Magalies Hiking Club Annual Awards awarded the Num Num Trail for:
2013 best 5-Day Hiking Trail in South Africa
WELCOME TO THE NUM-NUM HIKING TRAIL, MPUMALANGA
A JOURNEY WHERE EVERY STEP IS A DESTINATION
The Num-Num Hiking Trail is a self-guided 3-5 day hiking trail in Mpumalanga, South Africa. This stunning trail takes you through a spectacular variety of Highveld Escarpment terrains including indigenous forests, sandstone mazes, ancient grasslands and waterfalls galore. There are plenty of opportunities to spot game and birds. Panoramic views of the Komati Gorge and the Skurweberg that stretch all the way to Swaziland.
You stay in five unique and comfortable camps that have equipped kitchens and hot showers! There is also a slackpacking service so you only have to walk with your day pack.
BEST TIME TO GO
This is a good hiking trail to do all year around. Winter months are cold in the evenings but glorious and dry during the day. The summer months are warmer but there is a high chance of rain in the afternoons. Public holidays are popular so you should book well in advance.
The Num-Num hiking trail has been rated by Green Flag as moderate to difficult. You have to be of reasonable fitness and agility. The charm of the trail is that it takes you through landscapes that you can’t reach by car. It is not a walk in the park. There are lots of swing bridges and ladders. Many steep up and down hills to get into stunning gorges. There are also sandstone formations that you clamber through and over. No children under the age of 12 years old. Please consult a doctor before booking if you have heart, respiratory or knee problems.
WHERE IS THE NUM-NUM HIKING TRAIL?
On the R541 between Machadodorp and Badplaas in Mpumalanga. Just 3 hours from Johannesburg and 1.5 hours from Nelspruit. The Num-Num Tail is on the way to Kruger National Park, Mozambique and Swaziland. Detailed maps and co-ordinates will be issued with your permit. The GPS co-ordinates for the Pongola Express Camp are:
25 47’ 86.6” S
30 22’ 42.3” E
Please don’t confuse us with the following tourist attractions which are all several hours away from The Num-Num Hiking Trail:
• Pongola near Piet Retief, Mpumalanga,
• God’s Window, Blyde River Canyon, Mpumalanga
• Mac Mac Falls near Sabie, Mpumalanga
The 5-day Num-Num hiking trail is a circular route covering 36.5kms of pristine landscape.
• Day One – Die Bergbas Roete is 7.5km from ‘Pongola Express Camp’ to ‘Aloe Kaya’
• Day Two – The Bladdernut Track is 9.5km to ‘Bermanzi Camp’
• Day Three – The Milkplum Path is 6.2km to ‘Candlewood Camp’
• Day Four – The Pom-pon Way is 6.3km to ‘Pongola Express’
• Day Five – Die Kokoboom Pad is circular route7km to and from the ‘Pongola Express’ where your vehicle is.
For more detailed descriptions of each day trail go to the page ‘On the Trail’
Three and four day hiking trails are available. The itinerary for these depends on availability. One and two day hiking trails are available on the individual estates – Bermanzi and Five Assegais.
You normally arrive between 2pm – 7pm at the ‘Pongola Express Camp’ the day before you start hiking, so you can get an early start. You are required to sign an indemnity form, so please bring your ID number with you. There is free parking at all the camps but you park your car at your own risk. Please leave valuables at home or take them with you.
THE NUM-NUM HIKING TRAIL HIGHLIGHTS?
• Waterfalls galore! There are almost 1,000 waterfalls on the Num-Num hiking trail. The Uitkomst Falls are the second highest in Mpumalanga with a drop of nearly 276ft. For wannabe dolphins there are lots of places to have a swim. Enjoy a classic ‘under the waterfall’ swim at the Uitsug Falls.
• Indigenous forests with over 109 different species of trees. There are yellow-woods, kiepersols, knob thorns and wild pear trees to name but a tiny few. There is a spectacular display of aloe flowers from June to August.
• Grasslands. These ancient biomes have plants that are hundreds of years old and a stunning variety of small flowers. Only a few of the plants are classified as grasses and there is a variety of species including wild sage and lavender.
• Gorges. The Num-Num trail takes you through a number of beautiful gorges including the Bankspruit Gorge leading up the Uitkomst falls. In these secluded paradises you are in the heart of nature surrounded by indigenous forests, creeping vines and crystal clear rivers and pools. The red stone cliff formations provide beautiful cover.
• Game. A wonderful number of animals have returned since the blue gum and wattle plantations have been destroyed. Some game has also been introduced including wildebeest, hartebeest, zebras and blesbok. A lucky few have spotted klipspringers, jackal and civets. A couple of troops of baboons and monkeys live here.
• Birds. Our bird population is expanding every year. Spotted on the trail have been Fish Eagles, Bald Ibis, Blacksmith Plovers, Crested Eagles, Weavers, Redwinged Starlings, Franklins, Pintail Whydahs, Knysna and Purple-crested Louries, Black Gorge Ducks, Korhaan, and Egrets.
• History. There are mysterious stone terraces and ruined kraals on a number of different sites across the property. Little is known about who built these structures but there are plenty of theories from aliens to miners. This area was also a popular spot for ‘bittereinders’ to hide out. For the observant you can find gun holes in the sandstone. Paul Kruger is the first registered owner of much of the property. Hell’s Kloof was on the route for bandwagons to get to the mine fields in Barberton.
The Num-Num hiking trail opened in April 2010 when the three estates, Five Assegais Country Estate and Bermanzi collaborated to create one of the first 5-day hiking trails on private land in South Africa. This entirely new trail was designed and built to the highest standards by Albert Bossert over two years, and has been graded by HOSA, the Hiking Organisation of Southern Africa as a Green Flag Accredited trail.
WHERE DOES THE NUM-NUM HIKING TRAIL GET ITS NAME FROM?
There has been extensive land restoration program and as a result lots of waterfalls and fresh springs have sprung to life. Not to mention the return of a plethora of animals and insects. To honour the extensive benefits of indigenous plants the Num-Num Hiking Trail and each of the day trails have been named after indigenous plants. The Num-Num hiking trail in Mpumalanga is named after the ‘Forest Num-num’ tree, Carissa bispinosa, easily identifiable by its forked thorns that remind one of a walking stick. This plant is used in traditional Swazi ceremonies.
Cell: 082 889 6757
A SPECTACULAR FIVE DAY HIKING TRAIL IN MPUMALANGA, SOUTH AFRICA