Take the opportunity to experience the kind of closeness to nature that will reset your body and soul into total harmony, without the hassle of carrying all your camping supplies in a cumbersome backpack! The Roots to Rivers Slackpacking Trail, in Magoebaskloof, takes you through dramatic scenery to the incredible views of the Kudu’s River Valley, ending each day at an owner-run Eco-lodge. This scenic and varied route starts in the beautiful indigenous forest at Kurisa Moya Nature Lodge, where small streams feed the roots of ancient trees including a forest sentinel, the largest known Cabbage Tree (Kiepersol) estimated to be around 2000 years old (a Champion Tree). As you follow the trail through the corridor of towering trees clad in ‘Old Man’s Beard’, ferns and orchids, you may catch a glimpse of a shy bushbuck or the charismatic Samango Monkeys.
Birdlife abounds and nature-lovers will breathe in the earthy aroma of damp soil and leaf litter and linger to look at the myriad of mushrooms, butterflies and other forest-finds before popping out of the forest and heading to the edge of the property for the spectacular views into the Kudu’s River Valley. You may see Baboon, Klipspringer and Verreaux’s Eagles from this small koppie where you can stop to catch your breath and take it all in at a viewpoint before winding your way down to Graceland Eco Retreat where the valley unfolds below you in a dramatic fashion. Here, you can relax and enjoy a swim on the patio before sundowners on the edge of the world before dinner, knowing that your luggage and supplies have been delivered here for you. Graceland is a small, stylish lodge with a Main House and Kudu Cottage, both open-plan and tastefully decorated. The patio boasts a pizza oven and other outdoor cooking options as well as those beautiful valley views.
The following morning, you can choose to do an easy stroll through the Graceland mountain bushveld with granite boulders, where you might see Giraffe, Impala or Kudu under the Acacia, Wild Pear and Olive Trees, or you could choose a more challenging walk down into the valley with its soaring views on the way down and fascinating fauna and flora on the way up. As you make your way back to Kurisa Moya, you will pass through a grassland habitat en route to the dam with its soaring views up to Schnellkop, the second highest peak in the area and the top of Kurisa Moya’s property. From there, you wind along next to a stream where you might get lucky and see a Caracal coming to drink or a Knysna Turaco flying past with its raucous call.
The Forest Lodge Cabin is once again your home for the third night of the Slackpacking trail before you head off the following morning. Tree Tops and Birdsong Cabins are 3 metres up on stilts, in the indigenous forest, so you have panoramic views of ancient trees and nature all around. Nothing disturbs the peace and tranquillity except for the haunting song of the Narina Trogon or the Samango Monkey’s booming call. Staying here will restore your spirit and recharge your batteries.
Depending on your interests, we can tailor-make your route to focus on trees, birds, history or culture. Step out of the ordinary and do something spectacular through a slackpacking experience of beauty and tranquillity in the forests, mountains, bushveld and rivers surrounding these two Eco Lodges on the Kudu’s River Valley.