Hiking Trails at Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve, Niewoudtville
For the serious hiker only….there are two self-guided 4 day hiking trails as well as two day walks at the Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve near Nieuwoudtville in the Northern Cape. Though these trails are immensely popular they are suited for experienced and fit hiking groups only.
The terrain of the Oorlogskloof Reserve makes for challenging hikes, while the diverse fauna, flora and bird-life, not to mention the sparkling clean Oorlogskloof River, make for a truly worthwhile immersion in this area’s unique fynbos-meets-karoo wilderness.
All trails involve steep ascents and descents, though some days are far less strenuous than others. A good level of fitness is required. Rock paintings can be seen en-route, as well as caves, waterfalls, tunnels, myriad wildflowers, pools and beautiful views from lookout points. All trails start from Groot Tuin and are all well marked, with distance markers.
The overnight hut at Groot Tuin is very basic, and the other overnight stops being campsites, some tented with 5 tents and mattresses that can take 3 people each, and some very basic in caves or under overhangs. Take torches and camping stoves as no fires may be lit. Medical kits are an essential as the trails involve plenty of rock climbing. You can get water from the river and springs en-route.
The 52.2km Rock Pigeon Hiking Trail is a 4-5 day hike. This well-marked, five-day trail has steep ascents and descents, spectacular canyons and ladders, boulders and chimneys, The 67.7km Rameron Pigeon Hiking Trail is a 5 -7 day hike. The 15.5km Leopard Trap Day Hike takes 6-9 hours and goes from Groot Tuin up to the Knersvlagte view site, past the leopard trap. The 17.9km Rietvlei Day Hike takes 8 to 10 hours and includes the Knersvlagte view site and swimming in the Oorlogskloof River.
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