Route: Ribbok Trail, Golden Gate Highlands National Park (South Africa)

Submitted by Hanno Langenhoven on Wed, 11/04/2020 - 01:11am
South Africa
27.7 km
Vertical Gain
1,230 m

This is a formal hiking trail, called the Ribbok trail, in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park in South Africa. It is a circular trail and can be started at any point on the trail with the finish at the start point. The traditional starting point, including the gps file attached, is at the pedestrian bridge crossing the Little Caledon River in the Glen Reenen campsite.

You start the trail by crossing the bridge and heading along a well established path to the big overhanging cave against the rock wall, from where you turn left to tackle the trail in the normal hiking fashion, anti-clockwise. A short scramble gets you to the top of Brandwag, one of the iconic sandstone cliffs in the park. Down a number of steps onto a countour path that winds you ever away from the campsite and delivers you to Wilgenhof at 9km. Just after Wilgenhof there is a short road crossing.

Once you crossed the road you run into the valley towards Ribbok hut. Not long after you passed Ribbok hut you start climbing to the high point of the trail, just below Generaal's Kop. You reach the top at around 20km. From here it mainly a downhill run with a significant part of the trail running along the top of a beautiful but technical ridge. Descending the ridge you pass through Zuluhoek viewpoint, drop down past a small dam and run in a narrow valley back to Glen Reenen

Glen Reenen is at the end of the valley and once there you run around the chalets, cross the road again and finish a 100m further at the start of the bridge which you left a few hours earlier.

Being an official hiking trail there are some markings to remind you that you are still on track. Some of them are very faded making them harder to spot. These markings are really only a reminder and for long distances there is no markings.

GPS Track