Stamvrug Hiking Trail

Warmbaths, Limpopo

Stamvrug hiking trails, which first opened in May 1992, was designed with the assistance of the Centre for Eco Tourism of the University of Pretoria. Since then, thousands of nature lovers have wound their way around and across the rim of a basin which constitutes one of the few unspoilt, unique Waterberg ecosystems. Nine years later, in 2001, the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve was granted international status by UNESCO. It now forms part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves and is the first Reserve of this kind registered in Southern Africa.
 
The network of 10 different hiking trails, ranging from about 4 km to about 12 km with various grades of difficulty, caters for hikers with different levels of fitness and experience. The routes wind through a wide variety of landscapes ranging from grassy plains, ravines, hills, streams and woods to plateaus with stunning views. There are two base camps, namely Kloof, which is situated at the edge of a ravine, and Stamvrug, set in the fold of a hill leading up to the upper plateau. Both camps are equipped with bunk beds and braai utensils but bring your own bedding and cutlery. 

 
Location of trail:
  • 26 km from Warmbaths;
  • 25 km from Nylstroom;
  • 120 km from Gauteng.
 
Day Trails:
  • Stamvrug base camp to Kloof base camp via Zebra trail: 9 km
  • Escarpment day trail: 5 km
  • Moepel day trail: 8 km
  • Porcupine day trail: 6.9 km
  • Game day trail: 6 km
  • Bush pig day trail: 5 km
  • Quagga trail: 9 km
  • Sunset trail: 11.3 km
 
2-day backpacking trails:
  • Kloof base camp to Stamvrug base camp via Kloof trail: 13 km
  • Leopard trail: 11.8km
 
Degree of difficulty:
  • Sunset trail must be regarded as difficult.
  • Average
 

Detail on our Hiking Trails:
 
Sunset Point trail:
Sunset Point has now been laid out constructed and marked. It initially follows the Moepel Trail before curving to the northwest to the highest point (Sunset Point) in the area from where you can look down on Kranskop and see as far as Vaalwater on a clear day. This route is considerably more difficult than the older trails. The spectacular 360° view on Sunset Point adds to the many awesome views over the Waterberg known for its many streams and fountains, a variety of game plus an abundance of bird species.

 
Kloof and Porcupine trails:
From Kloof base camp you have an option of two trails: the Kloof and Porcupine trails. The Kloof trail goes up a Koppie and winds around the escarpment to provide a spectacular bird’s eye view of the whole area. Finally, it goes back over the ridge into the game-fenced area and over the grasslands until it reaches the cool waters of the Kaalgat Dam (full in the rainy season). Spend time here at the dam as the distance to the hut is short. The Porcupine trail is shorter and easier with more water en route. It also goes up a Koppie and descends to the lovely rock pools and kloof dam for time to cool off and a tea stop. Thereafter it crosses the road into the game breeding perimeter, descending through a Kloof where one sees the origin of one of the many springs that feed the Reserve. The trail crosses a few more Koppies, finally reaching Kaalgat Dam and Stamvrug base camp.

 
Kloof (in reverse), Leopard, Zebra and Stamvrug Trail:
By popular request, the Kloof trail can be walked (in reverse), as the Leopard trail, starting at Stamvrug Base camp. This allows hikers to start at Stamvrug, cover the longer part of the two-day trial on Saturday and return to Stamvrug on Sunday via the shorter Porcupine trail.
From Stamvrug base camp the Zebra trail starts with a mild climb up the Koppie, over a rock bed and grasslands, keeping on top of the ridge. It then descents and enters the indigenous forest at ± 4 km. It passes a massive Naboom tree next to a most magnificent rock bed with a dam nearby for swimming, ascends the ridge, cross the farm road, before it enters a Kloof filled with ferns, water lilies and water grass, and leaves the gorge with a short climb to return to Kloof base camp.
 
The Zebra Trail can now also be hiked in reverse and is equally enjoyed the other way around. 
 
 
Overnight facilities:
  • 24 beds/mattresses (3 rooms x 8 beds)
  • Full en suite bathrooms with donkey geysers
  • 2 outside showers
  • Pots/pans
  • 3 legged potjies
  • Braai facilities and ample wood
  • Braai areas
  • NO ELECTRICITY
 
Stamvrug Basecamp:
  • 24 beds/mattresses (3 rooms x 8 beds)
  • 2 showers
  • 2 flushing toilets
  • 2 Pit latrines
  • 1 basin
  • Pots/pans, three- legged iron cooking pots
  • Open braai areas
  • NO ELECTRICITY
 
Kloof Base Camp:
  • 24 beds/mattresses (3 rooms x 8 beds)
  • Full en suite bathrooms with donkey geysers
  • 2 outside showers
  • Pots/pans
  • 3 legged potjies
  • Braai facilities and ample wood
  • Braai areas
  • NO ELECTRICITY
 
Gumtree:
This quaint cottage started out in life as an old farm school dating back to the Anglo-Boer War (late 19th - 20th century). It was later converted into a cute, cosy farmhouse.
 
The dramatic post Covid-19 increase in demand for hikers’ accommodation convinced us to make Gumtree Cottage available to dedicated hiking groups who are looking for a slightly more luxurious and private environment to sleep over in. We know that “Luxury” is a swearword among the tough South African Hiking Community, but hey kratjie guys, real hiking’s got to start somewhere.
 
Gumtree camp #1 sleeps up to 15 people in six bunkbeds placed in three bedrooms. Gum has a communal kitchen with basic cooking equipment, a fridge-freezer and some essential kitchen appliances. An open fireplace in the lounge/dining room will warm you in Winter and/or leads to one of two well equipped braai lapas.
 
From this secluded cottage, several slackpack –, backpack - ,day - and circular hikes can be enjoyed.. Situated close to the Gumtree Dam and the Bird-hide, it is also the perfect spot for birders. Beyond the Bird-hide runs a dedicated trail which T’s in with the Moepel and Sunset trails. From this crossing you can decide to circle back to Gumtree Cottage via Kloof base camp, or challenge the more demanding Moepel -, or Sunset trails. The more experienced group can also put his own hiking trail plan together.
 
The wiser, but less adventurous souls, like Ouma and Oupa can meanwhile enjoy the convenience of the Gumtree stoep while the rest of the family sweats it out in the Waterberg wilderness.

 
Pertinent information:
  • No malaria or bilharzia in dams/streams
  • It is advisable to start hiking before 07h00 in Summer
  • Carry at least 2 litres of water
  • Low axle clearance for cars.
  • Min 4 hikers.

Rates:

  • R150.00 pp.pn
  • R175.00 pp.pn – Gumtree
  • R125.00 pp.pd - Day for visitors

Admin Fee:
  • R55.00 once off reservation fee.

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Fagala Voet is marketing and booking agents for hiking trails in South Africa and Namibia. We assist private hiking trail owners to market their trails to our database of hikers and handle bookings for them as well. We also help our database of hikers to find new hiking trails. We also do GPS mapping, development of trails and remarking of trails.

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We hike on Saturday, Sundays and Public Holidays.


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