Bushbuck Hills Hiking Trail

Swartruggens, North West

Bushbuck Hills Game Farm is nestled in a series of hills surrounding the North-West town of Swartruggens, a mere 2 hour drive from Gauteng.

At Bushbuck Hills Game Farm, you can come real close to giraffe, kudu, impala, blue wildebeest, zebra, gemsbuck, eland, red hartebeest, waterbuck, blesbuck, reedbuck, warthog and all the other small game.  Bushbuck Hills can cater for small to medium size groups and family getaways.

Description of Trails:

There are different hiking trails at Bushbuck Hills.  The trails are a series of loops for local weekend visitors as well as a 2-day fully-fledged hike for hikers.Trails vary in length depending on your hiking skills and the combination of trails chosen – from a 2km circle route to an 11km day trial.  The shorter nature trails offers magnificent bird watching and tree spotting opportunities. We offer a strenuous mountain trail with some tough mountain climbing involved and even a chain ladder for the adventurer!

On day 1 of this trail, hikers can stay in the farmhouse, Huis Kiepersol, and hike to the Marlothi mountain Cabin, with a distance of 9km.  The first part of the trail is through Bushveld and then it follows the mountainous area of the Pilansberg range with undulating hills. The trail heads up in the kloof alongside a flowing mountain stream in a densely vegetated valley.  Here hikers can unwind, relax a bit and refresh themselves in the fountain swimming hole. On the plateau area you will not only find protea groves and real mountain grassland, but also Blue Wildebeest, Kudu, Blesbuck, Red Hartebeest and Zebra.

On day 2 of this trail, hikers go back to the Huis Kiepersol through Bushveld. At the Kudu View Point you will have time to enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the farm.  The trail back home stretches out across different areas of this beautiful game farm with more dams suitable for swimming. Hikers can also take the longer trail back which is approximately 11km.

There are different types of self-catering accommodation on the farm.  No matter whether you stay at the Wild Olive Cottage, Huis Kiepersol, die Boskamp or Huis Karee, you will be able to start with a hiking trail at any of these accommodation units.  The Marlothi Cabin provides accommodation for most backpackers on the overnight trails.  There is no electricity supply to the hut and you have to stoke the “donkey” for a hot shower!  The mountain cabin has two bedrooms with 6 single beds in each, a communal bathroom with toilet and shower and a small kitchen. You need to bring your own crockery and cutlery.  The mountain cabin can sleep 12 hikers but there is ample space for tents should you require room for a bigger group.

Additional Information:

Security: The farm is well away from urban communities and is considered  fairly safe. Care should be taken when driving the 16km gravel road from  Swartruggens to the farm, especially when it is raining or afterwards.

Fitness: The trails can be considered as easy/moderate. Children from 12 should be able to manage the walks. As there is plenty of potentially dangerous wildlife, hikers, especially children, should not walk on their own.

Access:  Parking at the Huis Kiepersol, Boskamp or Huis Karee.  In the event of bad weather, groups will park at Huis Kiepersol and will be transported where necessary. Only 4×4 vehicles can drive directly to the Marlothi mountain Cabin.

Cell phone reception:  Very limited cellphone reception on the farm.

 What you should remember to bring with you:

  • Lighting: TORCH
  • Bedding and pillows
  • Crockery and cutlery
  • Sleeping bag
  • Towels
  • Matches and firelighters
  • Toilet paper and toiletries
  • Hats/caps
  • Swimwear and swim towels
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera, binoculars

Seasons:

High Season:

  • Autumn School holidays 29/03 – 09/04
  • Winter School holidays: 23/06 – 16/07
  • October School holidays: 29/09 – 08/10
  • December School holidays: 08/12 – 08/01

Low Season, Midweek:

  • Sunday night to Thursday night, excluding high season

Low Season, Weekend:

  • Friday and Saturday nights, excluding high season

Day Visitor Rates:

Entrance, Vehicle including first two visitors

  • R190.00 per vehicle plus 2 visitors

Entrance Additional Visitor:

  • R50.00 pp

Hiking of Trails:

  • R20.00 per hiker additional to entrance fee.

Admin Fee:

  • R55.00 once off per reservation.