Things To Do in NewcastleIngogo Hiking Trail
Where? Start and finish at the site office Dunblane estate, near Newcastle
When? Permits from Jacana Marketing.
How? Call +27 (0)12 803-9109
How much? Price on request
Start: site office Dunblane estate, near Newcastle
Finish: site office Dunblane estate, near Newcastle
Duration: 24 km over 2 days
Fitness: average, with climbs and descents of some 2 000 feet every day
Our tip: this is the farm on which one used to be able to hike the Ngogo Trail
Set on a beautiful 3 000 hectare reserve in the berg plateau of the northern Drakensberg. What makes the estate so scenic is the presence of the Drakensberg escarpment. One hikes through lush grasslands, trout streams and indigenous montane forests offset by clear mountain streams, waterfalls and incredible views.
If arriving on the Friday night, hikers overnight in the Grey Goose Farm academy accommodation, which is the usual hiking scenario with bunk beds, mattresses and ablution facilities. There is, however, a restaurant at which to enjoy dinner.
Your overnight during the hike is in three stone cottages, with electricity, hot running water and flush toilets.
A guide is both available, and by all acounts, imperative on the hike particularly when there is mist or heavy rain.
Day one is 12 km up Donkey's Pass and Baboon's Pass, with a further climb onto the escarpment by way of a rope and tyre section. The top is 6 500 feet above sea level. The trail evens out remaining on the plateau before descending gradually along a tributary of the Ingogo River and reaching the main river, via a series of rock pools.
Day two is 12 km but a slightly easier walk up a valley, before coming to a rope section that ascends the escarpment. These are the views everyone talks about on this hike. The route back includes several waterfalls. You reach the edge of the Dunblane amphitheatre from which you pass down into the basin and back to the site office.