Things To Do in HarrismithBald Ibis Trail
Where? 25km outside of Harrismith at base camp, Free State
When? Booking is required.
How? Call +27 (0)012 803-4144
How much? Price on request
Start: 25km outside of Harrismith at base camp
Finish: base camp
Duration: 2 days with a total of 27 km
Fitness: moderate, although the first day can feel strenuous
Our tip: the trail's markers have been eroded over the years so the trail has been reclassified as a wilderness trail, and you'll need a GPS to complete it
This weekend trail traverses Rensburgkop – made popular by the Television drama series The Mountain - a beautiful hike predominated by huge sandstone kranzes and sightings of raptors that include the bald ibis.
Those after a less arduous hike can adapt the two days to easier day routes of three and five hour walks.
Base camp supplies an overnight option in the shape of a converted barn filled with bunk beds, mattresses and an inside fireplace for cold, typical Drakensberg evenings. It helps that there are hot showers and flush toilets. Hikers on the two-day option can overnight in Twin caves close to a waterfall, set up for the purpose with beds, braai grid and the option to collect your own fire wood – taking along a gas stove is not a bad idea.
Day one is just under 18km and takes one up the mountain to the krans from where it follows the base of the krans to Windy Corner, which, as its name suggests, can get rather windy and hence difficult to manage. But views from the top are said to be spectacular. The first day can be rather tough going, particularly when it is hot.
The trail passes a huge cave with fine examples of San paintings that have not perished over time, although hikers are requested not to disturb them.
Day two is a lot easier and covers only 9 km on a walk below the cliffs of the mountain.