Hennops Hiking Trail & 5 interesting things to see there

Hennops Hiking Trail

Travelling is what I’ve been missing the most during this extended lockdown period. Yes, I know that it is a first-world problem, but I can’t help it - I’m a dromomaniac. Dromomania is a term used to describe a desire for frequent traveling or wanderlust. So until travel resumes, I’ve had to find other outlets to release my need to explore.

Fortunately, our nature reserves have opened up so we’ve started hiking. I spoke to friends who hike and looked at expert lists of places to hike in Gauteng, our province, and Hennops Hiking Trail came highly recommended.

Hennops Hiking Trail

Hennops River

Around 50 minutes from Johannesburg, near Centurion, this is an expansive nature reserve with hiking, mountain biking and off-roading trails, as well as a historical background. The Hennops river flows through a valley, flanked by mountain ranges on the northern and southern sides. There are four hiking trails, ranging from 1.5 km to 10 km. They start by crossing a meandering river using either a suspension bridge or a cable car – which is more like a manually-operated pulley swing – then veer off into the surrounding hills. A third option – a stepping stone bridge has recently been added too.

Hennops Hiking Trails

"Cable car"

Once we’d paid our entrance fees at the Hadeda Camp, we were given a map. We went on a combination of the Zebra Trail (5 km) and the River Trail (1.5 km). We crossed the river via the swinging suspension bridge and walked alongside the gushing river for a while. Then our route took us upwards into the hills. The route was well-marked with colour-coded painted feet to guide us along the way.

Hennops Hiking Trails

Lookout point

We walked through tall, green forests and over rocky plateaus as we climbed towards a lookout point from where we could see the Hartbeespoort Dam, the Magaliesberg Mountains and the huge empty towers of the now obsolete Pelindaba nuclear power station. We saw the Oude Muragie ruins along the way, then proceeded downhill back towards the base.

Hennops Hiking Trails

View from the trail

Although the parking lot was quite full, and we saw a lot of people at the entrance, there weren’t many people on our trail. The website lists the trail as easy to average but our legs definitely had a great workout.

Hennops Hiking Trails

Zebra trail

The reserve is home to wildlife including zebras, impalas, wildebeest, impalas and kudus. We saw some zebras, monkeys and zonkeys (zebra/donkey hybrids). The zonkeys had zebra legs and dark donkey-like torsos. It was great to see some wildlife after so long.

Hennops Hiking Trails

Zonkey

Here are 5 interesting historical things to see at Hennops Hiking Trail

Please note that some of them can only be seen on specific trails.

1. Pruimpie se Gat (Pruimpie’s cave)

According to legend, Pruimpie was an orphan who was left behind when Mzilikazi fled while escaping Shaka Zulu’s impis, around 1837. Later on, he was fond of asking his neighbours for chewing tobacco (called pruimpie -hence the name). Pruimpie lived in this cave.

2. Harde Kraal

Traces of a settlement including a stone-packed kraal where cattle were kept can be seen here. It is believed to be from the Mzilikazi era.

3. Hospital Cave

This cave was used as a field hospital during the Anglo Boer war.

4. Oude Muragie

Hennops Hiking Trails

Oude Muragie

Ruins of old stone houses which were built and lived in by mine workers around the 1930's.

5. Kalkoond

This “oven” on the Krokodilberg trail was used to produce quicklime until the early 1900's. Timber and limestone were packed in the chimney and burnt, the remains were crushed and cleaned then used as cement. The old dolomite mine workings can also be seen here.

Need to know:

  • Entrance fees are currently R80 for adults and R40 for schoolchildren. From 1 August 2020, it will be R100 for adults and R50 for schoolchildren.
  • The shorter trails are suitable for children.
  • Wear comfortable hiking shoes and use sunscreen.
  • Take sufficient water and snacks along with you as you will not be able fill water or buy anything along the way.
  • On weekends, there are trailers selling drinks and snacks near the suspension bridge.
  • Visitors get access to the swimming pool and picnic / braai area although they may be closed during the lockdown period.

For more information visit Hennops Hiking Trail.

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” John Muir, Mountaineer.

Hennops Hiking Trail

Hennops Hiking Trail & 5 interesting things to see there 1

One comment on “Hennops Hiking Trail & 5 interesting things to see there”

  1. Excellent article with so much detail about the place. Thank you ! Although I've been there many times in the past I've learnt so much about the place from your article. Looking forward to another visit there shortly.

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