Magoebaskloof Hiking Trail

Magoebaskloof Hiking Trail river crossing

Beauty: 4.5 (of 5)
Difficulty (fitness): 7/10
Technical rating of trail: Contains short sections of very steep inclines and declines.
Duration: 4 – 5 Days

Magoebaskloof Hiking Trail lies in the incredible Magoebaskloof forest near the small town of Hanaertsburg on the way to Tzaneen in Limpopo. It is a magical gem full of indigenous forest, pine plantation, crystal clear streams and waterfalls. There are a number of huts available and thus one can hike anywhere from 1-5 days with a variety of routes. Although the trail can only be hiked in one direction, it can be made to be circular, so it would be convenient to organise the same starting & end point.

I have done this trail many times and find that the route described below is the best, taking into account the different huts and their locations.

Day 1: Arrive & park/stay at Woodbush Hut to Waterfall Hut (±15km)

This is a great day to get into the trail. You are immediately transported from the hustle & bustle of everyday life into the magical wonder of the indigenous forests.

magoebaskloof, chameleon on hikers hand

Within the first few kilometres, you come across the ‘Tallest planted tree in the world” and by then you are already engulfed in the thick and untouched beauty of Magoebaskloof. The day takes you through many crystal clear streams and some pine plantation, before arriving at a picturesque Dam which you then walk around to get to Waterfall Hut – aptly named because of the beautiful waterfall right by the hut ­- a perfect place for a well-earned cup of coffee at the end of a great first day!

magoebaskloof forest

All the huts are simple, with a lapa/braai area, flush toilets, cold-water showers and no electricity. Waterfall Hut not only has the waterfall right by it, but also overlooks the dam you just walked around and is a wonderful viewpoint to overlook throughout the evening.

Day 2: Waterfall Hut to Dokolewa Hut (±18km)

The day starts off by backtracking a little bit past the waterfall and then takes you through a small patch of forest before arriving at a tranquil clearing along a stream. From here the path begins to ascend, taking you through a bit of pine plantation and continously rising before emerging at the top of a glorious viewpoint where the entire area can be seen.

You then begin to descend through thick indigenous forest while hearing the sounds of streams and forest insects throughout. It is a glorious meander covering the next 5km before arriving at a magnificent double-tiered waterfall which is perfect for a well-deserved break before the last few kilometres.

The path continues along the stream, bypassing exquisite scenery as one is amongst the water and lush forest. There are a few rock pools along the way where you can swim to cool off. However, not far thereafter you arrive at a wooden bridge taking you directly to Dokolewa Hut which once again is positioned amongst the beauty of this incredible trail – right in front of a cascading waterfall and a beautiful pool of water where one can swim and bath. It is a magnificent sight at the end of the longest day of the trail. The lapa area is also next to the stream and once again it is the perfect spot at the end of a long but exquisite day.

Day 3: Dokolewa Hut to Seepsteen Mules Hut (±10km)

You begin the day by going back over the bridge and backtracking for roughly 2km along the stream. Once you reach the clearing, there is a clear sign and path to the left where the trail gradually begins to ascend through the forest with the gushing stream constantly on your left.

It is incredibly beautiful with numerous spots to rest and enjoy nature especially as the whole day is uphill and can become quite tiring! The whole day ascends through the forest until eventually you emerge in the middle of a pine plantation. This signals the near-end of the day, with the last couple of kilometres taking you through the pine plantation until you reach Seepsteen Mules Hut – a hut in the middle of the pine plantation with nothing else around. It is a beautiful and serene location and once again is the ideal spot to relax and rest after the day’s hike.

Day 4: Seepsteen Mules Hut to De Hoek Hut (+-15km)

The last day begins descending straight from the pine plantation back into thick indigenous forest. It continues for a few kilometres, once again passing streams and waterfalls. Eventually you are hiking parallel to the stream and there are many spots where one can have a snack and a break watching the stream as well as the mossy vines strewn across the forest.

Ultimately, you will emerge at a dirt road where, after you cross over, you begin to descend again into the forest. At this point, you will reach a sign which points to the hut going to the left, but points right to go to Debengeni Falls. It is an absolute must to go and see the falls – not only are they spectacular but the resultant streams form many rock pools and gorgeous views of many mini-falls. This is a public area where there are usually quite a few tourists and picnic spots with ablution blocks and is a great spot for lunch and re-filling waters etc.

From here, you will backtrack uphill to where the sign was, and continue ascending. You will be climbing next to the waterfall and there will be many spots to take pictures and view the waterfall as you rise. After a few kilometres you will be near Dokolewa Hut again, and from here it is about 2km straight up to De Hoek Hut.

De Hoek hut is positioned at the top of the hill and has hot showers as a nice surprise and reward for completing this incredible trail!


The Magoebaskloof hiking trail is an absolute-must do for any hiking enthusiast. It has some of the most beautiful indigenous forest in the country and is a perfect hike in summer with all its magnificent crystal clear streams and waterfalls. However, due to its usually dry winter, it is also a great option all year round. It does not have as many ascents/descents as hiking trails such as Otter or Tsitsikamma but one needs to be relatively fit due to the long distances.

Check out this video of the trail for even more inspiration!


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

Check the Magoebaskloof page on the SAFCOL website for more info:


  1. Hi there

    I was hoping you would be able to assist me regarding a hiking trail for my 25th birthday, the dates I would like are 18 February 2021 to 21 February 2021 (4 day hike).

