Fanie Botha Hiking Trail

Sabie, Mpumalanga

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. 

  • 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 GraskopHut (±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 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, PLEASE CALL 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
Knysnalourie, 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, an extensive diversity of game occurs along the route.  On the grasslands, especially at Hartebeesvlakte, oribi, grey caracal, rhebuck, mountain reedbuck and klipspringers may 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 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 bunker beds with mattresses, hot water (solar geyzer, except Mac Mac hut), no pots and pans, undercover braai area, firewood and toilets.
  • Ceylon hut and President Burgers hut 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 Police Station


Trail options

2 Night Options

  • Mac Mac 2-night trail
  • Graskop 2-night trail
  • Hartbeesvlakte 2-night trail
  • Mac Mac / Bonnet 2-night trail
  • Burger 2-night trail
  • Maritzbos 2-day trail

3 Night Options

  • 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

  • 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 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 Police Station
Distances:

  • Graskop Hut – Pres. Burger Hut - 23.1km
  • Pres. Burger Hut – Graskop Hut - 13.6km

Difficulty:  Moderate to difficult

 
Hartbeesvlakte 2 Night Trail
Parking:  Park your car at Ceylon workshop
Distances:

  • Ceylon Hut – Maritzbos Hut - 8.7km
  • Maritzbos Hut - Stables - 13.3km
  • Stables - Ceylon Hut - 8km

Difficulty:  Difficult


Pres. Burger 2 Night Trail
Parking:  Park your car at Pres. Burger Hut
Distances:

  • Pres. Burger Hut – Graskop Hut - 19.6 km
  • Graskop Hut – Pres. Burger Hut - 23 km (via the Mac Mac Pools and Falls)

Difficulty:  Difficult



Bonnet/Mac Mac Pools 2 Night Trail
Parking:  Park your car at Graskop Police Station
Distances: 

  • Graskop Hut – Mac Mac Hut - 23 km (via the Mac Mac Pools and Falls)
  • Mac Mac Hut – Graskop Hut - 19.6 km

Difficulty:  Difficult


Maritzbos 2 Day Trail
Parking:  Park at the Ceylon Workshop
Distances:

  • Ceylon Hut – Maritzbos Hut - 8.7 km
  • Maritzbos Hut – Ceylon Hut - 9 km

Difficulty:   Easy



3 Night Options


Pres. Burger 3 Night Trail
Parking:  Park at the Pres. Burger Workshop
Distances:

  • Pres. Burger Hut – Graskop Hut - 19.6 km
  • Graskop Hut – Mac Mac Hut - 23.1km
  • Mac Mac Hut – Pres. Burger Hut - 6km

Difficulty:   Difficult


Lone Creek 3 Night Trail

Parking:  Park at Ceylon Workshop and start hiking to Martizbos hut.
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 Workshop and start hiking to Maritzbos hut.
Distances:

  • Ceylon Hut – Maritzbos Hut - 8.7km
  • Maritzbos Hut – Stables - 13.3km
  • Stables – Ceylon Hut - 8.5km

Difficulty:   Difficult

 
Maritzbos 3 Night Trail
Parking:  Park your car at Ceylon Workshop
Distances:

  • Ceylon Hut – Maritzbos Hut - 8.7 km
  • Maritzbos Hut – Stables - 13.3 km
  • Stables – Ceylon Hut - 8.5 km

Difficulty:   Difficult.


Mac Mac 3 Night Trail
Parking:  Park your car at Pres. Burger Hut and start hiking 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 5-day route, please arrange slackpacking as it’s not a circular route.


Ceylon 4 Night Trail
Parking:  Park your car at Ceylon Workshop
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 Workshop
Distances:

  • Ceylon Hut – Maritzbos Hut - 8.7km
  • Maritzbos Hut – Stables - 13.3km
  • Stables – Ceylon Hut - 8.5km

Difficulty:   Moderate to difficult


Mount Moodie 4 Night Trail

Parking:  Park your car at Ceylon workshop and start hiking to Maritzbos Hut.
Distances:

  • Ceylon Hut – Maritzbos Hut - 8.7km
  • Maritzbos – Stables - 13.3km
  • Stables - Mac Mac - 16.3km
  • Mac Mac – Graskop - 13.6km
  • Graskop – Depart

Difficulty:   Difficult.


5 Night Options

NB:  Should you do a 4- or 5-day route, please arrange slackpacking as it’s not a circular route.

Pres. Burger 5 Night Trail
Parking:  Park your car at Ceylon workshop.

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
Parking:  Park your car at Ceylon workshop.

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.

Rates:

  • R162.00 per person per day
  • R400.00 per trip - Slackpacking


Admin Fee:

  • R55.00 once off admin fee

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