Location

The Fanie Botha Hiking Trail is situated in the Sabie area in Mpumalanga.  It is located on the Drakensberg escarpment and provides hikers with marvelous views over a variety of landscapes far below.

 

How to get there

From Gauteng, take N4 to Mpumalanga, turnoff at R539 to Sabie – or alternatively via Schoemanskloof.  Traveling Belfast via Lydenburg – is also an option.  From Lydenburg, take the Longtom Pass route to Sabie.  When entering Sabie follow the signposts in the direction of Graskop.  Mac Mac Forest station is situated 15km from Sabie on the Graskop road.

 

·           To get to Ceylon Forest Station
The last road in Sabie, Lydenburg Road – turn left, drive through towards Bridal Veil Falls - the Ceylon Plantation. Drive for ± 2km turn right onto gravel road.  Drive ± 2km until signage Ceylon Hut on left. Parking: Cars can be parked at Ceylon hut.

·           To get to Mac Mac Forest Retreat (President Burger Hut)

Mac Mac Forest Retreat is situated 15km from Sabie on the Graskop road. 

 

Parking

Cars can be parked at the Mac Mac Forest Retreat only at the Electrified fence Workshop

 

To get to Graskop Police station (Graskop Hut)
Should you start from Graskop hut, follow the N4 to Graskop(R532).  When entering Graskop, turn right (before crossing the bridge) into Trichardt Avenue, follow signposts to the Graskop Hut  (±2km on gravel road). Walk ± 1km to Graskop Hut from Police station.  Starting at Graskop, make own arrangements to park at the Graskop Police Station.

 

General information

Some highlights on the this delightful trail include Lone Creek and Mac Mac Falls, both national monuments, Mount Moodie and Mac Mac Pools

Starting at Mac Mac, you park and walk ±400m to the President Burger Hut. 

 

Special precautions

  • Hikers must carry their own first-aid kit
  • For assistance during emergencies, contact the police at 10111 or 083 677 0904

 

Main attractions

  • Birds
    The region is rich in bird life.  Species which are commonly encountered are listed below.

    Stony sites and krantzes
    Rock kestrel, black eagle, jackal buzzard, rock pigeon, little swift, lesser-striped, swallow, Cape rock thrush, red-winged starling

    Grassveld
    Swainson’s francolin, helmeted guineafowl, brown-hooded kingfisher, white necked raven, stonechat, fiscal shrike, red-collared widow, bronze manikin

    Plantation
    Hadeda ibis, diederik cuckoo, rameron pigeon

    Indigenous forest and kloof
    Knysna lourie, red-chested cuckoo, somber bulbul, chorister robin, paradise flycatcher, malachite sunbird, scarket-chested sunbird

    Along or near watercourses
    Blue crane, rock martin, long-tailed wagtail, Cape wagtail, masked weaver, red bishop

  • Although the area traversed by the hiking trail is, comparison with the Lowveld, not richly endowed with wildlife, a fairly extensive diversity of game occurs along the route.  On the grasslands, especially at Hartebeesvlakte , oribi, grey caracal, rhebuck, mountain reedbuck and klipspringers smay be encountered.  Buck like bushbuck and duiker make their homes in the forests and plantations.  Baboons and monkeys are common along the trail. Wild animals which are not so easily detected, but are definitely present, are leopard black-backed jackal, serval, civet, otter,

    porcupine, badger and mongoose.  Dassies are often to be seen on rocky ridges
    while bush pigs dig up the plantation floor in search of the larvae and pupae of several types of insect.  He brightly-coloured green and red larvae of the pine emperor moth are often visible on the pine needles in plantations.  A wide variety of butterflies is to be seen.

Hut facilities

All the Huts, Ceylon, Maritzbos, Stables, Mac Mac, President Burger and Graskop have in common:

  • 24 bunkerbeds, no hot water, no pots and pans, undercover braai area, firewood and toilets.
  • Ceylon hut however, has electricity and hot water, and Mac Mac hut has no shower while the rest have a shower.

 

Starting points          (Parking is only available at these points)

  • Ceylon Forest Station (Ceylon Hut)
  • Mac Mac Forest Retreat (President Burger Hut)
  • Graskop Hut

 

Trail options

2 Night Options

  • Mac Mac 2 night trail
  • Graskop 2 night trail
  • Hartbeesvlakte 2 Night Trail
  • Mac Mac / Bonnet 2 night trail
  • Pres. Burger 2 night trail
  • Maritzbos 2 day trail

 

3 Night Options

  • Pres. Burger 3 night trail
  • Lone Creek 3 night trail
  • Hartbeesvlakte 3 night trail
  • Maritzbos 3 night trail
  • Mac Mac 3 night trail

 


4 Night Options

  • Ceylon 4 night trail
  • Maritzbos 4 night trail
    Mount Moodie 4 Night Trail

 

5 Night Options

  • Pres. Burger 5 night trail
  • Graskop 5 night trail

 

 

Trail Options

2 Night Options

Mac Mac 2 Night Trail

Parking :        Park at the Pres. Burger Hut and start hiking immediately to Mac Mac Hut

