Hiking

If you ventured up into our mountain kingdom to pound the earth, to feel the crunching of gravel beneath your feet, the burning in your throat as you finish an ascent and the peaceful satisfaction of mingled accomplishment and awe along the way, then please meet Ntate Bob Koali Mhale.

Ntate Bob Koali Mhale, portrait by Kelly Benning
here to help you choose your adventure

Bob is our head receptionist and the Lodge’s assistant manager. He has been with us for a long time (he was a builder, a painter, a member of the night’s watch, and the barman, to name a few), but he has been traversing this land on foot for much longer.  As a teenager, he would skip the bus and walk the three hours across the gorge to visit his cousins, and back, with a few curiosity-driven detours along the way. He knows these mountain passes better than anyone, and he certainly knows them better than you. We want you to have the most successful hike possible, so Bob is here to help you decide which hikes will be the best for you and arrange for you a guide.

Our most popular hike is the journey to Botsoela Waterfalls. It takes about three hours and you will journey across the crushed red soil of the Malealea Highway, down pebbly gray switchbacks, and over a few small ravines. Your destination is, naturally, the beautiful cascading waters of the Botsoela Waterfalls. Bob recommends this hike to almost everyone for their first trip out, explaining that you really feel as though you have done something.

Of similar difficulty is the trek to the Bushman Paintings. The Bushman Paintings are relics from the first human civilization here and are awe-inspiring to behold. Reaching the paintings requires some steep hiking, but the impact of seeing something older than anything else you have ever seen in its original state and location is usually worth the effort.

If you are quite keen, you can see both the falls and the paintings on a journey that will take between 5 and 7 hours. This journey is not for the faint of heart.

If you are looking for a walk across mostly flat terrain with beautiful views, Bob recommends the Top of Gorge trek. It will take about  two hours across mostly flat terrain, and will lead you to a beautiful overlook of the Pitseng Gorge. For something more challenging, you can descend into the gorge to find the rockpools at the bottom. This longer trek will take about six hours.

spring water feeds the rock pools

We also offer the Griffiths day hike. This is a 6-hour loop that Bob admits has no defined destination, but is one of his favorites for its stunning contrast and beautiful, evolving views of  our green mountains and red rocks.

Overnight hikes can also be arranged. Our overnight excursions offer you a chance to take in the scenery and experience village life for a night. These, like all treks, can be arranged in the office.  

Bob and the other folks in reception grew up on this land. They all know these paths intimately and will be able to advise you if you are uncertain about your abilities or the weather conditions.

Prices are determined per person and depend upon how many people are in your party. They range from R45-300 per person for day treks. Overnight treks are R292.50 per person.

Basics:

Top of Pitseng Gorge: easy 2 hours, overlook the Gorge

Pitseng Gorge Loop: moderate 2-3 hours, explore the Gorge and rockpools

Botsoela Waterfalls – moderate 4 hours, see waterfall

Bushman Paintings – moderate with steep hiking, 3 hours, see ancient cave paintings

Botsoela Waterfalls & Bushman Paintings – moderate-to-difficult with steep hiking, 5-7 hours, see waterfalls and ancient cave paintings

Griffiths Day Trek – moderate, 6 hours, see beautiful, varied scenery