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TRAIL REPORTS


Suikerboschfontein Hiking Trail
Carolina

 
 
 

HOW TO GET THERE

Rooikrans Camp  Huts

Directions to Suikerboschfontein

From Johannesburg take the N12 to Middelburg.

Beware of dense fog near Witbank in the early morning.

 

From Pretoria take the N4 to Middelburg.

The N12 and N4 converge at Witbank.

There is a tollgate between Witbank and Middelburg, In October 2002 the cost per car was R 23.00.

 

It is approximately 260 Km from Johanesburg to Carolina.

There are two main routes to Carolina.

The first one requires taking the Hendrina offramp and turning right onto the N11 from the N4 towards Hendrina. Once in Hendrina take a left turn onto the Carolina road at the first stop sign encountered in the town. This road is the R38. Just before Carolina a T-junction is encountered. Turn left here onto the R36/R38 to Carolina. Drive into Carolina on Kerk Straat.

At the first stop sign crossing Voortrekker Straat there is a BP garage on the other side of the road on the left and a Shell garage on the opposite side on the right. There is a Total garage on the right at the stop sign before crossing Voortrekker Straat.

After crossing Voortrekker Straat and leaving the town, it is approximately 5 Km to the turnoff to the Sukerboschfontein Hiking Trail. Before the turnoff is reached, a signboard on the left of the road displays the international sign for hiking and the name of the trail. When the right turn is reached, a signboard on the left points toward Kalkkloof.

 

The other route to Carolina involves keeping to the N4 past Middelburg towards Belfast. Before reaching Belfast, turn right towards Carolina on the R33 where indicated by the signboard on the N4.

It is approximately 45 Km from the N4 into Carolina. Entering the town is on Voortrekker Straat. At the first stop street carry straight on through. The next stop street is crossing Kerk Straat. At this stop street there is a BP garage on the left. On the opposite side of Kerk Straat there is a Shell garage on the left and a Total garage on the right.

Turn left at the Stop street and continue out of the town for approximately 5 Km.

Turn right at the Kalkkloof sign and proceed along a dirt road which is in a reasonable condition. After approximately 15 Km the turnoff to the Rooikrans base camp is indicated by a sign which points towards Doornkop on the left and also contains the Hiking sign with the word Suikerboschfontein.

If the hiker is to spend the first night at the Rooikrans base camp then turn left and proceed towards Doornkop. If the first night is to be spent at Oom Japie's then carry on straight on the dirt road.

The turnoff to the Rooikrans camp is situated about 3 Km from the Doornkop turning. The camp is reached by turning to the right off the main dirt road and onto a very rough jeep track. There is a gate a few metres from the road. This gate should be kept closed unless other hikers are expected shortly after your arrival. Vehicles with a low suspension should proceed along this track with extreme caution. Many sedan vehicles have made use of the parking area next to the base camp. These include all the popular makes (Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Ford etc. plus the so called luxury vehicles like BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volvo etc.)

From the parking area, no trace of the base camp can be seen. This is because the camp has been built into an outcrop of indigenous rock and is not visible from the parking area. Upon proceeding through a narrow split in the rock the split opens out into the lapa area and the true beauty of the camp reveals itself.

If the first night is to be spent at Oom Japie's then do not take the left turn to Doornkop but carry on straight on the main dirt road. The gate to Oom Japie's is another 5 Km along the dirt road on the left. There is a gate on the track leading off the dirt road. This gate should be kept closed at all times because of the cattle grazing in the vicinity of the house. Vehicles with low suspension should proceed with extreme caution along the track leading to the house which is about 1Km. The house is painted in an african motif according to the indigenous peoples who live in the area.

The house is surrounded by a chain link fence and access may be gained through another gate in this fence to a small parking area right next to the house.

A PHOTOGRAHIC DESCRIPTION OF THE 2 DAY TRAIL