If you have been following along for the last couple of months, you will know the King’s Kloof Hiking Trails formed part of my Thirty before 30 to-do list, in particular the first item on the list. It has been such an honor to gradually tick off the items on the list as time goes by. This is one of those trails I dreamt of doing for the last couple of years. Luckily my friends were quite thrilled to join along. It was wonderful to finally experience it.
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Located in Muldersdrift, the King’s Kloof Hiking Trails are about a 45-minute drive from Johannesburg (or the area where I live, at least). Nestled amongst the farmlands along the outskirts of this town in Gauteng is where you will find it. Upon arrival, I noticed that the gravel road leading to the main reception area was quite damaged due to the amount of rain Gauteng received in December and early January. Other than that, the main reception area has ample parking space, and even though the trails felt busy (in comparison to the other trails that I have done that had a similar extent), the parking lot seemed relatively open (busy, but not so much as to not allow one to get in or out due to conjunction).
Upon paying, you are given a wristband as an access pass into the facilities, which includes the hiking trails, restaurant (Gosh! The food smelt amazing from the moment we arrived!), and the restrooms. Once on the trails, you have a choice between a number of the trails. You can opt for distance or experience (both are equally nice), and on this particular day that we went, the rivers flowing through the area were still running very strongly, therefor most of the bridges were either taken away as a preventative measure or washed away as a result of the heavy rains and rising water.
Nonetheless, we missioned forward. The first impressions of the trail were that the trail was a relatively easy walk, crossing through bushveld leading towards the more mountainous areas of the farm. It was a lovely walk, with the yellow trail (the one which we ultimately opted for) trailing off from the path of the other trails (whilst eventually connecting up with the other trails – this left us scratching our heads a bit). This being said, the trails through the bushveld are absolutely beautiful and presented quite the introduction to what we were walking into once in the forested areas of the farm.
Large family and friend groups adorned the trails as we strolled merrily along the path, while the path grew colder in the forested areas. Particularly because the terrain was incredibly wet due to all the rain. This was evident by the level of vegetation disturbance along the river banks. It was not long before we reached the first river crossing over the waterfall. Initially, my friends did not want to get their feet wet, so we decided to pursue the Blue route, which had a crossing downstream. This, however, was one of the bridges that had been moved due to the heavy downpour. So, we made our way back to the waterfall crossing, took off our shoes, and made our way over the waterfall. This crossing seemed more daunting than it actually was and the water was quite refreshing. Once over, we found our way along the well-marked path through to the following crossing.
This crossing was not as easily conquered and required a little more strategic planning to cross over. Once across, you could get a full glimpse of the beautiful waterfall cascading over the kloof, creating a little pool at the bottom of it. It was truly an incredible sight to behold. Once all three of us made our way across the river (and had our shoes back on again), it was time to move along. Besides, the waterfall area was getting a bit crowded for my liking (considering the fact that we are still living in a Pandemic after all). We made our way through the marshy areas of the trail crossing the river for the last time.
The path led us to the banks of the Laurentia Dam, where there were campsites and braai (barbeque) areas placed along the dam. The forest in this area had tall trees and quaint meadows. If you looked closely enough, you could see life teeming in all areas of this forested area. Once through this part of the forest, you are greeted by the open thornveld once more. This section of the path leads back to the reception area once more.
All and all, these trails are absolutely incredible. If you are looking for a well-shaded trail that is easy to master, look no further. The paths we took were more trail-walks than hiking intensive trails. The scenery will take your breath away from the moment you arrive. Especially after a decent downpour. The bathrooms are well managed, with the woman’s bathrooms fully equipped with multiple showers. It makes for a convenient stop after the hike, especially if you have other plans after the hike. The restaurant’s food smelt alluring, and many of the hiking companions we met along the path fell for the honey trap. I would highly recommend this trail to anyone in Gauteng, looking for a fun morning activity to do by themselves, with friends, or with family. The trails feel safe, very clean, and have been well-marked along the way.
Comment below and tell me if you have ever been to the King’s Kloof Trails? Which adventure are you going on next? I would love to hear from you and hear more about your experiences.
Until next time
The Magnetic Compass
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