How to hike: The Ribbok Trail

Posted by Leila Stein on 5 October 2020

South Africa’s national parks are filled with incredible hiking trails. They offer a protected environment in which to explore the landscape and are well equipped with overnight huts and resources.

The Ribbok Trail in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park is one of these great overnight hikes.

This two-day hike takes you through the incredible 28km stretch of the Maluti Mountains in the Free State.

Here is how to hike the Ribbok trail :

Length: 2 days

Grade: A

Difficulty: Challenging

This route takes two days so it’s a good idea to book into the accommodation nearby the park for the night before you plan to start your hike.

You have to register at the park for the hike, which costs R195 per person then you can get your way.

The first part of the trip takes a 16 km trail which hugs close to the impressive sandstone formations which the park is known for. This can take about 7 hours but stopping to spot the black wildebeest, blesbok, Burchell’s zebra, eland, red hartebeest and springbok often seen on the hike, might extend it a bit.

The first day ends at the Ribbok Hut which has all the basic amenities you need. If you arrive in time, and get settled, you can take a relaxing post-hike dip in the Ribbokspruit waterfall which is about 2,4 kilometres from the hut. If you’re too tired, you can make this trip part of the second day.

Day two is a lot more taxing as it involves a 1,000m ascent and may take around 8 hours to complete. You make your way past the waterfall up to Generaalskop which overlooks the border between Lesotho and South Africa. From there the route leads you down and back to the beginning of the hike.

This hike is not for the uninitiated but is a great experience and it is not well-known despite being in a national park.

Also read: 

Discover true mountain magic at Golden Gate National Park

Picture: @Travelgigolo/Twitter

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