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Hiking in Kaapschehoop, Mpumalanga

The Komatiland Berlin plantation, home to the Kaapschehoop  hiking trailsThe little town of Kaapschehoop near Barberton in Mpumalanga was once one of the major centres of the gold rush in the 1880s. Today, it is more popularly known for it’s spectacular hiking trails on the Drakensberg escarpment, and the Komatiland Berlin Plantation provides the setting for the trails.

The Two-Creeks trail is a 3-day, 39km trail that meanders above the cliffs of the Drakensberg Escarpment and between patches of indigenous forest and pine plantation. The trail combines the Battery Creek and Starvation Creek trails and offers a unique combination of natural, historical and cultural highlights. The trail winds through several waterfalls in the eroded sandstone formations on its way up to Spitskop. It then descends into Starvation Creek Nature Reserve, a reserve that protects the Kaapsehoop cycad.

The area is also famous for being the only region of South Africa that is home to breeding wild horses. The horses are said to be descendants of horses that ran wild during the Anglo-Boer war (1899-1902), where activity was rife in this region.

The trail is a highlight for keen birders, with over 200 species having been recorded along the route. The real highlight is to spot the endagered Blue Swallow. The Blouswawelvlakte, south-east of Kaapschehoop is an area that that has been set aside as a Blue Swallow Natural Heritage site, and holds the third-largest breeding population of the species in South Africa. Trail info

Getting there: from Johannesburg, take the N12 going East towards Witbank. At Witbank, the road becomes the N4. Follow the N4 to Ngodwana. Here, turn right onto the Kaapschehoop road and follow into the town of Kaapschehoop.

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

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