Things To Do in MachadodorpFive Assegais Hiking Trails
Where? Five Assegais Country Estate, Machadodorp, Mpumalanga
How much? Price on request
More? See website
Start: Five Assegais Country Estate
Finish: Five Assegais Country Estate
Duration: 1 and 2 day hikes
Fitness: moderate to difficult
Our tip: start early in the morning, as the walks are long and can get hot
A 50 km network of trails on this 1 500 hectare nature conservancy take hikers through incredible scenery that includes ancient grasslands, yellowwood forest, waterfalls and sand stone mazes.
The estate is already well known for the five-day Num-Num Trail that runs on both Assegai and Bermanzi country estates.
The network of trails has been built by Albert Bossert, Chairman of HOSA, in as conservative a way as possible, and markers have been kept to a minimum to reduce the eco footprint of the hikes (there are a series of pointers, which they supply, you can follow, if you are not sure of the path).
A dendrologist has identified and marked over 109 different species of tree on the estate. Game has been reintroduced and is often sighted along the routes.
There are two campsites – God's Window Camp and Candlewood Camp.
The Escarpment Trail is a one-day 13.5km hike that starts and ends at God's Window camp, passing waterfalls, the Bankspruit river, a sandstone maze and ancient stone terraces.
Hell's Bells Trail is a one-day 8.4 km hike, also circular, from God's Window camp the highlights of which are Helskloof Gorge, waterfalls and purplecrested louries. The short cut is advisable.
Pongola Express Trail is a one-day 15 km loop that passes Mac Falls and numerous gorges but is not sign posted – use a map and other path signs.
Oom Paul's Trail is a two-day 20 km circular route past Uitkomste Falls, along the escarpment, through indigenous forest and past sandstone formations.
Pongola Express and Candlewood Trail is a one-day 16 km loop past both Mac Falls and Uitkomste Falls, through ancient grasslands.