The Fanie Botha Hiking Trail in the Sabie area of Mpumulanga on the Drakesnberg escarpment is considered to be one of the country's most iconic trails - and for good reason. The views over a variety of landscapes combined with trails through pine plantations, indigenous forests and the beauty of crystal clear waterfalls make it a perfect hiking venue.
The entire trail is five days but a lot of hikers choose the two or three day options. There are six overnight huts, namely Ceylon, Maritzbos, Stables, Mac Mac, Graskop and President Burger and the trail can be started from either Ceylon, Graskop or President Burger with the shortest route being 17 km and the longest close to 60km.
Our group of 12 hiked the Fanie Botha over the Heritage Day long weekend in September, opting for the three day trail. Days 1 and 3 were 9km each walking in and out of pine forests. Day 2 was incredibly beautiful following a stream through an indigenous forest, crossing over streams via bridges, by-passing waterfalls, and all the while hiking up and up.
It's a classic hike, one you will want to re-discover over and over again with supportive fellow hikers such as our group was. It was the perfect way to celebrate SA's heritage weekend.