Elangeni Hiking Trail

Waterval Onder, Mpumalanga

The trail is situated 18km east of Waterfall Boven on the N4 to Nelspruit. The trail is designed as a backpack route of 21km stretched over 2 days with 12,3km on the first day and 8,4km the second day. The trail starts off from the Elangeni Holiday Resort where you spend the first night.

The first part of the trail takes you along the banks of the Elands River for about 1km before you begin you your steep ascent up the mountain. This you achieve by way of Zig-zags that have been carved into the hillside. You will probably find this climb will take you about 2 hours to achieve but once on top you are rewarded by some spectacular panoramic views of the Elands Valley. The land that you are on belongs to SAPPI and it is imperative that particular care be taken that no fires are started by discarded cigarette ends etc.

From the point where the trail reaches the top of the krans, you now contour along the mountain edge which also gives you that adrenal rush of feeling like flying. The trail eventually takes you around a mountain headland and a long but gradual downhill follows that wind along the top of a deep valley with distant views of the Elangeni waterfall on its far side.

The trail follows a forestry road for a while and then you start your descent to a stream in the valley below. Once you reach the stream it is a short distance to the overnight hut but it is worth taking your time to spend at the cascades and pools that you find along this stretch of the trail.

The overnight hut is well constructed and you will find it has 4 bedrooms, each sleeping 8 people, hot showers, kitchen with gas stove, braai with wood, kettle. There are also gas lamps for the communal areas and ablutions.

The second day begins with a gradual climb away from the hut until more spectacular views are to be seen. You then descend through forest to the Elangeni fall. You can only be amazed at the stunning sight that befalls you as the water cascades down the mountainside.  This is definitely a place for you to spend some time with your camera and a little further on you come across another beautiful falls with pools that will entice everyone to take a dip. Eventually you find the trail ends up by following a gravel road back to the Elangeni resort and your cars.

Should you rather prefer to take the easy option of portage rather than carrying the burden of you backpack, this can be arranged with the reception and additional firewood can also be arranged to be delivered.

The ascent of 400m on the first day can be regarded as strenuous and an early start is essential. You will discover that there is no drinking water available until near the end of the first day.

Nearest town:

  • Waterfall Boven 10km

Province:

  • Mpumalanga

Distance from Johannesburg:

  • 270km

Distance from Pretoria:

  • 250km

GPS Turnoff main road:

  • S25 35.810
  • E30 26.878 ( Malaga Hotel and Elangeni Holiday Resort)

Trail Head:

  • S25 35.892 E30 26.393

Trail distances:

  • 12,3km and 8,4km

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

Overnight facilities:
Basecamp:

  • 8x Wendy houses each sleeping 4 people in two bedrooms (single beds, mattresses)
  • Hot water showers and flush toilets in each chalet
  • Kitchen with stove, kettle and zinc
  • Communal Lapa
  • Eskom power.

Mountain cabin:

  • 4 bedrooms each sleeping 8 people
  • Hot showers with basins
  • Kitchen, stove, zinc, table, kettle, gas lamps for communal areas
  • Braai with limited wood supplied.

Additional information:

  • Suitable for children from 10 y.o who are fit
  • Payment for portage and additional firewood should be made direct on arrival with the office

Tariffs:

  • R130.00 pp/pd
  • R55.00 once off per reservation