Four star game reserve, South Africa

Hiking and Trail running

Note: Apart from the first 3km’s on a 4x4 route the rest of the trail is ‘veld’ hiking/running with no prepared/cleared path. You start and end at the lodge.

CO-ORDINATES (at start): 33°18'50.44"S, 21°31'31.08"E
DISTANCE: ± 7.13km (circular route)
ASCENT/DESCENT: ± 206m/205m
ESTIMATED TIME: ± 3hrs (leisurely pace)
MARKED WITH: White Arrows Footprints

Langerug Eland Route

The route (ref. numbers on Map with bold reference in text)

The route starts (1) (elevation 539m) at the Shepherds Trail 4x4 route starting point in front of the lodge and follows it for about 3km.

The first section cuts through the Acacia thicket and passes the old ‘boma’ in which our Eland spent their first few weeks acclimatizing upon reintroduction to this area. After cutting across the Bosluiskloof riverbed (Elevation 531m) you will cross a sandy flat and pass the beginning/end of ‘Con se Pad’ (2), ignore this just follow the 4x4 route. From here the route is relatively well marked, with white arrows or white footprints painted on rocks indicating the way forward.

Look for signs of digging/uprooting of bulbs by porcupines after the Porcupine Kloof sign. Shortly after this, about 1,2km into the route just right of the track is a patch of softer sandier soil (3) with accumulations of antelope droppings, mainly Gemsbok and Eland. Dominant Gemsbok bulls (also Klipspringer pairs and various other antelope) often concentrate their scent in certain areas (or middens) by defecating in the same area. This is most often to establish and maintain territories and utilize patches of softer soil in otherwise rocky and hard terrain.

The hiking trail branches off to the right from the 4x4 route briefly at (4) (this narrow ravine was nicknamed ‘Fawcetts folley’ after guests thought the 4x4 route went this way!) It leads to Nouekloof, a narrow Kloof turning to the right. On exiting the narrow little gorge, follow the track to the west/left.

Point (5) on the map is evidence of how Spekboom (Portulacaria afra) prefers the sunny north and east facing slopes/ridges. If you’re lucky you might get to witness how agile Klipspringer and Dassies (Rock Hyrax) really are on the Spekboom covered red rock face to your left.

You may well spot Eland, Gemsbok, Kudu, Zebra, baboons and more along this route. If you hear rocks getting dislodged it’s likely antelope moving along the steep ridges.

Just keep on following the 4x4 track.

Up the hill you will reach a sign reading Elands Route. There is evidence of an old borehole in this area, and the road leading to this point was created by farmers in years gone by to bring the drilling machine to this point, and for bringing diesel to run the borehole pump once water was found. The evidence is there but we still can’t find the borehole! The short walk up the hill to the Lookout Point (6) on your right (North) is well worth it. You are now approx. 3km into the route. The hiking trail continues in a westward direction (7). Look ahead for white arrows and footprints painted on rocks indicating where the trail continues along the Langerug to the west. There is also a Langerug signage board on a pole just across the drainage line. Keep heading west.

The highest point along the hike (Elevation 699m) is indicated by two footprints painted in white on a rock (8). The ‘descent’ begins shortly after this point, dropping down into a drainage line which heads south and then south east. This drainage line links up with the Bosluiskloof river at point (9) (elevation around 550m, turn left into it). Follow the main river bed eastward until you reach a rock on your right marked with a white footprint, which will bring you back to the lodge (10).

The trail takes you through two different vegetation types:
Karroid Broken Veld (more than a third of the reserves vegetation, largely dominant on northern side of reserve on arid rocky slopes, often rich in succulents) with karroid dwarf shrub vegetation, and small trees along the drainage lines. Amongst others Eberlanzia ferox (Doringvygie), Delosperma sp. (Doringlose vygie), Rhigozum obovatum (Karoo Gold), Eriocephalus ericoides (Kapok bush/Wild rosemary), Euclea undulata (Common Guarri), Limeum aethiopicum (Koggelmandervoetkaroo), Helichrysum scitulum (Vaalbergkaroo), Garuleum bipinnatum (Slanghoutjie) and the quite spectacular Nymania capensis (Chinese lantern or Klapperbos).
Acacia Riverine Thicket (along the Bosluiskloof river bed) the alluvial deposits dominated by amongst others Acacia (now Vachellia) karroo (Sweet thorn), Galenia Africana (Kraalbos), Zygophyllum morgsana (Skilpadbos), Lycium oxycarpum (wolfthorn), Melianthus comosus (Kruidjie-Roer-My-Niet) and Searsia lancea (Red karee).

You can’t miss the lodge. Go straight to the bar and enjoy a nice cold beverage of your choice!


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