    Will you please be so kind as to send me info regarding pricing and how big a group can be max?

    Looking forward to hear from you

    Kind Regards
    Lize-Marié Naudé

  2. HI there
    I have not done Megoebaskloof hike in a long time. Can someone who has done the route recently please conform what cooking equipment in the form of Braai grids, pots, pans, kettles and wood is available at each overnight hut please? we are doing Woodbush hut, Broederstroom, De hoek huts, Do they supply wood each night enough for the 24 people who will likely be at each overnight hut? are there kettels, pots etc?

    • The overnight huts have braai grids and wood, however on a few occasions they forget to replenish or leave enough so I would definitely confirm with the trail manager to leave enough. The huts do not have anything else in terms of pots/kettles or even a kitchen so make sure you bring everything you need. I would however, as per the review, recommend waterfall and Seepsteen huts (waterfall is close to Broederstroom and seepsteen is close to woodbush) but these huts are far nicer and in much nicer surroundings than the others. You would also be doing yourself a disservice not to stay at Dokolewa which is probably the best of the bunch. But either way the beauty is magnificent. Enjoy!

  3. Hi

    Goes anyone have gpx data for this hike. I am going hike in 2 weeks but I’m I’d like to have the route just in case.

    I would appreciate it.

  4. Hello we would like to do a one day hiking trail for atleast 14km which trail will you recommend please.

  5. I would like to know how safe the route is? My sister and I want to do the hike with our daugters. Aged 17, 15, 13.

  6. Is this trail still open ? Your link to Safcol is dead and there is only a vague reference to an ‘overnight trail’ on the Safcol website. No reference on the Magoebaskloof Tourism website either, only a couple of short walks.

  7. Hi. I’m also interested in knowing if this hike is still open, and what condition the huts and trail are in. I have read a few reviews which indicate that it is run down and huts very dirty. Any recent updates would be appreciated.

  8. Hello everybody!
    I thought I’d leave an update here. We just did a 3-day hike starting at Woodbush Hut, on to Broederstroom on day 1, then to De Hoek on day to and back to Woodbush on day 3. We were two men and two women. We felt very safe, never did we ever feel dodgy about our safety – although I did read in the documents sent by Safricol that they recommend that women not hike alone. The huts were all very clean and at each one there seemed to be more than enough fire wood. At Woodbush and Broederstroom someone had been kind enough to pack a fire for us. Broederstroom is supposed to have electricity and water but there was no power. De Hoek is supposed to have both as well but had neither – a bit of a disappointment after a long day’s hiking. We phoned the number and water was restored for about an hour in the evening and again for a little bit in the morning – not ideal but it was something. There had been a massive storm the night before, so the power was probably out due to the storm. So it is not a bad idea to bring enough power and water for your needs, if possible. We used the slackpacker assistant (Mark) as recommended by Safricol – he transported our food, water and personal bits everyday – total life saver. He even put ice in our cooler boxes for us 🙂 All in all the hike was wonderful, the trails are well sign posted, the huts were clean, the natural beauty in the area is unsurpassed. Perhaps just don’t rely on power and water at the huts.

    • Hi Carin,

      Just read your review thanks!!
      How do we get hold of the Slackpacker assistant (Mark)that you were referring to?

  9. Hi! We want to do the 4 night hike end of December. No one answers the phone at Komatiland eco tourism. Is there any other way to book??

  10. We recently did a five day hike at Magoebaskloof, this is only possible if you do one leg twice. So the longest hike is 4 days but then your vehicle is 7km away from your endpoint. We didn’t want to repeat one leg and walked from De Hoek to Woodbush via the road (7.5km) and this was also a great leg on its own because for the first time in the five days one could see the mountainous landscape clearly. This took us just over 2 hours and we had time for a pancake in Haenertburg before driving back. Awesome beauty, a bucket list hike, in my opinion not that difficult (closer to 6/10 rather than 7/10), just take it slow especially when wet. No hot showers anywhere, wood houses very cold, fire wood not great, slackpack guy did great job.

  11. Hey man – I wanted to ask, instead of using the huts do they also have backpacking/camping facilities?

  12. The huts are for backpackers as they have no electricity and only bunk beds with mattresses – so they do not have additional camping facilities, nor do they allow camping.

  13. Did the DOKOLEWA POOLS 2 NIGHT TRAIL, 30th September 2022. Parked at De Hoek Hut, 30min walk down to and stayed the first night at Dokolewa Waterfall Hut. Hut had nice new mattresses and is situated by a wonderful waterfall and pool. Hut is supplied with toilet paper and fire wood. Second night we stayed at Seepsteen Mule Stables Hut. Also very neat and clean hut situated in a forest. Also supplied with with toilet paper and fire wood. Would highly recommend the hike, trail is well marked and the huts are well looked after. Just remember there isn’t really any cell reception most times.

  14. Hi. Two Qs please;

    1. We came across a couple of Komatiland Forestry signs when walking the trail – does SAFCOL still manage it?

    2. We joined the trail at the sign for the ‘big tree, looking to do a hike of a couple hours. We got there, but as we continued along the (stunning) trail, the trail markers were either absent or inadequate. We sort’ve got lost. What’s the best way to access the Magoebaskloof hiking trail for short walks and hikes?

    • There are cold water showers (and flush toilets) at every hut – but De Hoek hut has electricity and therefore hot showers.

  15. I used the afritrails website to book and it was extremely convenient! Their bookings email address was also extremely useful in answering any queries.

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