Kaapschehoop Hiking Trail

Nelspruit, Mpumalanga

Location

The Kaapschehoop Hiking Trail is located near Nelspruit in Mpumalanga.


How to get there

From Gauteng, take the N4. Just past Machadadorp and the SAPPI Paper Mill, take the Ngodwana turnoff on the Kaapschehoop Road. Continue for about 12km to the town of Kaapschehoop where the Kaapschehoop hut is situated. To reach the Barretts Coaches, drive past the town on your right, and carry on until you reach the Berlin Plantation. Turn left at the Berlin Plantation sign and continue the road for about 6km, following the signs to the Barretts Coaches.


General Information

You have a choice of doing the:

  • Battery Creek Two-night Trail, (total distance either 23.5km or 16.3km)
  • Starvation Creek Two-night Trail, (total distance 24.7km)
  • Two Creeks Three-night Trail, (total distance 38.6km).
  • Kaapschehoop Two-night Trail, (total distance 31.96km).
  • Kaapschehoop 3 day no 6, (total distance 46.42)


Hut facilities

There are four overnight huts on the trail that are ideally placed for you to explore the beauty of the area.
The huts are equipped as follows:

  • The Kaapschehoop Hut has 16 bunk beds, a donkey boiler for hot water, 2 showers and 2 toilets. There is a lovely braai area with a grid and firewood provided, but no electricity. Bring your own eating and cooking utensils.
  • The Barretts Coaches (two train coaches) have electricity, 50 bunk beds, 3 toilets, 2 showers, and a braai area with firewood provided. Bring your own eating and cooking utensils.
  • The Wattles Hut has 24 bunk beds, 3 toilets and 4 showers. A donkey boiler provides hot water. There is a fireplace and a braai area with grid and firewood provided. Bring your own eating and cooking utensils.
  • The Florence Hill Hut has 10 bunk beds, 2 toilets and 2 showers, a gas heater for hot water, a fireplace and a braai area with firewood provided. Bring your own eating and cooking utensils.

Please Note: The nearest doctor and emergency services are in Nelspruit, which is approximately 32km from Kaapschehoop.


Main attractions

The tropical climate turns this area into an all-year-round paradise with a vast variety of flora, animals, fascinating rock formations, waterfalls and colorful birds.

  • Birds

There are over 200 species of birds, including the enigmatic blue swallow, an internationally endangered bird with iridescent blue-black feathering that breeds in this area.

  • Along the dams, rivers and wetlands

The following birds may occur: reed cormorant, darter, grey heron, blackheaded heron, greenbacked heron, little egret, white stork, black stork, Abdim's stork, hadeda ibis, Egyptian goose, African black duck, African fish eagle, blue crane, redchested flufftail, crowned plover, blackwinged plover, wattled plover, wood sandpiper, diederik cuckoo, Burchell's coucal, palm swift, giant kingfisher, halfcollared kingfisher, pygmy kingfisher, little bee-eater, brownthroated martin, Heuglin's robin, African sedge warbler, broadtailed warbler, redfaced cisticola, African pied wagtail, longtailed wagtail, Cape wagtail, Cape weaver, masked weaver, red bishop, redshouldered widow, redcollared widow, common waxbill.

  • Along the mountains, rocky hillsides and in the grass

The secretary bird, blackshouldered kite, longcrested eagle, steppe buzzard, hobby falcon, rock kestrel, Shelly's francolin, Swainson's francolin, harlequin quail, Kurrichane buttonquail, Stanley's bustard, rock pigeon, grass owl, Cape eagle, black swift, flappet lark, blue swallow, rock martin, whitenecked raven, buffstreaked chat, familiar chat, Ayres' cisticola, wailing cisticola, longbilled pipit, orangethroated longclaw, redwinged starling, Gurney's sugarbird, malachite sunbird, buffspotted flufftail.

  • Along the woodlands and thorn veld

The yellowbilled kite, gymnogene, green pigeon, redchested cuckoo, spotted eagle owl, European bee-eater, hoopoe, blackcollared barbet, lesser honeyguide, cardinal woodpecker, blackheaded oriole, blackeyed bulbul, stonechat, yellowbreasted apalis, black flycatcher, fiscal shrike, blackcrowned tchagra, plumcoloured starling, black sunbird, pintailed whydah, lizard buzzard.

  • Along the forests and fringes

The following birds may occur African goshawk, buffspotted flufftail, rameron pigeon, black saw-wing swallow, grey cuckooshrike, olive thrush, Cape robin, dusky flycatcher, bluemantled flycatcher, olive bush shrike, greater doublecollared sunbird.
You may see the famous wild horses and other animals such as vervet monkey, baboon, hyrax, smaller cat, bushbuck, jackal, klipspringer, grey rhebuck, mountain reedbuck, bush pig, porcupine and possibly even leopards.

