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Idwala Hiking Trail

Near Middelburg, Mpumalanga

The Idwala hiking trail is situated close to Middelburg in the province of Mapumalanga. It is reached by taking the Groblersdal road from Middelburg and then taking the gravel road signposted to Bankplaas. The farm overlooks Loskop dam and some of the best views of the dam can be had from the trail. The accommodation is superb and ideal for those wanting a weekend getaway. The main trail can be quite strenuous in the heat as for much of the trail there is very little tree cover. It is important to take plenty of liquid along as there are some long stretches of the trail without water.

The Trails

The main trail at Idwala is called "Mwamasisingel" and including the extra "Suikerbossingel" is 12kms long. The trail start off with a climb down through the beautiful Varingkloof. Here you will see lovely examples of indigenous trees and Tree Ferns. There are also some lovely pools. The entrance to the kloof is also spectacular with interesting sheer rock faces. The trail exits the kloof into a grassy valley and then proceeds to lead the hiker up the opposite hillside onto the plateau at the top. After crossing the plateau Loskop dam comes into view.

Rock kranses at the start of the trail Varingkloof
The beautiful Varingkloof
The going is difficult in places The bottom of the Kloof
Varingkloof from the bottom First glimpse of Loskop

For a considerable time the trail leads along the plateau edge offering many interesting views of the dam below. The Suikerbossingel leads of this trail and is well worth the extra effort in doing. From this trail the best views of the dam are to be seen. On the way back to the main trail the hiker passes the beautiful Haelgeweerkloof. The forest of this kloof  is well worth the time exploring and will give some welcome respite from the midday sun. After Rejoining the main route, the trail completes the circle of the plateau by taking the hiker up through Visarendkloof. This is followed by a steep climb back up to basecamp.

The second day offers the hiker a variety of short trails that are considerably easier than the first days trail. For the children the chance of seeing Wildebeest and Zebra close at hand is rewarding.

Loskop Dam Great White Hunter?
Studying the route It's a long way up
Taking it easy! Last views of Loskop

The Accommodation

As already mentioned, the accommodation at this trail is superb. The lapa is equipped with stove refrigerator, pots and pans and most kitchen utensils. The lapa is also provided with gas lighting There are three sleeping rondawals equipped with bunk beds and comfortable mattresses. Each has been provided with plenty of candle holders. Flush toilets with wash basins and separate shower huts with gas heated water round of these superb facilities.

Inside the Lapa Outside the Lapa
Comfortable beds Some of the luxury
Looking towards the Lapa The Toilet block


Idwala Hiking trail is well worth a visit especially for those hikers with family members that appreciate a few of the home luxuries. However, don't forget the water bottle and the sun block!

Bookings for this trail can be made through

Jacana Travel Marketing and Reservation

Telephone  0861Jacana (0861 522262)

Direct phone: Port Elizabeth 041 378 1439

Pretoria: 012 803 9109

Direct fax: PE 041 378 2548

Pretoria: 012 803 4144

 PE e-mail

Pretoria e-mail:

Footprint Hiking Club

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