There are a number of hiking trails to choose from – we have made a list of the most preferred trails in and around Groot Marico.
About Bokkraal Hiking Trail
Start: Bokkraal Waterfall valley farm, roughly 30 km south of Groot Marico
Duration: 2 days, 16 km
Fitness: easy to moderate
Our tip: combine the two-day hikes for a weekend’s worth of hiking
In the heart of the bushveld, in an area rich with farms that produce maize, citrus fruits, and tobacco, along with mining of marble, slate, and andalusite, is one farm with a hiking trail that follows along the banks of a tributary of the Marico River.
The river rises close to the town of Groot Marico, famous as the backdrop to Herman Charles Bosman’s tales. Farms here were among the very last in the country to maintain their old-fashioned telephone exchange until very recently.
The hike, just 30 kilometers south of the town, begins at a little waterfall and hugs the banks of the river. It also takes one through scrub grassland and via a slate quarry, where it is fun to spend a while studying the different patterns or colours of slate.
Most of the walk accompanies Bokkraal Se Loop, the stream that parts ways with Ribbokfontein Se Loop just north of the farm, and provides the hiker with a series of cascades, pools, superb rock formations, and waterfalls, culminating in the Tufa Falls (the word Tufa actually describes a form of calcite rock that has a crusted, porous texture, found in lime-rich water) that hikers describe as the best part of the trail.
The walk is not difficult, but it is incredibly pretty, and the constant presence of water makes it a rejuvenating experience all round. Take your time.
The shorter trail is about 4km and not at all taxing.
Need to Know
WhereStart at Bokkraal Waterfall valley farm, roughly 30 km south of Groot Marico.
About Schoongezicht Hikes
Start: Schoongezicht farm, 25 km outside of Swartuggens
Finish: Schoongezicht farm, 25 km outside of Swartuggens
Duration: 4 km to 17 km (three circular trails)
Fitness: easy to moderate
Our tip: stay overnight in Swartruggens or Groot Marico
The landscape between Groot Marico and Rustenberg is aloe country – the veld, farmland and a series of low lying hills that invite hiking (the name ‘Swartruggens’ refers directly to these ‘black ridges’ or hills that accompany the N4 between the towns).
Schoongezicht is a 2000 hectare game farm that lies almost directly north of Swartruggens, roughly two hours’ from Pretoria or Johannesburg (perfectly placed, in other words, for a day or weekend hike). The road to the farm is an added bonus, as it is tarred, not gravel.
The farm offers 3-day trails through indigenous bush, mountain ravines, and hills, with regular crossings of the Elands River. The farm is home to numerous different antelope – impala, kudu, blesbok, zebra, and red hartebeest – and fields of lucerne, hawe and chillies.
The trails are a 4 km birders’ trail along the Elands River, a 10 km and 14/17 km trail. Hikers can make a weekend of it, by doing the 10 km on one day, and the 14/17 km trail on the other. The 4 km birders trail is particularly beautiful, in amongst the lush indigenous vegetation of the farm.
When not hiking, other activities at Schoongezicht include a dam, 40 – 80 km of dirt road for mountain biking, swimming, star gazing and pottery.
Need to Know
Where Schoongezicht farm, 25 km outside of Swartuggens, North West province
About Sterkstroom Hiking Trail
This trail is located on Sterkstroom farm, halfway between Groot Marico and Swartruggens. The route is approximately 10 km in length and is an easy day’s hike. There is a beautiful waterfall that can only be reached on foot. Overnight accommodation can be arranged. This is an easy to moderate hike.
About Marico Hiking Trail
This is a 27 km circular trail, taking 2 days to complete. Shorter walks available. The base camp consists of a restored farmhouse with electricity, kitchen, and lapa, then there is an overnight hut with accommodation for 20 hikers – toilet and showers but no electricity. Attractions include mountain scenery, game, and the Groot Marico River.
Ticks are prevalent. There is a limit of 20 hikers for this trail. The Marico River is bilharzia free.
The Marico Hiking Trail, situated on the Omega Game Farm, 12 km south of Groot Marico in the western Transvaal, leads through typical highveld and bushveld vegetation along the Groot Marico River and through the mountains before reaching the overnight hut, a distance of approximately 15 km.
The second day is 12 km in length. Along the way hikers may spot some of the many antelope species, including gemsbok, living on the farm, and the 103 bird species present to ensure some interesting sightings.
The route requires moderate exertion and should appeal to the reasonably fit as well as beginner hikers. Spring and autumn offer the most pleasant hiking conditions for this clearly marked trail; summers are hot and an early start is advised. Hikers can cool off in one of the many enticing pools in the river.
Shorter trails, varying from 30 minutes to two hours, run along the river bank.