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Kaapse Hoop (Kaapsehoop or Kaapschehoop), Mpumalanga

Kaapsehoop, Mpumalanga, South Africa

The tiny ex-gold rush community of Kaapsehoop near Nelspruit is situated in a scenically magnificent, forested area of Mpumalanga – right on the edge of the Drakensberg escarpment just before it drops down into the Lowveld.

This area is mostly part of the Komatieland forestry area, managed by Komati Ecotourism and offers magnificent nature and outdoors scenery, hiking trails and horse trails on the 17 000ha Berlin Plantation. To give you an idea of the natural beauty, the entrance to the hiking trails area is called Heaven’s Gate. The remaining 470ha that is not part of the Berlin Plantation is a declared South African Heritage Site.

A special feature of this particular area of Komatiland is its 200 strong herd of feral horses. These descendants of the 19th century gold prospectors’ horses are to be marveled at and shot on film and camera, but otherwise left to run free. Coca Cola sponsored signs on the road as you approach Kaapsehoop warn you to be careful of wild horses on the road. The horses may be wild, but they are a part of Kaapsehoop’s identity, much loved and assisted, rescued and rehabilitated when needed and supported by a local Wild Horse Fund.

Kaapsehoop itself is quaint, eclectic and architecturally a living museum of gold rush history, and other activities and attractions in Kaapsehoop include shopping at beautiful little shops such the Pottery Shop, Soul Creations and De-liteful Glass, pancakes at the Koek and Pan, a meal at the beautifully decorated Bohemian Cafe, birding trails to the Blue Swallow Reserve or a visit to Starvation Creek – an area of particular botanical importance which may only be entered on guided visits after prior arrangement with the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry.

Kaapsehoop comes highly recommended as a stop for photographers, birders and hikers, families and anyone wishing to delve deep into South Africa’s gold prospecting past, its superb natural heritage, anyone who loves horses, eccentric crafts, misty forests and waterfalls, and anyone with enough time on their hands to stick around, enjoy village life and meeting interesting locals, to breathe easy and find their soul again.

Kaapsehoop is also surrounded by strange-looking rock formations and locals believe that there is a peculiarly spiritual energy in the town. Then there’s anyone wanting to hunt ghosts…and to add to the things that go ‘bump in the mist’, there is Adam’s Calendar.

Kaapsehoop is a favourite weekend getaway for residents of Nelspruit and various activities, events and a farmer’s market make the most of this. See ShowMe Nelspruit Events and Entertainment to see what’s happening in Kaapsehoop (Kaapschehoop).

Getting there: From Johannesburg take the N12 east and merge on to the N4. After 122km on the N4, turn right on to Kruger St. and follow the signs for Kaapschehoop. Total travelling time is 3 and half hours. From Nelspruit take Samora Machel Drive west. Total travelling time is just over half an hour.

Note: PLEASE DRIVE SLOWLY through Kaapsehoop. Horses have right of way, they often stand  in the road and it is often misty…

More info on the town of Kaapse Hoop More info on the Lowveld area

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