1) On Foot:
The Genesis Route is revered amongst the hiking community for its magnificent hiking trails. None more so than the Queen Rose two day trail. This 26km hike takes you through mountain passes and indigenous forests, as you follow the Queens River and is considered to be one of the most scenic hiking trails in Africa.
The beauty of hiking is that it allows you to become at one with nature, enabling you to get up close to the wide variety of plant and animal species found along the Genesis Route. This includes the 350 bird species that can be found here. A short hike that any bird lover will enjoy is the Rimer’s Creek Route that starts behind the Fernlea Museum House in Barberton and is well sign posted. The 2km trail is circular and home to over 107 different bird species including the Knysna Touraco (Lourie), Narina Trogon and Gorgeous Bush Shrike.
It is not just nature lovers that will enjoy discovering the Genesis Route on foot. Those interested in the cultural heritage can also get their fix on the Heritage Walk in Barberton.
Days. While you can “do the tour” on your own by simply following the map, to get the most out of it take a guided tour. The Guides will give you the inside scoop on Barberton’s past and bring to life the colourful characters who called it home during the wild Gold Rush Days.
2) By Bike:
The steep winding roads and off-road adventure trails makes the Genesis Route a playground for cyclists. Road racer, mountain biker, young, old, experienced or novice, if you have a bike the Genesis Route has a trail.
For those who like to combine cycling with more sedate sports like fishing or a spot of pampering then Dawsons Trout and Game Lodge is the place for you. Explore the 1800 hectare reserve on your bike before coming back for a spot of fly fishing or a picnic at one of the Lodge’s many exquisite locations. While for those who enjoy pushing themselves to the extreme, why not cycle the whole 220km route! With its monstrous hill climbs, twists and turns plus dirt road sections this is not for the faint hearted. However, the views from the top of the climbs and the sense of achievement you will gain from completing it will be worth all the sweat and tears!
3) In a 4x4:
When it comes to 4x4 experiences, the Genesis Route has the perfect terrain. Steep rocky inclines, sharp turns, uneven ground, boulder scrambling, water crossings and heart stopping descents, the Genesis Route is a 4x4 enthusiasts dream.
There are numerous 4x4 trails along the route, each with their own unique features waiting to be revealed by those brave enough to tackle them. Ranging through the half day adventure to Eureka City where you follow the old Cocopan trails as they lead you up incredible steep and twisting mountain paths, or the 30km Ebutsini Route with its serious dongas that will challenge even the most experienced 4x4 enthusiast.
4) In the Air:
If you thought driving the Genesis Route was impressive, seeing it from the air will simply blow you away. As the patchwork of agricultural fields, geometric plantations, beautiful indigenous woodland, magnificent rugged mountains and soft savannah grasslands spread out below like a natural quilt.
Nothing will get your heart pumping and the adrenaline searing though your body like a tandem paraglide. The exhilaration of launching yourself off a mountain side is only matched by the feeling of absolute freedom as you soar through the air. Once you have remembered to breathe be careful as the views over this ancient landscape are likely to take your breath away again.
5) On a Quad Bike:
What might surprise many people is that when it comes to game viewing at Forever Resorts quad biking is one of the best ways of getting up close to the animals. Eco Quad Adventures run one and two hour quad biking tours that not only let you get closer to the plains game then you ever could in a car. They are also great fun too! The best bit is that you don’t need to be an experienced quad biker to give it a go, as the route is designed to cater for novices and experienced bikers alike. Their expert guide, Oom (Uncle) Steve, has the patience of a saint and an ability to transform even the most nervous of novices into a fully-fledged quad biker in no time at all.
For those looking for more of a challenge, Eco Quad Adventures also run two trails in Barberton. The ‘14 Streams’ tour is, exactly as the name suggests, a river crossing adventure. This half day tour is also suitable for all levels of quad-biker and will leave you wet, muddy and with a huge smile on your face. While the full day Eureka City Tour is for experienced quad-bikers due to the technical nature of the trail. Here you ascend through the ‘Gates of Paradise’ quickly followed by the ‘Gates of Hell’ on route to the remnants of the Gold Rush Boom Town of Eureka City. While the route to Eureka City is challenging the views when you arrive are worth it. As you are treated to 360 degree panoramic views of the Makhonjwa Mountain Range stretching on for as far as the eye can see.
Contact details for the Big 5 Ways to Explore the Genesis Route
Quad Biking contact: Eco Quad Adventures & OppiDam [www.barbertontourism.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | +27 (0)13 712 2365 | +27 (0)82 748 6703]
For everything else contact: Andrea Botha Barberton Odyssey [Barbertontours@gmail.com | +27 (0)79 180 1488]. Alternatively contact Astrid Christianson at the Barberton Information Office [email@example.com | +27 (0)13 712 2880 | +27 (0)82 959 6670]