Package Tour - Highlands Hiking Trail
Join us for a four night walking holiday based in the beautiful Eastern Cape Highlands. Three days of breathtaking high altitude hiking, carrying only your day bags. This hike leaves you with breath-taking memories of spectacular and unspoiled views from the top of mountain peaks overlooking the Maloti mountains of Lesotho. In the evenings relax in our cosy farmhouse accommodation with a roaring log fire and a warming drink. Enjoy hearty home-cooked meals which will include locally produced lamb and beef, some of the finest in the country. The Eastern Cape Highlands is also known as "the Wild Side of the Drakensberg" and is growing in popularity as a safe and uncommercialised mountain destination with spectacular scenery. This area is hiking heaven in pristine mountains, stunning views, fresh air by the lungful and crystal clear rivers to cool off in. Daily hike distances are approximately 15km, but are adjusted according to the varying altitude on any given day - during the week this will range from 1,700m-2,750m above sea level. This tour is aimed at persons with a reasonable level of fitness, who want to enjoy mountain hiking, but with the luxury of comfortable accommodation, good food and the freedom to carry only a day bag. On any given day you will finish the hike by approximately 3pm, offering the chance for relaxation, swimming in a mountain stream, birdwatching, fly-fishing or a gentle stroll around the farm. An optional day can be added to the itinerary for those who fancy an extra day’s hiking or a day’s rest. Non-hikers are welcome to join the group, space permitting, and we can arrange for daily activities to keep them entertained.
At a Glance
Day 1: Wartrail
After a scenic drive through the New England and Wartrail districts, you will be warmly greeted at Reedsdell Guest Farm. After checking-in you may enjoy relaxing in the beautiful gardens overlooking Halstone Krans. Enjoy a browse at the Woolly’s of Wartrail craft shop and visit the fascinating flock of emus, bred for oil used in healing treatments. A full briefing will be given before you settle down to enjoy a tasty home cooked dinner.
Overnight: Reedsdell Guest Farm
Day 2: Wartrail
After breakfast at Reedsdell where vehicles will be cheerfully abandoned for the days ahead – from this point we will transport all baggage via back-up vehicle, so that you only have to carry your daybags whilst walking. We will hike out along the bottom of the beautiful Edgehill Valley, stopping to admire bushman paintings along the way and into Wildfell which really lives up to its name, being very ‘wild’ and remote. After a steep climb to the ridge we will picnic at the top to enjoy the views, before descending back down into the adjacent valley. Accommodation is at Bidstone Farm where Kate and Phil will prepare a tasty home-cooked meal to fill your tummies.
Overnight: Bidstone Guest Farm
Day 3: Wartrail to Rhodes District
Enjoy a tasty breakfast before hopping onto the bakkie for a short shuttle to the beginning of this day’s hike at the Dargle. Today we will aim to reach the highest point of the trail at an altitude of approximately 2,500m where we will wave goodbye to the Wartrail District. We will be looking out for Bearded Vultures, Black Eagles and Mountain Reedbuck as we climb to the top of Table Hill. The ascent is steep, but as we are following a 4x4 track the terrain under foot is good. If the climb doesn’t take your breath away, then the views will! At the top of Table Hill you can enjoy 360 degree panorama, looking back to Wartrail on the one side and down into the Rhodes Valley on the other. After lunch on the plateau we will start the descent into the Rhodes Valley to Den Hagen Farm where you can relax with a drink and a hearty farmhouse meal.
Overnight: Den Hagen Guest Farm
Day 4: Rhodes District to Rhodes Village
Breakfast at the usual 07H30 and departure at 08H30. On this day we can offer you a choice of difficulty, either staying down in the valleys or up and over the peaks depending how the group feels after the first two days. This hike will take us to Rhodes which has been voted one of South Africa’s Top 20 Secret Places by Getaway Magazine. Arriving in Rhodes, you will be checked into your overnight guest cottage and will have ample time to explore this ‘lost in time’ hamlet that is a National Monument from one end to the other due to its well-preserved Victorian architecture. Dinner will be served at Walkerbouts Inn, whose quaint pub features in ‘101 Most Beloved Bars in South Africa’.
The following morning it is time to head back to civilisation once again, hopefully with lungs full of fresh air, tummies full of tasty home-cooked food and muscles well worked But we’ll spoil you with one more breakfast before we transport you back to your vehicles in Wartrail.
Overnight: Cottages at Rhodes Village