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Kranzes, kloofs in Carolina ...
Suikerboschfontein Hiking Trail
Hikers will be pleasantly surprised at the diversity of terrain and flora on the Suikerboschfontein hiking trail. The unexpected beauty of the Transvaal highveld comes into its own here.
The two day circular hiking trail is situated on the escarpment, approximately 20km north-east of Carolina on the farm Suikersboschfontein which has been in the same family for 100 years. Part of this trail traverses the Paulina van Niekerk private nature reserve. The trail has two base camps namely Oom Japies cottage and the /rooikrans camp, built in a magnificent setting between massive rock boulders all with interesting formations.
The route over which the trail follows winds through the basin and several deep gorges. The strong flowing mountain streams filled with indigenous trees and several varieties of ferns (some of the tree ferns being several metres high), offer cool and shady hiking conditions. Huge kiepersol and yellow wood trees are seen along the trail.
Starting from Oom Japies, the trail crosses grassveld to descent to the first yellowwood forest and further down to cross the top of the first mountain stream. For the next few kilometers one hikes on the top of the plateau before descending to the base of the basin where a stop next to the swimming hole can be enjoyed. The route gradually descends with a steep decline to the cleft and waterfall. From here the route goes up the kranzes through a hole. The last stretch winds along the stream and goes past the weathered rocks to arrive at Rooikrans base camp.
The next days trail will pass the rock aloes (a magnificent sight in autumn when in bloom) and gradually descends in the big kloof to hike along the kranze till one reaches the Mooifontein waterfall. The trail goes over a grassy hill and into the S-shaped kloof.
One is completely cut off from the outside world while the trail follows the mountain stream under the kranze. One then climbs out of the kloof to reach a spot with a wonderful view back on the Rooikrans and Suikerbosrand. The next stop will be at Gladdekloof where swimming can be enjoyed in the clear pools. After this, the route comes out of this kloof to turn off toward Suikerbosrand over a rocky grassveld till you reach Oom Japies.
On the trail, hikers will be able to see a good variety of bird-life and antelope. Swimming pools at both overnight huts.
Acknowledgement; Jacana Reservations