July 19-21, 2002

We hadn't been hiking for quite a while but when we saw the ad for this specific one, we decided to unpack our hiking boots and sleeping bags and head north from Johannesburg to the Middelburg area, about 2 1/2 hours drive away (180 km from Pretoria).  We aren't into backpacking any more, so we select the trails that have a base camp from where you can go on day hikes and return to base without having to carry a full pack but just a daypack with some water and snacks.

Mouse over the thumbnails for a description and click to see the bigger image

Showers and toilet huts

The well equipped lapa/kitchen

Two of the 3 hikers huts

Preparing our meal, and, yes, it was COLD!!

The well equipped kitchen

Another kitchen view

View from the lapa

Roasting marshmallows...

The base camp can cater for 24 hikers per day and the trail offers a network of several circular routes, the total distance of all the trails being 24 km. The hikes are suited to all levels of fitness and are graded from easy to average. The trails are clearly marked and we enjoyed ourselves very much!

The base camp itself is exceptional.  There are 3 huts each with 4 bunkbeds, sleeping 8 people per hut. The lapa/kitchen under thatch is equipped with every utensil that could possible be used. Every hiker will know that the best part of every hike is the "round the campfire" at the end of the day, and Idwala is ideally suited to that. In fact, even if you are a non-hiker, you will enjoy a stay at Idwala. The view from the base camp is breathtaking and we enjoyed sundowners admiring the winter sunset.

ferns and pools in Varingkloof

Wildebeeskrans

bbq facilities

Kranspad

we have to go up THERE!!!!

which way to go???

Varingkloof

taking a break

Two ablution blocks each has a shower and two basins and gas geysers to heat the water. The two flush toilets add more home comforts.

An added bonus  is the selection of fauna that can be spotted; zebra, blue wildebeest, roan antelope, duiker, klipspringer and many more. More that 50 species of birdlife has also been recorded.

All in all, a fantastic weekend which we can recommend!

And by the way, Red Bull does NOT give you wings!!! I had to WALK up Kranspad!! sheessshhhh!

For more info and bookings email Jacana or phone (012) 346-3550/1

You can see Idwala camp at the top in the middle of the picture, what a perfect setting!

Varingkloof

Hannes' Dam

Lorraine and Doreen taking a break!

Going downnnnnnnnnnn!!!!

.........and further down ....

a fern lover's paradise

handy ropes make the tricky sections easy

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