This 30 kilometres, three days trail, traverses half of the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve as well as privately owned land, from the misty heights of Graskop to the Bourke’s Luck Potholes. The trail traverses a very beautiful mountain range with a variety of bush, open veld, riverine and flat spaces. This is indeed a hiker’s paradise.
Although the route tends to follow the contour lines, the terrain is mountainous at times and a responsible degree of fitness is required. The route is marked by yellow footprints, painted onto rocks.
DAY ONE – PARADISE CAMP TO WATERVALSPRUIT HUT
Starting point is at paradise camp, on the God’s Window loop road outside the town of Graskop, the route takes you through montane grassland past weathered quartzite rocks into the little Watervalspruit valley and ultimately onto the Watervalspruit hut which is approximately 3 km’s from paradise camp. The trail cannot be started after 15h00.
DAY TWO–WATERVALSPRUIT HUT TO CLEARSTREAM HUT
On the second day, the trail takes you approximately 13,5 km’s through a landscape of strangely sculptured rocks brightly coloured with highly visible lichens, into the Treur river valley. Skirting ravines and patches of indigenous forest and the beautiful Clearstream with two striking waterfalls of about 30 m high – you emerge at the Clearstream hut.
DAY THREE – CLEARSTREAM HUT TO POTHOLES
This 13,6 km’s stretch of the trail leaves the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve just beyond Clearstream to follow the Treur river past the new chum falls. On this section, the trail passes a spot where the wagons of the great trek reconnaissance party were believed to have camped. The trail re-enters the Nature Reserve just before the Bourkes Luck Potholes, which marks the confluence of the Treur and Blyde rivers and the start of the Blyde River Canyon. Walking through the Bourkes Luck complex, one finds the old mine hut, a onetime housing site of the miners.
The trail is closed for now from Bourke’s Luck Potholes to Swadini which will be an additional 2 days and no hikers are permitted on this section for now up until the trail is redeveloped and the hiking huts are refurbished.
WHAT TO TAKE
Weather conditions are variable with frequent rain and mist during the summer months, with chilly mornings and evenings in winter. For this reason, it is advisable to carry enough warm clothing as well as a lightweight raincoat. Good hiking boots, a hat, sunscreen and mosquito repellent (summer only) are essential. Clothing or backpacks should be brightly coloured in order that your group can keep sight of each other in misty conditions.
All food, cooking utensils, lighting, bedding (sleeping bags) and toiletries (including toilet paper) must be carried with you. It is essential that you carry sufficient water with you on the trail especially in the hot summer season.
The huts have 15 concrete beds with mattresses, towel, bed sheets, flushing toilets, barberque sites, 3 legged pots, boma and firewood is supplied.
On arrival please report to reception for filling of registration and indemnity forms.
In terms of parking and transportation your vehicles must be parked at Bourke’s Luck Potholes on a designated site (enquire from the receptionists). Important to note that vehicles are parked at own risk. There will then be a common transport to take you to the starting point which is at paradise camp about 40 km’s away from Potholes.
Please note that:
- Injured hikers who leave the trail will not be permitted back on the trail without a written doctor’s note
- The terms and conditions which are sent to you with your reservation advice form, are to be adhered to at all times
- No private vehicles are permitted at the huts for any whatsoever reason
- In case of medical emergencies, contact must be made with firstly the hut attendants, to summon help. Costs incurred will be borne by the injured parties or you can contact the following emergency:
- Ambulance: 082 733 1643
- Netcare: 082 911
- ER 24: 083 142
Prices are as follows: R450.00 per person/day.
Reservations contact details
Tel: 013 759 5373
For more information on the hiking trail contact:
Reserve Manager: Nomcebo Kunene
Tel: 013 769 8926
Cell: 082 322 8515
Fax: 086 537 8244