Yellowwood trees, aloes, endangered cycads and beautiful tree ferns may be seen, among others.


Climate

Bring some warm clothing in any season. The summer day temperature is generally around 25 degrees, but at 1628m above sea level, winter evenings in the Drakensberg can be quite cold at night. The rainfall is reasonably high, and there is often mist.


History

The Kaapschehoop trails are in the historic De Kaap goldfields between Nelspruit and Barberton.  Gold played a prominent role in the history of the area and the remains of early mining activities are found almost everywhere. Apparently, it was the Karanga tribe who first discovered gold, but their mining activities were put to an end when they were driven away by a bakaNaqonane tribe and the Swazis.

The De Kaap goldfields were recognised in the late 19th century, owing to the discoveries of prospectors such as Thomas MacLachlan in 1874, B. Chomse in 1882, and Charlie the Reefer in the early 1880s. MacLachlan's discovery did not immediately attract prospectors, diggers and fortune hunters, but wild stories about streets that were covered in gold caused remarkable interest in the area. Very soon, diggers, fortune hunters and various other characters from all over the world, rushed to De Kaap. The ZAR government established a Commission of Enquiry in 1882 to investigate and report on the situation in the area. The commissions found that between 170 and 180 diggers were already active at the so-called Kodwaansplaat, the majority of whom were Afrikaners. The Commission also found that a digger's town, Duiwelskantoor (later called Kaapschehoop) not only existed, but was also the centre of all activities on the goldfields. By this time, the diggers had already established their own digger's commission to protect their interests.

The village of Kaapschehoop developed almost overnight on government land next to the farm Berlyn. The village is set on a plateau between massive detached sandstone rocks. These rocks apparently reminded the diggers and farmers of the walls of a room and the regular thick mist gave the place a gloomy atmosphere, hence its original name, Duiwelskantoor (Devil's office). At first, Kaapschehoop consisted of wagons and tents. Even the government office was a tent. Later, clay structures and wood and iron buildings were erected.  The area entered its most active period during a short revival in August and September of 1885. This came to an end when a far richer goldfield was discovered on the Witwatersrand and was declared a public digging by the end of 1886. But the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand did not bring Kaapschehoop to a complete standstill. During the 1890s and after the turn of the century, the village was a popular place with several pubs, two hotels, a small school, several general dealers and clay and brick houses. S.W. Wierda designed a new post office in 1896 and between August and December of 1888 Kaapschehoop had its own newspaper, the North Kaap Telegraph.

Today,Kaapschehoop is a major tourist attraction with its Victorian architecture that dates back to the gold rush in the early 1880s, fascinating arts and crafts shops, tea gardens and interesting pubs.

 
Trail Options

Several individual trail sections can be combined into two- or three-day hikes. You have a choice of doing the:

  • Battery Creek Two-night Trail, (total distance either 23.5km or 16.3km)
  • Starvation Creek Two-night Trail, (total distance 24.7km)
  • Two Creeks Three-night Trail, (total distance 38.6km).
  • Kaapschehoop Two-night Trail, (total distance 31.96km)
  • Kaapschehoop 3 day no 6, (total distance 46.42km).


Battery Creek Two-night Trail:
Parking:Park at the Berlin Plantation (Barretts Coaches)
Distances:

  • Barretts Coaches – Kaapschehoop Hut - 14km or 6.8km
  • Kaapschehoop Hut – Barretts Coaches - 9.5km

Difficulty:  Moderate


Starvation Creek 2 Night Trail:

Parking:  Park at the Berlin Plantation (Barretts Coaches)
Distances:

  • Barretts Coaches – Wattles Hut - 15.3km
  • Wattles Hut - Barretts Coaches - 9.4km

Difficulty:  Moderate to difficult


Two Creeks Three - Night Trail:

Parking:  Park at the Berlin Plantation (Barretts Coaches)
Distances:

  • Barretts Coaches – Wattles Hut - 15.3km
  • Wattles Hut – Kaapschehoop Hut - 13.8km
  • Kaapschehoop Hut – Barretts Coacehs - 9.8km

Difficulty:       Difficult


Blue Swallow 2 Night Trail:
Parking:  Park at the Kaapshcehoop Hut
Distances:

  • Kaapschehoop Hut – Florenche Hill Hut - 16.67km
  • Florence Hill Hut – Kaapschehoop Hut - 15.29km

Difficulty:       Moderate to difficult


Kaapschehoop 3 Day No 6:

Parking:  Park at the Kaapshcehoop Hut
Distances:

