One of the 5 star Discovery trails situated near Memel, an easy 2,5 hour drive from Johannesburg , SEDIBA should be an annual “must” on every hikers calendar.
The SEDIBA Base Camp can comfortably accommodate up to 30 hikers and it was therefore somewhat of a surprise that only nine J H C hikers arrived to enjoy this excellent weekend base camp hike.
The clean , neat and well maintained accommodation at SEDIBA includes three thatched natural stone hikers dormitories , comfortable beds ( with clean , fresh fitted bed sheets ! ) , braai facilities , clean ablutions and hot showers. There is a centrally situated thatched “communal “ area , which includes a kitchen / lounge and large fire place (big enough for an indoor braai) and this leads on to an open wooden deck area which overlooks a densely bushed ravine surrounded by hills and valleys.
The two SEDIBA day trails are safe, well marked, easy to follow and can be enjoyed by hikers of varying levels of fitness.
Day 1 – was a moderate 10 km trail in near perfect (coolish) weather, with many interesting features, including wood ladders , bridges , streams , waterfalls and some beautiful scenery. The trail winds through spectacular sandstone boulder formations, open grassland, densely bushed gullies, crosses a number of streams and eventually follows the course of a stream with numerous pools and waterfalls back down into the SEDIBA valley and to the base camp.
Due to the varying degrees of fitness, the hikers in our group split up and enjoyed the days hike at their own leisurely pace. Saturday night was time to socialise and enjoy a braai in the large indoor fireplace.
Day 2 – was a moderate 6 km circular route which follows the contours of a hill with some distant views of the famed Memel wetlands area. The trail then turns back and winds through some 3 km of dense hillside bush, with more interesting rock formations, wild flowers and other plants, trees and beautiful views of the Base Camp valley.
This was an enjoyable and relaxing hiking weekend for all of us and SEDIBA remains one of my favorite Base Camp hikes. The facilities at SEDIBA can comfortably accommodate larger groups and is an ideal base camp trail for those in the Club who may want to expand their hiking experience, in a safe and comfortable environment.
A word of warning – although the vehicle track up to the base camp can be safely negotiated in a normal family saloon car, there is one short 50 meter section which is very steep and requires a run up in first gear to get up the incline. (Just ask your passengers to get out and push!)
The next time SEDIBA comes around on our hiking calendar – don’t miss it!