Things To Do in NelspruitUitsoek Hiking Trail
Where? Start and finish at Uitsoek hut, Uitsoek plantation, 80 km from Nelspruit near Sudwala Caves.
When? Booking is essential.
How? Call +27 (0)13 754-2724 or +27 (0)12 481-3615
How much? Price on request
Start: Uitsoek hut, Uitsoek plantation, 80 km from Nelspruit near Sudwala Caves
Finish: Uitsoek hut
Duration: 30 km, 2 days
Fitness: difficult – the overnight route is for experienced hikers
Our tip: pack warm clothes even when it is warm, as the overnight temperatures at Lisabon hut can plummet
Uitsoek has three trails options. Houtbosloop is a two-day, circular self-guided trail, whilst Beestekraalspruit and Bakkrans are two day trails (better for those who are not comfortably fit).
Set in a an environment rich with mountains, ravines, indigenous forest, pine plantations, but very little water on day one (so remember to take along with you), this is a taxing overnight hike that shouldn't be attempted by those unsure of their fitness levels . Day two includes waterfalls, rapids and streams, and beautiful views, but is equally as strenuous.
Overnight huts include Uitsoek basecamp hut, with bunk beds, toilets, electricity, hot water, firewood and braai facilities, and Lisabon hut – a lot more basic with no electricity, showers and only one toilet. You will also need your own cooking utensils and gas stove at Lisabon.
Houtbosloop starts at Uitsoek hut and heads up from the foothills to the plateau. Later you descend into a clivia gorge, ideal for a welcome breather, before the final steep climb to the plateau.
Day two is mostly downhill or on the level, but it is long and can feel tiring, particularly after the strenuous first day. The trails takes one past Bakkrans waterfall.
Enjoy: over 100 species of birds, including the black sparrowhawk and crowned eagle, the Cape clawless otter visible in streams, a series of duiker, bushbuck, klipspringer and mountain buck and fine examples of yellowwood, lemonwwod and Cape chestnut trees.