  • Kaapschehoop Hut – Florenche Hill Hut - 16.67km
  • Florence Hill Hut – Barretts Coaches - 14.46km
  • Barretts Coaches - Kaapschehoop Hut - 14km or 6.8km

Difficulty:       Moderate to difficult



Trail Options


2 Night Trail Options:

Wattles 2 Night Trail:
Parking:  Park at the Barretts Coaches and start hiking to Wattles hut.
Distances:

  • Barretts Coaches – Wattles Hut - 15.3km
  • Wattles Hut – Kaapschehoop - 13.8km

Difficulty:       Easy


Kaapschehoop 2 Night Trail:

Parking:  Park at the Kaapschehoop Hut
Distances:

  • Kaapschehoop - Barretts Coaches - 9.5km
  • Barretts Coacehs Kaapschehoop Hut - 14km

Difficulty:       Easy


Blue Swallow 2 Night Trail:

Parking:  Park at the Kaapschehoop Hut
Distances:

  • Kaapschehoop – Florence Hill Hut - 16.67km
  • Florence Hill Hut - Kaapschehoop Hut - 15.29km

Difficulty:       Easy


3 Night Trail Options:
 
Barretts Coaches 3 Night Trail:
Parking:  Park your car at the Berlin Plantation (Barretts Coaches)
Distances:

  • Barretts Coaches – Kaapschehoop - 15.3km
  • Kaapschehoop – Florencehill - 16.67km
  • Florenchill – Barretts Coaches - 14.46km

Difficulty:       Moderate - Difficult
 

Florencehill 3 Night Trail:

Parking:  Park your car at Kaapschehoop Hut and start hiking to Florenchill Hut
Distances:

  • Kaapschehoop – Florencehill - 16.67km
  • Florenchill – Barretts Coaches - 14.46km
  • Barretts Coaches – Kaapschehoop - 15.3km

Difficulty:       Moderate - Difficult
 

Wattles 3 Night Trail:

Parking:  Park at the Barretts Coaches and start hiking to Wattles Hut
Distances:

  • Barretts Coaches – Wattles Hut - 15.3km
  • Wattles Hut – Kaapschehoop Hut - 13.8km
  • Kaapschehoop Hut – Florencehill Hut - 16.67km

Difficulity:      Moderate - Difficult
 

Kaapschehoop 3 Night Trail:

Parking:  Park your car at Kaapschehoop Hut
Distances:

  • Kaapschehoop – Florencehill - 16.67km
  • Florenchill – Barretts Coaches - 14.46km
  • Barretts Coaches – Kaapschehoop - 15.3km

Difficulty:       Moderate - Difficult
 

Two Creeks 3 Night Trail:

Parking:
Park your car at the Berlin Plantation. (Barretts Coaches)

Distances:

  • Barretts Coaches to Wattles Hut - 15.3km
  • Wattles Hut to Kaapschehoop - 13.8km
  • Kaapschehoop Hut to Barretts Coaches - 9.8km

Difficulty:       Moderate - Difficult
 

Cave Creek 3 Night Trail:

Parking:  Park your car at Kaapschehoop Hut
Distances:

  • Kaapschehoop Hut to Barretts Coaches - 9.8km
  • Barretts Coaches to Wattles Hut - 15.3km
  • Wattles Hut to Kaapschehoop - 13.8km

Difficulty:       Moderate - Difficult



4 Night Trail Options:

The Creek 4 Night Trail:
Parking:  Park at the Barretts Coaches
Distances:

  • Barretts Coaches – Wattles Hut - 15.3km
  • Wattles Hut – Kaapschehoop Hut - 13.8km
  • Kaapschehoop Hut – Florence Hill Hut - 16.67km
  • Florence Hill Hut – Barretts Coaches - 14.46km

Difficulty:       Moderate - Difficult


Blue Swallow 4 Night Trail:

Parking:  Park at the Kaapschehoop Hut
Distances:

  • Kaapschehoop Hut – Florence Hill Hut - 16.67km
  • Florence Hill Hut – Barretts Coaches - 14.46km
  • Barretts Coaches – Wattles Hut - 15.3km
  • Wattles Hut – Kaapschehoop Hut - 13.8km

Difficulty:       Moderate - Difficult


Rates:

  • R162.00 pp.pn


Admin Fee:

  • R55.00 admin fee once off per reservation 

Enquire Now!

Please fill the required field.
Please fill the required field.
Please fill the required field.
Please fill the required field.

fagala voet footer

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.

Contact Us

Your trusted hiking trails website covering South Africa and Namibia.

 

Office Hours: Monday - Friday / 08:00 - 17:00.

We hike on Saturday, Sundays and Public Holidays.


Social Media

  

Newsletter Signup.