Things To Do in SwartruggensSchoongezicht Hikes
Where? Schoongezicht farm, 25 km outside of Swartuggens, North West province
When? Booking is essential.
How? Call +27 (0)12 662-1140
How much? Price on request
Start: Schoongezicht farm, 25 km outside of Swartuggens
Finish: Schoongezicht farm, 25 km outside of Swartuggens
Duration: 4 km to 17 km (three circular trails)
Fitness: easy to moderate
Our tip: stay overnight in Swartruggens or Groot Marico
The landscape between Groot Marico and Rustenberg is aloe country – the veld, farmland and a series of low lying hills that invite hiking (the name 'Swartruggens' refers directly to these 'black ridges' or hills that accompany the N4 between the towns).
Schoongezicht is a 2000 hectare game farm that lies almost directly north of Swartruggens, roughly two hours' from Pretoria or Johannesburg (perfectly placed, in other words, for a day or weekend hike). The road to the farm is an added bonus, as it is tarred, not gravel.
The farm offers 3 day trails through indigenous bush, mountain ravines and hills, with regular crossings of the Elands River. The farm is home to numerous different antelope – impala, kudu, blesbok, zebra and red hartebeest – and fields of lucerne, hawe and chillies.
The trails are a 4 km birders' trail along the Elands River, a 10 km and 14/17 km trail. Hikers can make a weekend of it, by doing the 10 km on one day, and the 14/17 km trail on the other. The 4 km birders trail is particularly beautiful, in amongst the lush indigenous vegetation of the farm.
When not hiking, other activities at Schoongezicht include a dam, 40 – 80 km of dirt road for mountain biking, swimming, star gazing and pottery.