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09/30/04

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Dokolewa Waterfall

 

 

Dokolewa Waterfall - 2 Night Trail


Day 1 - Woodbush Hut t
o Broederstroom Hut  (15km)
This trail starts from the Woodbush House. To get to the forestry track and to the Seepsteen Mule Stables, where the two trails come together, hikers must leave through the arboretum. From the Seepsteen Mule Stables, continue up the historical avenue of eucalyptus trees and walk through the pine trees interspersed with patches of indigenous forest. Walk along this route until you reach the O'Connor memorial.

As you continue along the path, follow a small stream next to tree ferns and swamp cypresses. After a while you reach the Eucalyptus grandis that were planted by Arthur Keble Eastwood who was the first appointed forester. The eucalyptus is the tallest planted trees in the southern hemisphere.

Follow the trail through a large patch of indigenous trees. Along this route there are other interesting plants, such as clivias and forest ferns that grow on small cliffs and in between the forks and branches of trees. The trail now crosses Forest Drive and then drops into a deep ravine. You may spot bush pigs in the ferns and lush forest floor vegetation. Walk through the patches of plantation and indigenous forest and then down into a small ravine where there is a waterfall. From the small ravine ascend through an indigenous forest to a forestry path while passing several sawpits on the way. The forestry path crosses the main forestry road. Now descend through pine trees into a valley with indigenous trees, sparkling streams and small waterfalls. Just before leaving the indigenous forest, there is a small pool only a few metres away in which you can take a swim. The trail now takes you to the oak trees that were planted by Lady Phillips during the early part of the century. Continue along the Broederstroom stream and climb to a viewpoint overlooking the Dap Naudé Dam. Walk through the pine trees, cross a small stream and waterfall and follow the forestry road that overlooks the dam.

Day 2 - Broederstroom Hut to Woodbush Hut (24.9km)
Section 1 - Broederstroom Hut to De Hoek Hut (15.9km)
When starting from the Broederstroom Hut, follow a plantation road to the wetland area of the Broederstroom. When crossing the wetland, follow the embankment next to the stream and pass over a natural bridge. If you choose to start hiking from the Waterfall hut, follow the plantation road for a few hundred metres and then enter an indigenous forest. The trail takes you through the forest and small sections of plantation before you cross the upper parts of the Broederstroom.

After crossing the upper parts of the Broederstroom, cross the watershed. Walk through pine trees and a plantation patch that link up with an old mule path that was used to transport timber from the indigenous forest in the past. Along the trail there are breath-taking views of the forest in the valley below. After passing underneath a high-tension power cable, you will reach a patch of indigenous forest. The trail then leads through a large valley and a few sawpits in the forest. From here it passes through a small valley, which takes you to the top of a series of high waterfalls. From the waterfalls, follow a stream to a third waterfall and then descend to some large tree ferns. A small plantation path leads to the Dokolewa stream. From this point, follow a forest road for about a kilometre and then enter a small footpath that leads to the Dokolewa Pools Hut. To reach De Hoek, ascend through pine trees for approximately one kilometre.

Section 2 - De Hoek Hut to Wood Bush Hut (9km)
Start your hike from the De Hoek Hut. Walk along the Dokolewa stream and pass the old mule stables on an 'island' in the middle of the stream until you come to a small weir in the stream. This weir channels water to the Sapekoe Tea Company.

The hike then takes you through 'Helschebosch'. On you way to 'Helschebosch', cross Forest Drive. A few sawpits from the woodcutting era can still be seen.

Descend into a small valley and criss-cross into a second valley where you cross a stream. When leaving the forest, the path splits. To go to the Woodbush Hut, take the right fork of the forestry path and ascend to the house, which is next to one of the oldest arboretums in South Africa.

How to get there: From Gauteng, take the N1 North towards Pietersburg. Turn off at the R71 to Tzaneen and drive for about 70 km. Follow the signs to the Woodbush Plantation, turning left from the R71 onto a gravel road (also marked Houtbosdorp). The sign says Safcol Ecotourism - Magoebaskloof Hiking Trail. Follow the indicators to the Woodbush Hut.
Parking: Park at Woodbush hut.
Distances: Woodbush Hut to Broederstroom Hut - 15 km
Broederstroom Hut to Woodbush Hut - 24.9 km
Difficulty grading: Difficult
Hut facilities: Woodbush Hut has bunk beds for 30 people, three showers and two toilets. There is no electricity and no hot water.

Broederstroom Hut has bunk beds for 30 people. The hut has two showers and one toilet, as well as hot water and electricity. Braai facilities are available with a grid and firewood.

 

 


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This site was last updated 09/30/04