The trails are situated on Welgedacht, a dairy and trout farm with vast unspoilt wilderness areas. A unique feature of these trails is the many ecological zones they span, namely rivers and wetlands, grassland and foothills, indigenous mountain forest and kloofs, and escarpment and highland. Two of the trails linking the valley to the highlands cut through indigenous kloofs – some of the most unspoilt areas of indigenous forest in Mpumalanga. Every trail has its unique focus, such as flora, bird life, archaeology and the magnificent views that hikers can enjoy from every vantage point.
The base camp, which is the old farmhouse, can sleep a total of 16. The accommodation is well equipped for family groups - especially those hikers whose activities are limited due to young children. These routes offer perfect options for introducing little ones or beginners to hiking.
For energetic hikers, spending a night up at the Fern Kloof hut (sleeping 16) will be the ultimate reward. This sandstone hut has been erected at 1 830 m above sea level and is situated next to a bubbling mountain stream.
The length of the trails ranges from 2 km to 20 km. Along the Crocodile River, the hiker will find abundant bird life in the riverine wetland. The other trails are all interlinked, traversing the various ecological zones, with four horizontal and three interlinking trails. Along all the routes there is sweet drinkable fountain water. Several small game species and more than 185 bird species have been noted. Hikers will find the recently discovered archaeological sites of particular interest. The vistas include three valleys, the Kwena Dam in the distance, a patchwork of agricultural land, the mountains of the Steenkampsberg range to the west and the Lowveld to the east. The owners of this well-run farm are committed conservationists and offer hikers some of the best-designed and most scenic trails in the country.
Walking the Welgedacht trail network will be an unforgettable experience for hikers and they will definitely return for further exploration of these routes.
Maximum number hikers: 16.
Using a well-drawn and very specific map, hikers can decide on their routes to suit their needs.
Old Farmhouse: 16 beds. Braai facilities with wood and grids. Two-plate cookers, potjie, pans and kettle. Ablution facilities: two flushing toilets and showers. Donkey-fired geyser. Paraffin lamps.
Fern Kloof hut: 16 beds. Groups may book a maximum of 16 people. Big hearth with wood, pots, pans, kettle and braai grid. Stream water. Cold shower and flushing toilet.
270 km from Gauteng, 47 km from Lydenburg, 45 km from Machadodorp.
Acknowledgement and bookings: Jacana