Hiking COVID-19

Good day All,

I would like to find out when hiking in the Drakensberg will be allowed again during the current situation regarding Covid-19. We stay in Pretoria and want to hike in the Drakenberg when it is possible to do so.

Any information regarding this would be a great help.

Kind regards

We’re all waiting with bated breath for the government to finalise the ins and outs of level 3. At the moment it looks like beaches and parks will open, so hopefully nature reserves are included too, but nothing is clear at moment… Finger crossed :grimacing: :crossed_fingers:

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Some comments from SANParks:

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This article is focused on the US market, so needs reinterpreting for SA, but is the best piece I’ve run into on the impact of all of this on hiking.

Should I stay home or can I go?

Probably too much for most hikers where common sense seems like it will do, but thought it might be of interest to guides etc

I have heard that the Faerie Glen Nature Reserve in Pretoria will remain closed under level 3 lockdown.

Once you can travel between provinces, you’d be able to go to the Berg. Officially it may not be open yet, but places like Mnweni and Witsieshoek will in all likelihood welcome you with open arms as they fall outside the Parks Boards control :slight_smile:


From President Ramaphosa’s speech on Sunday, on Level 3: “Any place open to the public where cultural, sporting, entertainment, recreational, exhibitional, organizational or similar activities may take place will remain closed.”

Parks – not only SANParks but any public parks or recreational areas – will therefore remain closed under Level 3. At any rate, travel (except for work or essential services) will not be allowed so getting from Pretoria to the Drakensberg without running into problems at a road block may be difficult!

Madness. FGNR being a such a wee bush in a closet.
But some churches will allow the supplicant up to 50 come and do their…
Seems like we’ll all be crawling back to something similar to a smattering of freedom, each inch argued for blah blah mutter mutter grumble grumble

yeah seems like hiking and other low-risk outdoor activities are all sacrificed under the broad-brush of disallowing and discouraging gatherings. religion (as is often the case) gets preferential treatment, but I guess i should be happy for the faithful (not like it makes my life any worse off). i do fail to see govt’s logic however as indoor gatherings are by far the most risky of all. anyhow, we’ll keep on hoping for a swift move through the lockdown levels - think June will be a crucial month in seeing how well / badly we are doing wrt hospitalisations and ICU requirements.

Good day.

It is suggested that you download the app"lockdown bozza".Very informative,and once you select the region,you will see what is allowed on the specific stages ,and in the specific municipal district or not.

As far as I am aware,hiking in a group,and traveling cross border for entertainment or relaxation is only allowed on level 2 of the lock down alerts.

We had to reschedule our hike from May to middle September in the Cederberg,and hopefully it will be on stage two by then.

SANPARKS are open from 1st of June,as I was informed by CAPE NATURE reservation office.

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As inconvenient as it is to reschedule, I think you’re going to have an even better experience in September. A couple of weeks of rain will have the rivers flowing, you’ll have more daylight hours and the first spring flowers are going to be a treat :wink: :+1:

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Thank you, for this very helpful,information,Arno.Our group are looking forward to it,since the disappointment of not being able to go in May.

It’s official! SAN Parks released a media statement last night saying their open-access parks (Golden Gate, Table Mountain and sections of the Garden route), will open as from today (1 June). There are some exclusions however and we certainly hope the minister and the SCM are all in agreement here. Read the full statement here:

Spoke to a Cape Nature agent today and it sounds like they’re just waiting for the go ahead to open all their parks. Might have some more good news within week.

Great news,thanks.

Hi, there , Arno.I have followed your advice in rescheduling our Cederbeŕg hike. Starting on Monday, the 21st of September, at Kliphuis pass campsite and ends Saterday 26 September 2020 back at Sanddrif.Everything is going according to plan thusfar, but due to a lot of others rescheduling and school holidays, the campsites and challets at Sanddrif where we finish is fully booked for that Saturday after our hike. So are the challets and campsites at Algerie.

Two things that I need advice on, please?. Is there a shuttle that some one is aware of that can take us from Sanddrif on Monday the 21st of September 2020 to Kliphuispass/ Pakhuis pass where we start the hike?
Then if not, we have to shuttle with two or three vehicles our selves, and then people have to collect vehicles at Kliphuis pass again after the hiķe ( a three hr return excersise)
We havè accomodation then after the hike at Calvinia, another 1 and a half hrs drive from where we have to collect the vehicles.The bigger part of the group will travel back to the Free State on Sunday 27 Sept.
Can you suggest somewhere between Sanddrif and Calvinia instead for them to sleep over after the hike?Preferable camping. Thanks in advance

Hi Annette

There isn’t a regular shuttle service in the area that I’m aware of; we normally shuttle ourselves. Perhaps give Sanddrif a call and see if they can help arrange something?
Kliphuis (Cape Nature) campsite is really nice and rarely fully booked; the difficulty is of course getting back there with a bit of time to spare. Kromrivier is about 15-20 minutes from Sanddrif (but in the wrong direction) and is also very nice. Sanddrif has an overflow campsite (also called Kliphuis) that they open on high-demand weekends like Easter; it’s also worthwhile asking about that.
Papkuilsfontein is a legendary guest farm near Nieuwoudtville, but seeing that its flower season its likely to be fully booked (no harm in checking though), I’ve also heard good things about Groenrivier Gasteplaas (also Nieuwoudtville).

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Hi, there Willem.Thank ýou so much for this valuable info.I have contaced Sanddrif, and Cape Nature for shuttles, but as you said they do not do it.

I was fortunately enough to get accommodation at Kliphuis campsite as well…Thanks again.

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