Protea Bush Camp

Near Naboomspruit, Limpopo Province

The Waterberg mountains are home to many hiking trails of all descriptions, from short day walks to multi-day backpack trails. Protea Bush Camp falls into the weekend day walk category, with each day quite short and fairly easy. This enables the visitor to relax and enjoy the bushveld atmosphere. The accommodation is designed to enhance the feeling of wellbeing and relaxation.

In the Waterberg, near Naboomspruit (well 30km), only a 2h drive from Pretoria.  The final 9km is on a high quality gravel road. The map leads you to a reception area where you sign in and obtain the keys for the gate and huts.  NB reception is immediately after the river crossing on the right.



 Base camp is situated at the foot of the mountains and comprises two 5 person wooden huts each with a separate toilet and shower.  The showers open to the sky for evening stargazing. Full bedding is provided but take a blanket if you like to be extra snug.  There is also a large, thatched roof, lapa containing a fully equipped kitchen - cutlery, crockery, gas fridge, gas kettle, pots and pans etc.  No electricity but plenty of lanterns and paraffin were provided for the lapa and huts.
A Braai area is situated next to the Lapa with a second chimney Braai inside. Tables and chairs for all.  The garden also has a small splash pool and not surprisingly many proteas surround the complex.






There are two circular trail day walks from the base camp: 10km and 5km


The trails take the same route and follow a rocky, wooded hillside with some excellent aloes.




After around 1km the trail crosses the road using wooden styles to negotiate the fences.  Now a short walk across protea spotted grassland brings you to the Snyspit dam 2.75kms. This is an excellent location for a swim but probably a little early in the day.  Our visit followed 2 days of heavy thunderstorms and the dam was overflowing yet it was still no problem to cross. 





   The 5km trail branches off to the left just before you reach the dam whilst the10km trail now crosses the main dam wall and begins a short, steep climb to the summit of the hills.  The trail now winds its way through rocky, tree strewn terrain with some stunning view points of the Waterberg Mountains.  After crossing a small steep valley you will descend gently to a river crossing with many pools.  Last chance for a swim as the camp is less than 2km away.  Just after the river you rejoin the 5km trail to re-cross the road and return to camp.  I have seen this trail described as 12km and even 15km but I checked it with a GPS and the current trail is 10km.

 There are also opportunities for fishing, canoeing and mountain biking but we stuck to the hiking on this occasion.


Protea Bush Camp may not offer hiking trails that cater for the fit and dedicated hiker but the trails are an excellent opportunity for people looking for a weekend away in the bush who wish to do a hike. The accommodation is excellent although without electricity.


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