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Tranquility and beauty ...


Mooinooi Campsite

Hike/ camp on a private farm in the Magaliesberg


All of the Magaliesberg is privately owned, so opportunities to access it are limited.


 “Rooi Ivoor”, named after the magnificent Red Ivory trees (Burchemia Zeyheri) which abound on the farm, offers nature-lovers the chance to hike and camp on this ancient mountain range.  Since it is a private farm and not a resort, visitors can experience the beauty and serenity of the mountain in solitude.


Located roughly opposite the town of Mooinooi (15km east of Buffelspoort dam, 30 km west from Hartebeespoort Dam wall), Rooi Ivoor runs up the northern slopes of the Magaliesberg.  Neighbours kindly allow us walking privileges on their property, which enables visitors to explore or camp anywhere on 240 hectares right up to the summit/escarpment – where the views are wonderful, the rock formations fantastic, and the kloofs shady and inviting.  A perennial stream runs through the farm at its upper extent, so pure mountain water is available year round for those wishing to camp up top.  Since the mountain is ascended via the more gradual northern slopes, the approach is less strenuous than up the southern cliffs, and can be made even easier by traversing across to and up the Rand Water Board road.  Parking under trees around the farmhouse ensures vehicles are under observation by the farmer.


Rooi Ivoor adjoins Castle Gorge along its upper eastern boundary thereby offering access to the area and its spectacular waterfall and ravine via a different route from the usual southern side. (Note: Castle Gorge is controlled by the Johannesburg Hiking Club and permits to visit the area must be obtained from the JHC. Non- JHC members are not allowed to camp at Castle Gorge, but Rooi Ivoor enables visitors to camp on the farm and take in Castle Gorge as a day trip -permit obtained from JHC.)> (The waterfall is 5km from Rooi Ivoor farmhouse/ parking area, +/- one and a half hours walking).


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For those wanting a more restful experience, a charming spring-fed rock pool and braai area 200m from the farmhouse lures one to camp under indigenous trees and simply soak up the peace, taking short/day walks if the mood strikes. At this elevation visitors are within reach of the creature comforts of car, a hot/cold shower, flush toilet and farmhouse refrigeration. The rock pool campsite will take 3 to 4 hiking-size tents, but to ensure privacy, is not booked for more than one group at a time. An open field below the farmhouse is suitable for camping by larger youth groups, scouts etc., but visitors can camp anywhere on the property.

The lower reaches of the farm has a riverine environment due to a semi-perennial stream running through it, and thus is rich in fauna and flora. 165 species of birds have been identified, plus the usual small mammals (including vervet monkeys, nagapies, mongoose, squirrels and the odd duiker, steenbok and mountain reedbuck). Jackal are often heard howling at night as low as the rock pool.

A marked trail is planned for this year (volunteers, anyone?), but hikers will have to try hard to get lost as a Rand Water reservoir serves as a prominent landmark by which to navigate. For the more sybaritic, limited accommodation in the farmhouse with use of kitchen etc. will be available in the near future. Distance from Johannesburg is about 100km, one and a half hours’ travelling time.

Cost: R20-00 per person per day; R40 per night (discount negotiable for large groups).

Contact Martin at 084 4100469 (no landline!) for further details/ directions.

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Last Update: 2008/09/07 / Author: admin
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