It’s December, we are almost entering the new year and many of us are having holidays. Last week I went hiking at Assegaai Trails which is close to Grahamstown. Assegaai Trails is the place to be for hiking fans where you’ll get a real outdoor experience.
There are two camps where you can spend the night, Bottom’s up and Rock Bottom. Both camps offer sleeping facilities for 14+ people with an outdoor feeling. Although you will have a roof over your head, it’s semi open air. In both camps you have clean drinking water and showers and in the first camp even a fridge, water cooker and electricity to charge your camera and electrical equipment.
Both camps have everything you need to make a fire and traditional South African braai, a great opportunity to show off your campfire making skills to your friends.
As you can see on this map there are 4 hiking trails. The 7.5 km red and purple trails, the 6.5km yellow trail and the 5km blue trail starting and ending at the Rock Bottom camp and offers the best physical hiking experience.
The trails are navigable by paint marks left on trees and rocks which makes the route easy to follow, while still having the feeling you’re getting deep into the solitude of nature.
A guide on four legs
One of the great surprises Assegaai Trails offers arrives on four legs at night. On our first day after a short hike doing a part of the yellow trail and coming back via the red trail to Bottom’s Up camp we made a big camp fire. Suddenly a dog emerged out of the dark and into the light of the campfire. This dog loves hiking and he’d rather do it with you than alone. We fed the dog some of our boerewors and after that he stayed with us till our last day at Assegaai.
The next day he walked together with us via the long purple trail to the Rock Bottom camp. Sometimes leading the way and sometimes walking behind us or via different routes crossing us again. When you need to cross water, this little friend will cheerfully take a short swim and catch up with you again, a great companion to share your adventure with.
When you walk a trail crossing Assegaai Center you will have the opportunity to take a refreshing swim in the swimming pool with a beautiful view of the landscape. You can play volley ball there or quickly walk through and take a swim in a natural pool, we did this at the Lily Pool located in between Bird’s Eye View and Rock Bottom camp.
At time of visit, staying over for a night at Bottom’s up or Rock Bottom cost R90 per person per night. This is nothing compared to what you get in terms of facilities and experience. Only doing the hike without sleeping over costs R30 per person. You can also choose to sleep at Assegaai Center for R110 per night which is especially good if you come with a group of over 15 people. You can also hire a self-catering cottage for R250 per night if you share or R350 if you are alone. We actually met a retired Swedish person who is staying in a cottage for 3 full Months and he is greatly enjoying his time there. A great idea if you love hiking and the peace and rest nature has to offer.
For more information head over to the website of Assegaai Trails and start planning your hiking experience of a lifetime.