Magoebaskloof Tourism | Haenertsburg Tourism

Hiking | Walking Trails | Picnics

Hiking and walking trails and picnics

Short and medium hiking trails are available in the Village of Haenertsburg and Magoebaskloof.  Some of the establishments also have short hiking trails on their properties (please enquire when you make your reservation).

The Louis Changuion Traildownload map
In the Village the Louis Changuion trail meanders though the Haenertsburg grasslands and is very popular with birders and walkers. A map of the trail is available at most of the businesses in the Village.  Located in one of South Africa’s most threatened vegetation types, the Louis Changuion hiking trail takes walkers through Woodbush Granite Grasslands and patches of indigenous forest.  Colourful booklets on medicinal plants, insects and threatened animals in the area are available for purchase at The Pennefather, Appelgrange, Picasso’s, The Elms Gift Shop, Greenwoods Trading or the Morning Market in Haenertsburg. All proceeds are used to clear the hiking trail, remove alien plants and improve the awareness of the grassland.

The trail is 10km long, and usually takes about four hours to complete. It travels through natural grassland and indigenous forest where many endemic and threatened plants occur. A short cut can be taken just before Jan’s Knoll and care must be taken in wet weather as surfaces become slippery. Ensure that you take drinking water. Please be warned that grassland fires can be disastrous in this area. Consequently smoking and the lighting of fires are strictly prohibited.
Botanist Pieter Winter has compiled a list of over 630 plants in this area. Blue Swallows, Methuen’s Dwarf Gecko and the Wolkberg Zulu Butterfly have been glimpsed along the trail. Hikers are afforded a view of the Wolkberg Wilderness area, Ebenezer Dam and the Iron Crown, and can enjoy a snack at any one of three cosy picnic spots. Two natural springs and a brook are also to be seen en route, along with some rhino rubbing rocks. One can also “hug” one of the oldest rock formations in the world along the trail as boulders of greenstone, dating back to 3 200 million years old are common.

Swarbos Trail (The Lesodi Trail) - download map
The Swartbos trail winds its way very gently through the indigenous forest of Magoebaskloof and is a medium to difficult trail but is well marked and maintained.  It starts across the road from Sandford Heights Nursery and next to Magoebaskloof Hotel. Maps are available from both these venues
Some of the points of interest on the trail are:
The cathedral Tree - this is a strangler vine which straddled several trees and now reminds one of a cathedral vault.
Saw pit - 19th century woodcutters dug a pit beneath large felled trees so they could saw them into planks with one person below and one person on top.
The nose - a ridge jutting out between two river valleys.  
The Pipe- a strangler vine where its tree victim has died and rotted away leaving only the tube formed by the vine.
The knoll- this is an unexpected hill in the middle of the Magoebaskloof.  Enjoy the magnificent view both back towards the hotel and down the valley to the Tzaneen Dam.
Birds and animals on the trail include the Knysna Loerie with it’s distinctive croaking call.   There is a troop of Samango monkeys in the forest. At certain times of the year, when food is available, the rare Cape Parrot will be seen and heard in this area.  Their call is a distinctive shriek and they fly in flocks of 20 or more.  But come and look for yourself and experience the freshness of mountain air in our forests. Maps available at Sandford Heights Nursery and Magoebaskloof Hotel.

Debegeni Waterfall
Just 20 km outside Haenertsburg on the R71 towards Tzaneen is this beautiful and enchanting falls. This is a lovely spot for a picnic and toilet and braai facilities are available. There is also a short hike through the indigenous forest. A note of caution: below the falls, the large smooth rock surfaces can be dangerous to walk on, particularly when they are wet. There is an entrance fee in the region of R10/person.

Magoebaskloof Hiking Trail
Magoebaskloof hiking trail is a 50 kilometre circular trail over three days through extensive indigenous forest, sparkling mountain streams and pine plantations. One can choose from several hike duration options that range from two to five days. The trail takes in some awe-inspiring scenery and some things extra-ordinary, such as the ‘huilklip’ - a natural rock that sounds like a gong when it is struck with a stone, samango monkeys, bushbuck, bush pigs and an extensive number of birds, particularly in the Grootbosch forest.
Contact details: Tel: (013)754 2724 – Fax: (013) 754 2790

Other shorter walks
There are many short walks available at the various establishments on the Mountain. At Wegraakbosch Organic Dairy you can take short walks in their indigenous forest after your cheese tour and Black Forest Mountain Lodge also offers lovely walks on their property. The Growth Centre is an ideal walking hot spot for meditative walks.

Walking on the Louis Changuion Trail

Debegeni Waterfall

Shorter individual walking trails
Growth Centre - Walks in indigenous forest.  Fairy walks for children and adults. Walk our labyrinth  
                                                         +27 (0)72 277 4809
Kurisa Moya - Beautiful forest walks of varying lengths. Abundant bird life.  Accredited Bird Guide David Letsoalo.                                          +27 (0)82 200 4596

Magoebaskloof Adventures - One to two hours trails past waterfalls and rapids in the Letaba Gorge - Georges Valley                                                +27 (0)83 866 1546

Cheerio and Sequoia Gardens - walk through the beautiful gardens of the Cheerio Valley which are lovely at any time of the year,  but especially spectacular in Spring and Autumn
Cheerio: +27 (0)83 355 0835 | Sequoia: +27 (0)83 659 1227

Wegraakbosch Organic Dairy: - Take  short walks in their indigenous forest and on the farm after your cheese tour
                                                          +27 (0)82 853 8754




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Quick links to activities

Adventure Activities
Hiking | Walking Trails / Picnics
Mountain Biking
What to do in the Village

See our Map of the Village

  • Browse for something special in our interesting gift and antique shops.
  • Visit one of our restaurants or coffee shops.
  • Walk the grasslands - the Louis Chanquion trail starts in the village.
  • Visit the War memorial in the market square and the Museum in the Pennefather complex.
What to do in the Area
  • Fish the tranquil waters of Dap Naude Dam or various private waters through HTA
  • Drive through Woodbush forest, the second largest indigenous forest in the country (high clearance vehicle required)
  • Picnic at Debengeni falls
  • Hike and overnight on the Magoebaskloof Hiking trail or in the Wolkberg Wilderness area
  • Visit two historical sites where the famous Boer Long Toms were destroyed
  • Hike a short route from various establishments through indigenous forest and plantations
  • Slide through the Letaba Gorge on the Magoebaskloof Canopy Tour 
  • Abseil into or tube through the Letaba Gorge
  • Experience the scenic country side on a mountain bike or horse
  • See the Black-fronted Bush Shrike and the Blue Swallow (endemic to our area) and many others with a professional bird guide
  • Buy plants from a nursery and enjoy a cup of  tea
  • Stroll through the beautiful gardens of the Cheerio Valley
  • Take a farm tour and buy fresh produce
  • Cruise on the Ebenezer
What to do in the District
  • Visit the home of the Rain Queen Modjadji and the pre-historic Cycad forest
  • Picnic in New Agatha State Forest
  • Have tea at Kings Walden Garden Manor
  • Visit the giant baobab near Modjadjiskloof
  • Play golf at Tzaneen Country club
  • Pamper yourself at the spa at Coach House or Tzaneen Country Lodge