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  • Lisa Martus

SUMMER ACTIVITIES 2023: OUT AND ABOUT IN MAGOEBASKLOOF

Magoebaskloof is a summertime haven... think forests with ancient trees… rugged mountains with their heads in the clouds... rock pools in crystal clear waters... falcons catching the thermals and wild flowers covering the grasslands like a colourful carpet. The area offers a whole range of experiences for all ages and is a place of spectacular natural beauty whether you are hiking through the Wolkberg Mountain Reserve or abseiling alongside waterfalls with Magoebaskloof Adventures. You can mountain-bike the network of trails through picturesque farms and around dams or try a more technical route on single-track forestry roads and mountain passes. If you prefer to meander rather than zoom, book out an e-bike at Cheerio Gardens or hire a bicycle to explore Waterwheel Resort in George's Valley.


Maybe adrenaline is your buzz and you want to ‘soar like an Eagle’ through the Letaba River gorge on 11 ziplines over waterfalls at the Magoebaskloof Canopy Tours but if you want a more serene option, you can choose a meditative fly-fishing session. Why not team up with South Africa’s top local Bird Guides, David Letsoalo and Paul Nkhumane to go birding in the second-largest indigenous forest in South Africa, the Woodbush Forest. How about a Full Moon outride or a host of other festive season equine activities In the Company of Horses? You could also visit an Arabian Horse Stud Farm at Silver Mist or explore around Haenertsburg on horseback with Manely Equine?


On a sun-shiney day, the sky’s the limit for outdoor activities. With its rugged terrain, stunning views, and beautiful forests, Magoebaskloof is a hiker's paradise. There are many trails to choose from, ranging from easy meanders to more challenging treks. At Magoebaskloof Adventures, you can try abseiling, kloofing, hiking or a tree-hop and, for children from 7 to 12, book in with Mad Rabbit Adventures for Kids' Adventure Days, high-rope tree climb, interactive forest hike or kids' zipline. Just out of Haenertsburg, Noko Resort offers hiking, quad-biking and outdoor fitness days.


There are also options for pottery classes, beer-tasting, Farm to table cooking experiences, mushroom foraging, blueberry-picking or retail therapy in Haenertsburg. For those who favour a retreat to the outdoor adventures, book a rejuvinating treatment at Noka River Spa or with the ‘foot fairy’, Colleen Ballenden at her tranquil reiflexology Centre at Stanford Lake Lodge. Pack a picnic and head for the hills… or the mountain tops… the forests or waterfalls. Swim, cycle, fish or picnic at the Waterwheel Country Resort or head to the Sunset Queen for a cruise on the Ebenezer Dam while the sun sets in a blaze of colour on another glorious Magoebaskloof day.


You are sure to have a memorable holiday whether you are here to relax or are one of the outdoors and adventurous types who come to the area for birding, hiking, biking and a multitude of other activities like fly-fishing, trail-running, horse-riding and adventure sports. Whatever you do, make the most of summer in Magoebaskloof this festive season.




MOUNTAIN GETAWAYS ACTIVITIES FOR SUMMER


EBENEZER DAM CRUISES (083 284 5163 / 072 178 1602)


SHORT WALKS & GARDENS

- Cheerio Gardens (083 355 0835) Walk the paths of these world-famous gardens. (L road)

- Sequoia Garden Retreat (sequoiastay@gmail.com) Day walks by prior arrangement. (L road)

- Otterholt Farm (076 418 1238) 3.5km Meander trail; Mushroom tours & Essential Oils tours. (L road)

- Growth Centre (072 277 4809) Guided stroll for kids through indigenous forest. R71. By appointment.

- Waterwheel Country Retreat (081 048 4841) Walk / cycle on marked trails in beautiful forests along the river. (GV road)


BIRDING

Woodbush Forest Drive is world-renowned for spectacular forest birding. Bird Guides: David Letsoalo (083 568 4678) or Paul Nkhumane (084 354 9710)


HORSE RIDING

- In the Company of Horses (076 577 1936) Various horseback experiences. (Q road)

- Silver Mist Resort (015 295 9901) Al-Miqdad Arabian horses. (R71)

- Manely Equine (064 122 5895) Enjoy Haenertsburg on horseback.

- Erika Hagens (083 977 6656) Shetland pony ride around Haenertsburg.


BIKING

- Magoebaskloof Mountain Biking (083 453 1514) family routes to adrenaline-filled tracks.

- Cheerio Gardens (083 355 0835) E-bikes available. (L road)

- Waterwheel Country Retreat (081 048 4841) bikes for hire on their spectacular property. (GV road)


ADVENTURE

- Magoebaskloof Adventures & Canopy Tours (083 866 1546)

Canopy Tour, tubing, kloofing, abseiling and a tree hop. (R528 / GV road)

- Mad Rabbit Adventures (083 706 9560) Kids Adventure Days: hike, high rope tree climb, abseil & kids zipline. (R71)

- Noko Resort (086 380 7593)

Hiking trail, outdoor fitness days, paint-ball & quad-biking. (R71)

FLY FISHING

- Mountain Fly Fishing For Guests (083 255 7817) N road

- Cheerio Trout Fishing & Holiday Resort For Guests (072 650 2366) L road

- Stanford Lake Lodge For Guests (079 519 9211) R71

- Waterwheel Country Resort (074 024 6519) R528 GV road

- Silver Mist Resort (015 295 9901| 063 117 2629) near Haenertsburg.


HIKES & WALKING TRAILS

- Swartbos Trail. The Picturesque 3.8 km route starts at Magoebaskloof Hotel through the indigenous forests of the Magoebaskloof gorge. (1 hour 45 mins).

- Makgeng Hiking Trail (makgengtrail@gmail.com) 12km, 9km or 3.3km Abundant fauna, flora & great views from the mountain top. (R71)

- Schultz Trails (076 968 0483) Hiking / running trails on a working coffee farm. (R71)

- Louis Changuion Trail Through the Haenertsburg Grassland Nature Reserve and indigenous forest. (10km route / 3 to 4 hours)

- Debengeni Waterfall At the bottom of Woodbush Forest (R71). Small entrance fee for scenic short walks around the falls. (no braais or swimming)

- Magoebaskloof Adventures (083 866 1546) 1 to 2 hour trails past waterfalls & rapids in the Letaba Gorge (R528 / GV road).


OTHER ACTIVITIES

- Nōka River Retreat and Spa (065 513 6006) A space of healing & relaxation. (L road)

- The Growth Centre (072 277 4809) Foot Massage, Reiki and Reading of Feet. (R71)

- Zwakala Brewery (073 874 8651) Beer-tasting of award-winning beers. (L road)

- Krabbefontein Café (076 968 0483) Coffee, Beer & Gin tasting. (R71)

- Wegraakbosch Organic Farm (072 370 1886 l 072 361 0664) Book Dairy tours.

- Ga-Malahlela Village Experience (084 354 9710) A unique cultural experience.

- Earth Creations Studio (083 259 8427) Pottery, painting and mosaic classes.

- The Glass Art Studio (082 335 6803) Exclusive glass creations. (R71)

- The Pennefather Complex (078 417 9088) Antiques, bookshop, gifts, clothing, sweets, coffee shop.


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