The Num-Num is a 5 day, 36.5km hiking trail on private land in the Skurweberg, Mpumalanga. There is a range of stunning landscapes including open escarpment, yellow-wood forests, kloofs and sandstone formations. There is game, birds, indigenous trees and beautiful waterfalls. Hikers should be reasonably fit as the trail is rated moderate to difficult. The trail is self-guided.
The Num-Num trail is in Mpumalanga on the R541 between Machadodorp and Badplaas. It is approximately 3 hours from Hyde Park in Johannesburg and 1.5 hours from Nelspruit.
· The slack packing service is when we transport your luggage between camps. You only have to carry a day pack!
· The crates are 38cm x 58cm x 36cm high at the smallest point or 85 litres.
· A minimum of 3 crates per booking/group.
· Cooler bags can be used instead of a crate but will be charged the same price as transporting a crate.
You arrive between 2pm – 7pm at the ‘Pongola Express Camp’ to have a good night’s sleep before you start the 5 days trail. Each day trail is named after an indigenous tree. A more detailed breakdown of what you see on the trail is available on request.
· Die Bergbas Roete;
· 7.5km from Pongola Express Camp to Aloe Kaya
· The Bladdernut Track;
· 9.5km to Bermanzi Camp
· The Milkplum Path;
· 6.2km to Candlewood Camp
· The Pom-pon Way;
· 6.3km to Waterbessie Camp
· Die Kokoboom Pad;
· 7km to ‘Pongola Express’ where your vehicle is
Each of our hiking camps is a unique, beautiful and a comfortable experience. You will have to forget any romantic notions you might have as all facilities are shared. All the camps have indoor and outdoor braai areas and hot water.
Firewood is available for R20 per bundle. Pay cash at the camps. Bring change with you. Wood for the geysers at Candlewood and Wathaba is supplied at no additional charge.
Pongola Express Camp:
This camp is renovated into 1954 railway coaches. It’s like sleeping in an antique. There are 7 compartments that sleep 2 to 4 people in single bunk beds. A wide covered veranda and indoor dining area provide a good socialising space. It has a fridge, microwave and gas stove.
Two double storey huts snuggled into the spectacular sandstone formations. Each hut sleeps 8 people in bunk beds. There are ‘loo’s with a view’ and open air canyon showers. There are two fridges, indoor and outdoor braai areas and a gas stove top plate. This camp was previously called God’s Window Camp.
Bermanzi Camp – Die Stalle:
There are spectacular views across the escarpment. There are 4 rooms with bunk beds and a cosy kitchen. There are stoves, fridges and braai areas.
Candlewood Camp (No electricity):
This green camp has a wonderful view of Uitkomst Waterfall. Hot water is supplied by a wood burning geyser. There are 2 huts that each sleeps 10 people in bunk beds. No outdoor braai between May and October. There is a gas stove plate, solar lighting in the kitchen and lanterns.
Waterbessie Camp (No electricity):
The Waterbessie camp has an open plan loft style accommodation on the banks of the Schoonspruit River where one can cool off and swim after the days hike. There are hot showers from a wood burning geyser. Gas stoves and lanterns are provided.
The Num-Num Hiking Trail Highlights:
· Waterfalls galore! There are almost 1,000 waterfalls on the Num-Num hiking trail. The Uitkomst Falls are the second highest in Mpumalanga with a drop of nearly 276ft. For wannabe dolphins there are lots of places to have a swim. Enjoy a classic ‘under the waterfall’ swim at the Wathaba Rainbow Falls.
· Indigenous forests with over 109 different species of trees. There are Yellow-woods, Kiepersols, Knob thorns and Wild Pear Trees to name but a tiny few. There is a spectacular display of aloe flowers from June to August.
· Grasslands! These ancient biomes have plants that are hundreds of years old and a stunning variety of small flowers. Only a few of the plants are classified as grasses and there is a variety of species including Wild Sage and Lavender.
· Gorges! The Num-Num trail takes you through a number of beautiful gorges including the Bankspruit Gorge leading up the Uitkomst falls. In these secluded paradises you are in the heart of nature surrounded by indigenous forests, creeping vines and crystal clear rivers and pools. The red stone cliff formations provide beautiful cover.
· Game! A wonderful number of animals have returned since the blue gum and wattle plantations have been destroyed. Some game has also been introduced including wildebeest, hartebeest, zebras and blesbok. A lucky few have spotted klipspringers, jackal and civets. A couple of troops of baboons and monkeys live here.
· Birds! Our bird population is expanding every year. Spotted on the trail have been Fish Eagles, Bald Ibis, Blacksmith Plovers, Crested Eagles, Weavers, Redwinged Starlings, Franklins, Pintail Whydahs, Knysna and Purple-crested Louries, Black Gorge Ducks, Korhaan, and Egrets.
· History! There are mysterious stone terraces and ruined kraals on a number of different sites across the property. Little is known about who built these structures but there are plenty of theories from aliens to miners. This area was also a popular spot for ‘bittereinders’ to hide out. For the observant you can find gun holes in the sandstone. Paul Kruger is the first registered owner of much of the property. Hell’s Kloof was on the route for bandwagons to get to the mine fields in Barberton.
· Only children 12 years old and over are allowed to walk the Num-Num trail. There is no reduced rate for children.
· Exceptions can be made for children who are 10 or 11 years old if:
- they walk with their parents/guardian ,
- Slackpacking service is used
· Infants and toddlers are strictly prohibited. There is a high probability that people can slip and fall while carrying a child and the hiking huts are shared. Hopefully they can join us when they are older.
· There is no upper age limit. Many customers who are in their 70s and 80s, who are reasonably fit and agile, have completed the trail with flying colours.
Honesty Shops & Deliveries:
· The Pongola Express Trading Store has gifts, basic supplies, hiking equipment and trees for sale.
· There are honesty shops at Pongola Express, Aloe Kaya and Candlewood camps supplying snacks and cold drinks. You should not rely on these for your main nutrition
· You can order fresh meat and salads to be delivered to Candlewood and Waterbessie Camps. 24 hours notice to be given and cash on delivery. A menu is available.
Roads & Lifts:
· All the camps are accessible by road but only Pongola Express Camp is on a tar road.
· Only cars with a high clearance can make it to Candlewood Camp.
· If you have taken the slackpacking option then you can be transported between camps at no additional charge.
· Any additional journeys are charged at R60 per person per journey, unless it is a medical emergency.