Fanie Botha Hiking Trail

Brief Description

Photo: Kondensmelk Productions

The Fanie Botha Trail is synonymous with the establishment of organized hiking trails in South Africa. Originally the trail was meant to be part of a whole network of trails called the National Hiking Way System stretching from the Soutpansberg in the north, all along the escarpment to the Cederberg in the Western Cape.

Photo: Metamorpho

The trail is situated in the Sabie area in Mpumalanga.  It is located on the Drakensberg escarpment and provides hikers with marvellous views over a variety of landscapes far below.

Photo: Stray Along The Way (

“As one walks along the pine plantations and indigenous forests and stand in awe at the sheer beauty of the various crystal-clear waterfalls, it becomes obvious why so many hikers describe this as the perfect hiking destination.” – SAFCOL

Photo: Stray Along The Way (

“On this trail, hikers can admire the Lone Creek and Mac Mac Falls, both national monuments, or just get carried away by the scenic grandeur of the Drakensberg escarpment.” – SAFCOL

Photo: Eric Nefdt

“There are various trail options ranging from two- to five-night trails. The trail can be started from the Ceylon, Graskop or President Burger Huts. The shortest route on this trail is 17,1km and the longest route is 58,8km.” – SAFCOL


The Fanie Botha Trail is still considered by many to be one of the best trails in South Africa and should be high on every hiker’s to-do list. It does contain its fair share of strenuous sections, so proper training beforehand is necessary to enjoy the hike fully. During summer, heat can also be a problem.

How to book

Bookings can be made through SAFCOL EcoTourism
Tel: 013-754-2724

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Hiking South Africa aims to serve and grow the South African hiking community as a central, national community resource.


  1. It was the first official* hiking trail (1973). Initial tariff was 50c p.p.p.n and it increased in the following few years to R1,50 p.p.p.n. 🙂

    Random fact: Prospectors Trail was the fourth official trail and it covered the 100th kilometre of recognised hiking trails, and also what would’ve been the National Hiking Way System.

    *The Otter Trail was actually first (1968) but it wasn’t officially recognised by the then Dept. of Forestry, as it was a SANParks development. Which means the Otter, and organised hiking in SA, turns 60 next year.

  2. Thanks for the great facts Alida! Always nice hearing a bit of history on the trails that we often take for granted.

  3. Hi there ! How do I become a member-and when the fanie botha trail be hiked again? Kind regards henry

    • Hi Henry, we don’t have an official membership – Hiking South Africa is a free community resource for the South African hiking community. We do however have a community forum which you are welcome to use and will be handy in finding out if there are other hikers doing the Fanie Botha trail:

  4. Good day. Just want to hear if the route will be available in Desember. And if the lockdown regulations affect the times the route is open?

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