Drive The Passes 4×4 experience. (self drive)
Following the old wagon trail passes this exciting outing for the whole family can be spread over 1 or 2 days depending on the passes to be tackled. To the west of the hotel are De Beers pass, Collings pass, Normandien pass and Mullers pass East of the hotel are of course Van Reenens pass, Tintwa and Middeldale passes, Bezuidenhouts pass, and Oliviershoek pass. Contact the hotel by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 058 6710027 if you would like more information about the history of the passes, difficulty level and GPS coordinates for the tops and bottoms of the passes and of course if you would like accommodation for your adventure.
This is an outdoor an historical experience not to be missed!
Horse Riding in pristine landscape
What better way to experience the endless landscape and fantastic views the van Reenen area has to offer than on horseback.
For a fantastic experience on horseback for riders of all levels of experience ride the old Van Reenen’s pass ox wagon route from Wyford farm up to the Green Lantern Inn Hotel.
Booking essential with Sheila or Stratford Russell
tel 058 671 0025 or cel 072 149 0608
For the more serious equestrian enthusiast, Van Reenen offers the ultimate thrill; from polo and riding lessons or international tournaments at Oaklands to adventurous Lost Valley outrides. The Great Gatsby Horse Race is an annual “bush race” set in an idyllic background. The area offers a traditional English Drag Hunting event, which is open to all to come and enjoy a little English “outing”. The tour guides can take you birding, to see a Sangoma or visit a Zulu/Sotho kraal and entertain you with Zulu dancing and cultural dishes.
HIKING TRAILS: The Bald Ibis Hiking Trail
This trail is located on one of the most beautiful and renowned landmarks in the Free State namely Rensburgkop. This mountain butts out of the North Eastern Free State landscape, with massive sandstone kranzes moulded on the sides. Rensburgkop is not only known for its unique location but was also the site where the Television drama “The Mountain” was filmed based on a true story.
Less than 2 km from the base camp is a vulture restaurant with its natural hide. Raptors that breed on
the mountain include Cape vultures, Crown and Black eagles while Bald ibis and Abdim storks are
plentiful. There is abundant endemic game. The flora is very similar to the Drakensberg ecological zones. Of the most majestic yellowwood trees, that have been seen on Free State hiking trails, are found here.
On the trail one passes a massive San cave where some paintings have survived. For the more energetic hiker, the climb towards the Beacon on Rensburgkop is a view not to be missed. The sheer rock faces of this mountain will appeal to most mountaineers and absailers, while more adventurous hikers will be able to enjoy some rock climbing in William’s gorge. An additional adventure would be to explore the Baboon’s gorge to the top of the mountain.
The base camp is a restored sandstone barn with all the facilities a hiker could wish for. The overnight stop is at Twin caves near a waterfall. Hiking beds and a braai area are provided to make this overnight unforgettable.
The Bald Ibis hiking trail offers a two-day backpacking trail and two day trail option from the base camp. Fit hikers would be able to hike the trail in one day, however hikers and nature lovers would take time to enjoy the beauty of this exceptional trail of the Free State. The Bald Ibis trails will appeal to all hikers – from the hiker who prefers a base camp and shorter trails to the hiker who prefers to backpack and sleep out, especially in a cave.
Two day trail: 1st day – 17,7 km. 2nd day – 9 km. Day trails: 3 and 5 hours respectively.
Overnight facilities: Base camp: Restored barn with 30 beds/mattresses.
Overnight cave: Sheltered cave with 6-4 man beds. Braai grid. Supply own mattresses.
Pertinent information: Do not tamper with San paintings in Cave. Carry water in dry times.
Location of trail: 3 km from Swinburne near Van Reenen.
The Black Wildebeest Hiking Trail
On the slopes of the “Berg”, south of Van Reenen, in the Sandspruit Conservancy, one will enjoy the conservation efforts of this owner. One of the largest number of Black Wildebeest for any private reserve is found here, together
with zebra, eland, impala, blesbuck, kudu, red hartebeest and blue wildebeest. There are also leopard together with other large cats, a variety of birds and an excellent representation of the raptors. The first day trail sets out from Siggy’s base camp, a spacious hut.
The first day starts out by climbing up a kloof next to a fast flowing mountain stream, which contains a microcosm of the flora and environment one will find further on the trail. One goes up the short Dassie pass on ladders, and remain on the plateau area from where the Fig-tree island is reached. The trail follows the undulating hills and its slopes through patches of indigenous trees, crossing several streams. Along the way one will pass dams, a four way river crossing at the Cascades stream, the Figtree grotto before ending off at the Lost Valley gorge where there is a lovely swimming spot in the Sandspruit.
The trail ends with an easy meander along the river to the River camp. Another short day trail is available at this blissful spot to the top of the ridge and back crossing the Sandspuit on both legs. The last day’s trail starts by climbing quite a steep incline to the top of the hill, remaining on the top plateaus which is well shaded with several indigenous forests. The descent is down a valley, an easy walk on the contours crossing the ladders back into the game farm. The last stretch is a comfortable hike as the trail crosses the river, passing a dam for a final swim, before the trail joins the jeep tracks back to Siggy’s camp. Choose this trail for a wonderful combination of game viewing and hiking!
2 – 3 day/night. Day 1: 14 km, Day 2: 8 km, Day 3: 6,5 km. Two day trails: 10 and 4 km
Degree of difficulty: Average
Location: 26 km from Van Reenen, 35 km from Ladysmith.