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Home > Trails/venues > Limpopo > Thabas - phaswa

The black and white mountain calls ...
Thabasphaswa, Potgieterus

The landscape within which Thabaphaswa (“the black and white mountain”) network of hiking and mountain bike trails lies is reminiscent of the Motopo hills further north. The mountain is a well-known landmark to all the local inhabitants and tribes of the area.

Sheltered by its enclosing hills, Groenkom farm lies in a natural basin, making a wonderful bushveld retreat. The beautiful scenery is complemented by the design of the overnight camps which are camouflaged between boulders on the farm and blend into the landscape.


The base camp, Dome Rock, nestles between huge boulders that form natural walls to the living space. It adjoins the dam which offers welcome relief on hot days. The four huts (Kiepersol, Huilboerboom, Maroela and Red Ivory) each sleep 6 or 7 and they are built next to a big tree of the same name. The ablution facilities, showers and toilets are tucked away from the huts. For hikers wishing to sleep out, Kanniedood camp can accommodate 14.


This hut is perched high on the hillside in a rock crack amongst beautiful large commiphora (kanniedood) trees. The cantilevered open decks and platforms are wonderful for enjoying the splendid views of the hills and the valley below. This camp is the ideal spot in which to “disappear” for a few nights to relax and contemplate nature. However, access is tricky.


Thabaphaswa is a network of three trails, with several links. Hikers can choose to go up the mountain behind the base camp. This way offers three options for crossing the mountain. A high road leads to Kanniedood overnight camp. Or hike along the lower contours, cross the valley, ascend Thabaphaswa and return to camp over the flats. The trail crosses back between two huge boulders, dipping down over the dry river bed and back over the flats to the base camp.


There is also a network of mountain bike trails on the farm, as well as various bolted rock climbs, varying from fairly easy to very difficult. Large areas on neighbouring farms provide extensive opportunities for hiking and mountain biking using Thabaphaswa as a base.

The farm has indigenous livestock including Nguni cattle.


Thabaphaswa hiking trail

Maximum number of hikers: 59.


Total distance of trail network: 38 km. Plot own routes on the network.

Degree of difficulty: Easy to average.

Overnight facilities

Thabaphaswa camp site: 12 people, 6 sites, use own tents. 2 flushing toilets and 2 open-air showers, reed enclosed. Cement dam for swimming.

Dome Rock base camp: 26 beds/mattresses (4 huts: 2 x 6 and 2 x 7). Each hut has own boma, 2-plate gas stove, kettle, pots, potjies, pans, washing-up area. Braai facilities.

Ablution facilities are open air and reed enclosed: 3 showers, 3 flushing toilets, 3 basins. Paraffin lamps and fridge.

Kanniedood camp: 14 beds/mattresses. Same facilities as Dome Rock, but no fridge. 1 shower, flush toilet and basin.

Die Pomphuisie: Fully equipped self-contained cottage for 2, with gas lamps, fridge and geyser.

Pertinent information

  • Temperatures are very mild due to the altitude and protective southern mountains.
  • Wood for sale or bring own wood/charcoal.
  • Bring own cooler boxes for Kanniedood.

Location of trail

16 km from Potgietersrus, 215 km from Pretoria.


Acknowledgement and booking: Jacana