Event Start Date: Friday 7th April 2017 to 9th April 2017
Distance to Base Camp from JHB - 310km
Start: base camp
Finish: base camp
Duration: 2 days, 20 km Split into 13km one day and the other 7km
Hike Grading: Easy to moderate
Highlights : the highlight is the examples of rock art, and the two Iron Age huts built against the back wall of one of the caves
The 20km 2 day Hiking Trail near Paul Roux is a fairly easy but very interesting and varied hike that makes the most of the beauty and heritage of the Witteberg Mountains in the Eastern Free State.
The trail is a ‘figure of eight’ base camp trail consisting of two day trails, one 13km and one 7km, which move through varied terrain, along sandstone cliffs, into valleys, under overhangs and through caves, and into steep narrow kloofs with bubbling mountain streams. There are 5 caves on the trail – each with their own peculiar character. The Bushman Cave is richly decorated with some of the most interesting and ancient San Rock Art in the Free State – estimated to be 25 000 yrs old. The Rock Art is a particularly well preserved pictographic record of an animistic civilisation’s ‘supernatural’ beliefs with many drawings of the Eland, which was believed to have magical powers, and half-animal, half-human figures that represent the shape-changing shamans who would travel to the spirit world in animal form.
A second cave has two Iron Age huts built against the back wall. These huts are more than 200 years old and have been saved from erosion in the sheltered cave. A third Cave has a waterfall and another a more recent history as a hiding place for Boer women and children during the Anglo Boer War – one of them the mother of one of South Africa’s former presidents – P.W. Botha.
The topography of the trail involves many ascents, descents and kloofs that would be very difficult to navigate if it weren’t for a network of ladders, ropes, stairs and bridges – all of which add an extra charm and interest to the trail as well as making it a lot easier to negotiate.
Venue is equipped with single bunk beds in the two huts, and normal single beds and mattresses. Please provide your own bedding. The ablution facilities houses flush toilets and showers with hot water.
The lapa with braai facilities has a kitchen with a gas-fridge, hot plate, pots, pans and kettle.
Directions and other details will be sent out to all paid recipients.