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Elangeni Hiking Trail

Waterval Onder, Mpumalanga

The Elangeni Hiking Trail, is a beautiful, pet friendly route that traverses through Sappi owned property. It is managed by Elangeni Holiday Resort. The route is well maintained, with distance markers counting down the number of kilometers still to go. There is also a slackpacking option. The days can be hot during the summer, so an early start is advised, but the views make up for any discomfort. The trail is well suited for dogs.

Nearest town:

  • Waterfall Boven 10km


  • Mpumalanga

Distance from Johannesburg:

  • 270km

Distance from Pretoria:

  • 250km

About the Hiking Trail:

Elangeni Hiking Trail is a 2-day hiking trail, day 1 is a 14km hike towards the overnight hut, and day 2 is an 11km hike back to the base camp at Elangeni Holiday Resort.

In the past the hikers were walking down the gravel road below the pine trees with no view. The “new route” has a nice view of the valley below, and hikers are now walking above the pine trees.

The route has also been rerouted to an “Ancient historical site” that consists of a “Stone circle” and Petroglyph, history out of the old days.  The route is levelled, cleaned and well-marked- so the chance to get lost is almost zero.  Come see for yourself the new route, upgraded overnight hut and new historical attractions.


Moderate too easy except for the first 4km on Day1 which can be regarded as strenuous especially if carrying a backpack

About the Hiking Trail:

The trail covers 25km in the majestic mountains, ravines with mountain streams and waterfalls, indigenous forest and stunning panoramic views.

The first day is 14km from the base camp (Elangeni Holiday Resort) to the overnight camp, and the following day 11km back to the base camp. This is a circular 2 (Two) day backpack trail you will never forget!!

Day 1:

The first 2km follows the Elands River with exceptional vegetation, bird and water life. The next 3km is a challenging, strenuous ascent meandering up the mountain slope. The view from the top is outstanding, looking down on the Elands River and valley below. 800m further a natural fountain is reached, a well-deserved stop under the shady trees. The next 6km is an easy walk on the edge of the escarpment, crossing two mountain streams until the top of a kloof is reached. The stunning views from this point are unforgettable. After the 12km mark, you are at the bottom of the kloof and from here on, you follow a refreshing mountain stream for 1.5km until the overnight camp is reached.

Day 2:

Start the day off with a 10minute climb to reach the top of the plateau and off to two stunning waterfalls. Hike 1km through Beech wood bush until you reach the first waterfall, this waterfall is approximately 65m. 500m further through indigenous forest, the second waterfall with a 35m drop and a refreshing rock pool is reached. The last few kilometres is an easy to gentle walk, past a historical “ancient site” that consist of a “Stone circle” and Petroglyph, back to the base camp at Elangeni Holiday Resort.

Overnight facilities:

Klipspringer Wooden Houses:

Sleep over in the Klipspringers Wooden Houses that can sleep up to 12 persons per wooden house.

Mattress and fitted sheet

4 Klipspringer units available

Use communal bathroom down at ablution block and use communal kitchen, with crockery and cutlery.

Wood, charcoal and ice can by purchase at the Shop, next to the Reception.

Please bring enough water for the first 14km; there is no water point on the first day, men about 4l and women 2l.

All water is drinkable on the Resort and in the Mountain


Sonbessie Hut:

  • Sleeps 32 people
  • 4 bedrooms each sleeping 8 people
  • No electricity in Sonbessie hut, make use of gas geysers and small gas stoves as well as Solar panels for the lights and 2 way radio. Please switch off all lights when not in use and when you leave the premises.
  • Mattresses are supplied; please bring your own sleeping bag with.
  • Wood and charcoal are supplied.
  • Hot showers with basins
  • Kitchen, stove, zinc, table, kettle, gas lamps for communal areas
  • Crockery and cutlery supplied


Additional information:

  • Indemnity forms needs to be signed before any hike can commence.
  • Suitable for children from 10 years old who are fit.
  • Payment for portage and additional firewood should be made direct on arrival with the office.
  • The last 7-8 km on the “gravel road section” is rerouted and extended by 4km, thus the hiking trail is now 25km and not 21km.
  • Dogs are permitted to hike with hiker but under full control & risk of owner. The dog are the owners own responsibility and risk and not Elangeni Management, members, or staff.
  • The Dog must be on a leash and must not disturb other hikers.
  • Slackpacking is only available if weather permits, cannot be booked in advance only on day of hike can slackpacking be confirmed and will be charged at R50.00 per it person.


  • R550.00 pp – Adult (2 day backpack trail)
  • R360.00 pp – U/12 (2 day backpack trail)
  • R80.00 – Wood for fire
  • Slack pack option: Must be booked in advance. R150.00 per person extra (2 items per person). If weather permits.

Day Visitors

  • R150.00 pp – Adult
  • R120.00 pp – U/10

Admin Fee:

  • R55.00 once off per reservation.

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