Distances:      Pres. Burger – Mac Mac Hut                         6km

                        Mac Mac Hut – Graskop Hut                         13.6km

                        Graskop Hut – Pres. Burger Hut                    23.1km

Difficulty:       Moderate to difficult

 

Graskop 2 Night Trail

Parking :        Park your car at the Graskop Hut

Distances:      Graskop Hut – Pres. Burger Hut                    23.1km

                        Pres. Burger - Graskop                                  13.6km

Difficulty:       Moderate to difficult

 

Hartbeesvlakte 2 Night Trail

 Distances:     Ceylon Plantation Office  - Maritzbos                        8.7 km

                        Maritzbos - Stables                                         13.3 km

                        Stables - Ceylon Plantation Office                 8 km

Difficulty:       Difficult.

 

Pres. Burger 2 Night Trail

Distances:      President Burger – Graskop               19.6 km

Graskop - President Burger                23 km (via the Mac Mac Pools and Falls)

Difficulty:       Difficult

 

Bonnet/Mac Mac Pools 2 Night Trail
Parking:        
Park your car at Graskop Hut

Distances:      Graskop – Mac Mac               23 km (via the Mac Mac Pools and Falls)

                        Mac Mac – Graskop               19.6 km

Difficulty:       Difficult

 

Maritzbos 2 Day Trail

Parking :        Park at the Ceylon hut

Distances:      Ceylon – Maritzbos                             8.7 km

                        Maritzbos – Ceylon                                9 km

Difficulty:       Easy 

 

3 Night Options

Pres. Burger 3 Night Trail

Parking:         Park at the Pres. Burger Hut

Distances:      President Burger – Graskop               19.6 km

                        Graskop – Mac Mac Hut                    23.1km

                        Mac Mac Hut – Pres. Burger Hut       6km

Difficulty:       Difficult

 

Lone Creek 3 Night Trail

Parking:         Park at Ceylon Hut and start hiking immediately to Martizbos

Distances:      Ceylon Hut – Maritzbos Hut               8.7km

                        Maritzbos Hut – Stables Hut               13.3km

                        Stables Hut – Mac Mac Hut               16.3km

Difficulty:       Difficult

 

Hartbeesvlakte 3 Night Trail

Parking:         Park at Ceylon Hut

Distances:      Ceylon Hut – Maritzbos Hut               8.7km

                        Maritzbos Hut – Stables Hut               13.3km

                        Stables Hut – Ceylon Hut                   8.5km

Difficulty:       Difficult




Maritzbos 3 Night Trail

Parking:         Park your car at Ceylon Hut

Distances:      Ceylon – Maritzbos                             8.7 km

                        Maritzbos – Stables                            13.3 km

                        Stables – Ceylon                                 8 km

Difficulty:       Difficult.

 

Mac Mac 3 Night Trail

Parking:         Park your car at Pres. Burger Hut and start hiking immediately to Mac Mac Hut

Distances:      Pres. Burger – Mac Mac Hut                         6km

                        Mac Mac Hut – Graskop Hut                         13.6km

                        Graskop Hut – Pres. Burger Hut                    23.1km

Difficulty:       Difficult.

 

4 Night Options

NB:  Should you do a 4 or 5day route, please arrange your own transport from Graskop to Sabie, it is not a circular route

 

Ceylon 4 Night Trail

Parking:         Park your car at Ceylon Hut

Distances:      Ceylon Hut – Stables Hut                               22km

                        Stables Hut – Mac Mac Hut                           16.3km

                        Mac Mac Hut – Graskop Hut                                     13.6km

Difficulty:       Difficult.

 

Maritzbos 4 Night Trail

Parking:         Park your car at Ceylon Hut

Distances:      Ceylon Hut – Maritzbos Hut                           8.7km

                        Maritzbos Hut – Stables Hut                           13.3km

                        Stables Hut – Ceylon Hut                               8.5km

Difficulty:       Moderate to difficult

 




Mount Moodie 4 Night Trail

Parking:         Park your car at Ceylon hut and start hiking to Maritzbos Hut immediately.
Distances:      Ceylon Plantation Office - Maritzbos             8.7 km (Sleep first night at Maritzbos not Ceylon)
                        Maritzbos – Stables                            13.3 km

                        Stables - Mac Mac                             16.3 km

                        Mac Mac – Graskop                           13.6 km

                        Graskop – Depart

Difficulty:       Difficult.

 

5 Night Options

NB:  Should you do a 4 or 5day route, please arrange your own transport from Graskop to Sabie, it is not a circular route

 

Pres. Burger 5 Night Trail

Distances:                  Ceylon – Maritzbos                             8.7 km

                                    Maritzbos – Stables                            13.3 km

                                    Stables - Mac Mac                             16.3 km

Mac Mac – Pres. Burger                    6km

Difficulty:                   Difficult.

 

Graskop 5 Night Trail

Distances:                  Ceylon – Maritzbos                             8.7 km

                                    Maritzbos – Stables                            13.3 km

                                    Stables - Mac Mac                             16.3 km

Mac Mac – Graskop                           13.6 km

Difficulty:                   Difficult.