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  • Deon Pienaar


‘The Mountain’ is known as an adventure-tourism destination with its abundance of hiking trails, mountain biking tracks, and exciting events that attract outdoor enthusiasts from near and far. Whether you are a seriously competitive adventurist, or just like to spend quality time in nature, there is no shortage of thrilling adventures to be had in Magoebaskloof.

One of the newest and most exciting additions to Magoebaskloof's outdoor offerings is the Otterholt Meander, a unique trail developed by the McMahon clan, a family with a long history on the mountain who have made a name for themselves with their production of essential oils using the sought-after Helichrysum Splendidum, more commonly known Southern Immortelle. The Otterholt Meander, a 3.5km trail located on the family property on Cheerio road, just off the R71, was lovingly coaxed, carved, shaped and marked by Toban McMahon, his sister Tamla, Freeman Ndlovu and Julia Malatji, and is a testament to their creativity and love for nature.

What sets the Otterholt Meander apart from other trails in the area is its unique route through a variety of biomes and vegetation types, including the iconic but endangered Woodbush Granite Grasslands and lush afromontane forest as well as the slow-paced ‘meandering’ nature of the trail, giving you the time to take it all in, get a little closer and look a little deeper. If you keep your eyes open, you may even spot Otterholt’s ‘Little Five’. The trail is well-marked, making it accessible for both guided walks with Toban, who is known for his encyclopedic wizard-like knowledge and passion for teaching, or self-guided hikes for those seeking a more independent adventure. This makes it a perfect option for families with youngsters looking to get out into nature to spark their curiosity and nurture their love for the environment.

One of the highlights of the meander is the beautiful dam located halfway along the trail, adorned with water lilies and offering a shady spot for a picnic while taking in the views. This scenic spot adds a touch of tranquility to the adventure, allowing you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty and take a moment to unwind. The team has big plans for the future of the Otterholt Meander. Tamla McMahon, known for her creativity and passion for music, envisions hosting acoustic music workshops and sound journeys in the forest, adding an artistic and immersive element to the trail. This promises to be a truly unique and multi-dimensional experience that appeals to all the senses.

This new trail is not only an exciting new addition to Magoebaskloof's tourism offerings, but it also showcases the McMahon’s dedication to preserving and sharing the natural beauty of their land. Since they started, they have actively cleared invasive species, the remnants of which are still to be seen. Their passion for nature, creativity, and mountain hospitality shines through in every aspect of the trail, making it a must-do experience for outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking a unique and immersive nature experience in the heart of Magoebaskloof.

Whether you choose to explore the trail with Toban's expert guidance or venture out on your own, book for the Otterholt Meander Trail on 064 773 1889 / Whatsapp 063 454 5377 /

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