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Wolkberg Wilderness Area, Haenertsburg, Limpopo

The Wolkberg Wilderness area lies 114km from the picturesque village of Haenertsburg in northern Drakensberg mountains of the Limpopo Province of South Africa.

Proclaimed in 1977, the Wolkberg Wilderness area covers 22000ha surrounding the 2,127m high Wolkberg (Cloud Mountain) and including several smaller peaks, valleys and ravines, gorges, steep cliffs, streams, thick indigenous forest, waterfalls, rock pools and small rivers.

The area is heavily forested, particularly in the steep ravines. As its name suggests, the range is often topped with cloud mist. The Mohlapitse river flows through the area, and is fed by many mountain streams from mist condensing on the high quartzite cliffs.

There are many hiking trails through this beautiful area but none are marked; there are no organised or guided routes, and no overnight huts. The terrain demands a certain level of fitness, and any advice given at the forest station should be heeded re certain routes and climbs. Animals you are likely to see include vervet and samango monkeys as well as many species of indigenous and endemic birds. Animals you might see include various species of mountain buck and if you are very luck you may spot a leopard in the trees.

Access to the area can be obtained from the forest station at the entrance, where there is also parking and a camping site. Although you may take tents along on hikes, you really are on your own here…

Getting there: From Johannesburg, head for Haenerstburg which lies on the R71 near Tzaneen. From JHB it is about a 4 hour drive. Take the N1 north, exiting onto the R71 for Tzaneen.From Haenertsburg take the R71 east, turning off south on the to the R528 – look for signs for Serala (another name for the Forest Station). The Wolkberg Wilderness area is about 14km from Haenertsburg.

More info on the quaint town of Haenertsburg More info on the Capricorn area