackpacking as it’s not a circular route. Booking office can arrange it at R500-00 per trip.

Ceylon 4 Night Trail

Parking: Park your car at Ceylon Hut

Distances:      Ceylon Hut – Stables Hut 22km

Stables Hut – Mac Mac Hut 16.3km

Mac Mac Hut – Graskop Hut 13.6km

Difficulty: Difficult.

Maritzbos 4 Night Trail

Parking: Park your car at Ceylon Hut

Distances:      Ceylon Hut – Maritzbos Hut 8.7km

Maritzbos Hut – Stables Hut 13.3km

Stables Hut – Ceylon Hut 8.5km

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

Mount Moodie 4 Night Trail

Parking: Park your car at Ceylon hut and start hiking to Maritzbos Hut immediately.

Distances: Ceylon Plantation Office - Maritzbos 8.7 km (Sleep first night at Maritzbos not Ceylon)

Maritzbos – Stables 13.3 km

Stables - Mac Mac 16.3 km

Mac Mac – Graskop 13.6 km

Graskop – Depart

Difficulty: Difficult.

5 Night Options

NB: Should you do a 4 or 5 day route, please arrange slackpacking as it’s not a circular route. Booking office can arrange it at R450-00 per trip for 6 pax luggage.

Pres. Burger 5 Night Trail

Distances:      Ceylon – Maritzbos 8.7 km

Maritzbos – Stables 13.3 km

Stables - Mac Mac 16.3 km

Mac Mac – Pres. Burger 6km

Difficulty: Difficult.

Graskop 5 Night Trail

Distances:      Ceylon – Maritzbos 8.7 km

Maritzbos – Stables 13.3 km

Stables - Mac Mac 16.3 km

Mac Mac – Graskop 13.6 km

Difficulty: Difficult.