The Kingdom Trail and Lodge
Only 120 kms from Pretoria lies one of the best kept secrets of nature to be found in Southern Africa. The Kingdom is a real unspoiled jewel nestled at the confluence of the Wilge and Oliphants rivers close to Loskop Dam
Until the accommodation for hikers is completed, groups stay at the lodge and do two day routes of 15 kms and 8 kms.
Hikers need to provide sleeping bags, all their own food and drink, charcoal for the braai and the usual canteen. There is a refrigerator and freezer plus a gas stove in the Lapa. Comfortable beds and mattresses are provided. Warm water for the shower is provided by a donkey boiler. Paraffin lamps are also provided.
Hiking trail-Day 1- Distance 15 kms
The day starts of with a gentle ascent along the banks of a stream until the hiker reaches the base of a saddle. From here the trail climbs steeply until the ridge is reached. Here the Oliphants river comes into view, far below. The hiker now follows the path as it descends to the river.
The trail continues along the banks of the river. This part of the trail takes time as there are plenty of rocks and boulders to negotiate. Take your time though as the scenery is breathtaking.
The trail crosses the Oliphants river twice and can be hazardous after rain. The owners have installed steel cables across the river to aid the hiker but the current is stong. The trail eventually leads away from the river and climbs once more up into the mountains giving the hiker some beautiful views of the river below. After another steep climb the now weary hiker descends into a valley and then follows the path back to the camp. For those wanting more distance, there is an alternative route that adds about 3 kms to the total distance.
Hiking trail-Day 2- 8 kms
From the lodge the trail climbs steeply up a kloof until the top of the mountain is reached. This can be quite heavy going but the views are really worth the effort. Once the top is reached, the trail traverses open grassland until it eventually enters a lovely wooded kloof for the descent back to the valley. The trail then leads the hiker back along a farm road to the lodge
The Kingdom trail is really spectacular and well worth the visit. Our group really enjoyed themselves and we will certainly be making a return visit. Groups planning to go should take note that the farm roads are not really suitable for cars, especially under wet conditions. The distance to the lodge is about 10 kms from the main road. It is planned that early in 2001 the hike will start at a place affording easy access to the hiking group. In common with most farmers, the farmer goes to bed early in comparison to city dwellers and quite understandably, does not like being disturbed, so it is a good idea to plan to arrive early.
Bookings for this trail can be done through Anvie Ventures, Pretoria.
Telephone +27 12 662-0586/1140
Footprint Hiking Club
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