I ate my humble pie😊
I always look forward to hiking at the new spot, I get excited for new experiences but more so to experience different scenery.
Let me tell you; I was not prepared for what I experienced at this hike. Pumza told me that it’s a difficult terrain with lots of rocks to maneuver through and loose stones. Pumza is very passionate about hiking, so when she tells you a story about the spot, all you hear is how beautiful the place is, nothing else. She is a good storyteller, so all I heard was beautiful place with breathtaking views, not difficult trail.😁
De Wildt is situated in Magaliesberg Mountains near Hartbeespoort in the North West Province, 30 minutes from Johannesburg and about 40 minutes from Pretoria. The weather was spectacular, it was perfect for such a difficult hike. The place has majestic views and offer different trails up to 21kms, they even have a shooting range. The trails are very well marked you cannot get lost, you just need to pay attention to signages throughout. I wouldn’t recommend one to do this hike during summertime or when it’s raining. I cannot get over what I get to experience and learn on each hike, it doesn’t get old for me.
During the week I asked Pumza how many kilometers we are doing, she said let’s do 15km. I agreed with excitement because I haven’t done 15km in long time. She said to me; I am going to send you the link to De Wildt website you need to fill in the indemnity form otherwise they won’t let you hike. When I heard indemnity form, I knew that I am in for tough hike. When a place asks for indemnity form, just know that all hell is going to break loose. 😂.
We got to a place, and we gathered and did the usual “housekeeping”, and we started the hike. There was a sign that showed how many hours it will take to finish the hike. Ours said 5 hours, I didn’t believe it because normally we do 10kms in 2 hours, so I thought to myself, 3 hours tops will be done. Boy was I wrong, it took us 5 hours instead. Lol. Most hikes you control your pace, this one the trail controls your pace because it is tricky. We were at 1.5km when I saw a chicken run sign. Chicken run is an early exit that you can take if you feel like you cannot continue with the hike. When I saw chicken run sign at 1.5kms, I knew that this is going to be a difficult hike. The picture of a chicken on the sign was so funny, it’s literally the chicken running away and terrified. My imagination was working overtime when I saw the picture. LOL. You don’t want to know what I was thinking. Normally you find chicken run sign from 5km, you can imagine my shock when I saw it so early into the hike. All I can tell you is that 1.5km hike felt like 5km. This hike had no mercy, as soon as we started hiking it was a hectic, straight up climb, one had to already maneuver through big rocks and loose stones. From the beginning of the hike till the end it was just big rocks and loose stones.
The next chicken run signage was at 6kms, this was the last one, we kept on saying ” who ever want to bail out now is the time.” Well, we were all stubborn enough, so we continued with our hike. At this point it already felt like we’ve done 15km, I remember all we did was climbing up and up, hardly ever flat surface. The going down was so painful cause it was a serious slope. Going down was short, while you try to catch breathe next climb starts. There was one gentleman who is preparing for comrades’ marathon, decided to do 21kms by himself, this guy passed us all and finished way before us. When he passed us, he was even running, I have no idea how he managed that. I guess that’s why in August he is running his 17th Comrades Marathon.
The higher we climbed the more majestic it got, we got to see almost 360 views of the beautiful Hartbeespoort dam and the surrounding mountains. No words or pictures can describe the views I experienced; it was insane. The views really make up for the difficult terrain, as much as it was tough hike, I was in heaven, I was happy. At some point we were so high up, the air was thin, cold wind blowing, had to put on my jacket. One thing that De Wildt don’t have is the signage of how many kilometers you’ve hiked. I think they did that on purpose cause it’s a difficult hike. The only time you see that signage is when you have 3kms to go. No fitness app was working because there was no network coverage, you hike without knowing how much more you still need to hike. When we finally saw 3km to picnic spot, I couldn’t believe it, I was hoping to see 1km left. You must remember in this type of terrain, 3km takes you 1hr to finish, I was finished at this point. I was waddling like a penguin, I remember at some point I was concentrating at putting one foot after the other. It was the longest 1hour of my life. This hike really tested my mental strength, I am happy I did it, and I will go back again.
When I saw base camp, I was so happy I felt like a conqueror, it was fabtastic to see civilization. Finally, fitness apps were working, we couldn’t wait to see how far we hiked, we did just over 18km. I was so proud, we didn’t even stop to have a snack, we snacked as we hiked. When we got to the base camp, the gentleman who ran 21kms was long relaxed and still had energy. All we wanted was to get home and soak our feet in hot water. He still said he is going to wake up the following day and run 10km.
On to the next adventure. “After a day’s walk, everything has twice its usual value”-G.M. Trevelyan
Until next time Fabtastic People
One thought on “De Wildt Adventure Trails”
Well done guys- 18 kilometers 😳😳.
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