Hikes at Steynshoop
The Steynshoop Mountain Lodge and Game Farm property has hikes with colour-coded signs. The property includes almost a kilometre of the top of the range above the lodge, as well as extensive indigenous forest immediately above it. Please note that all these routes cover stony, rocky terrain and require good walking boots or shoes. Guests should take a cell phone with the lodge number on it, so as to be able to ring if necessary and should advise the reception staff of your cellphone number and your intended route, before going.
The following are brief descriptions of the hikes within the property –
Red – this route starts at the end of the field below the swimming pool and goes (quite steeply) through the trees and into the heather area above them, to the west, to the boundary fence, where there is a gate from which you can walk to the top of “neck” going through the top of the range, where there is a solitary tree, giving access to the top of the cliff range (to the east), with magnificent views to the north and south (you can see gold mine dumps in the distance, to the south and platinum mines to the north, indicative of the vast mineral wealth of the area and helping to explain why thunderstorms and lightening are so intense in the Magaliesberg range and valley).
Blue – this route goes up the path to the left of the waterfall and the stream feeding it, getting into quite rich indigenous forest with more and more impressive large trees as you go up quite steeply. You then break out into the heather area above the trees and below the cliffs and “Lightning Gorge” (directly above the lodge). From here you can walk along the base of the cliffs, to the east or the west. There are small caves at the base of the cliff face and you are advised not to go too close or into these as we have noticed disturbed grass at some, which could indicate that they are lairs for leopard, which are known to be on the property (as their spoor is occasionally seen).
Yellow – this the easiest route to walk, starting on the left of the approach gravel drive (where the gravel ends), and looping around through lighter treed areas, with a lot of protea trees. It eventually joins up with the Blue route which can be descended, through the rich indigenous forest, back to the lodge, emerging at the waterfall (the Blue route is easier to walk down, than up).
Lightning Gorge (in the cliff face directly above the lodge). As mentioned above, this can be approached via the Blue route. This is a very steep route which should not be attempted by people suffering from height sickness, and guests intending to use it must do so only accompanied by a guide from the lodge. By going on this route and going to the west at the top of the range, you can return to the lodge via the Red route, giving an interesting circuit of the property, the indigenous forest and the range. The Mountain Club of South Africa has installed chains on the steepest sections to assist climbers.
The following map shows both the hikes on the Mountain Lodge and Game Farm property together with some photos of scenery.