Feedback on Lowveld forest venture please .





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  1. #1
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    Default Feedback on Lowveld forest venture please .

    Hi guys .

    Before I go on please note that this post is NOT IN ANY WAY AIMED AT MARKETING OR SALES , but rather a post to get feedback from 4x4 and off road caravan guys out there looking for something special[/B][/I] . We would appreciate any feedback in this regard to open routes as soon as we believe people out there are still looking for the ultimate in bush camping while enjoying ultimate in seclusion with stunning nature and bird life to match . Various one day trials in the beautiful forests are available .

    Komatiland Forests , the largest forestry company in the Lowveld is looking to open forest routes to the public in the Pilgrims Rest area .

    This is a first ever as NO ONE has ever been allowed inside the forests and visitors to Sabie / Graskop / Pilgrims Rest only had the option of viewing and visiting the many waterfalls , Gods Window and the other tourist attractions in the area .

    We have a few self catering properties situated deep in the mountains surrounding the town of Pilgrims rest consisting of 4 to 6 sleeper cabins with running water and toilet facilities but NO electricity . There are also large enclosed bomas with braais and seating for the ultimate forest experience .

    One( Excelsior Hut ) is situated about 3 kms off Robbers Pass just outside Pilgrims Rest and can also accommodate MAX 5 caravans .
    The second property ( Morgenzon Hut ) is situated about 7 kms past the Crystal Springs resort off the same road and can accommodate another 5 caravans also . The drive to this property alone is stunning .
    The third property ( Black Top ) is situated around 10 kms after Excelsior at the top of the mountain and sleeps around 16 people with caravan space for another 5 caravans .

    Back packing and hiking trails from all the properties are what set them apart from the rest . Bird watching and small antelope is a common sight !

    Please note : All the above have water and toilet facilities but NO electricity ! You can NOT get here without a proper 4x4 vehicle , or a vehicle with out good ground clearance and minimum fitted with a rear diff lock .

    WHEN IT RAINS YOU WILL NEED A 4X4 , it gets very slippery and fun in such conditions !

    We also own one self catering historic house in Pilgrims Rest that sleeps 8 people , fully furnished , hot water ,electricity , two bathrooms and an outside Boma with braai facilities . The property can also accommodate 3 caravans , off road or standard , boasting the most stunning views !

    We are aiming to offer 2 hour to full day routes in the forests as well as a dedicated 4x4 track .

    If such a venture is to be established we will host an initial 4x4 launch weekend in a competition format with challenges and fun games for each team .

    Please share your thoughts on such a venture .

    Jean van der Riet
    Komatiland Eco tourism
    Sabie
    081 0470 148
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    Last edited by JeanvanderRiet; 2017/08/02 at 09:52 AM.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Feedback on Lowveld forest venture please .

    This will be absolutely awesome!!

    I always wanted to "tour" the forest roads. I will keep a keen eye on this.

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    Default Re: Feedback on Lowveld forest venture please .

    Quote Originally Posted by blouhond007 View Post
    This will be absolutely awesome!!

    I always wanted to "tour" the forest roads. I will keep a keen eye on this.

    Great weekend away. Following as well.

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    Cool Re: Feedback on Lowveld forest venture please .

    This would be Absolutely great ! This is my idea of a 4x4 Adventure!

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    Default Re: Feedback on Lowveld forest venture please .

    Thanks Jean, looks great and the variety of accommodation options is a bonus. Some of those were overnight huts on the Fanie Botha hiking trail and was only accessible to hikers years ago, right? It's great that Komati Eco Tourism now caters to the 4x4 enthusiast as well. I've stayed at the Thavhine Kliphuis on the Soutpansberg run by Komati a few times years ago and it was amazing every time, as well as great value.
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    Default Re: Feedback on Lowveld forest venture please .

    Quote Originally Posted by Jens78 View Post
    Thanks Jean, looks great and the variety of accommodation options is a bonus. Some of those were overnight huts on the Fanie Botha hiking trail and was only accessible to hikers years ago, right? It's great that Komati Eco Tourism now caters to the 4x4 enthusiast as well. I've stayed at the Thavhine Kliphuis on the Soutpansberg run by Komati a few times years ago and it was amazing every time, as well as great value.
    Hi there and thanks for all the feedback so far guys . Yes , it is similar to the Fanie Botha trail . Most have been closed over the years and demolished , only a few special ones remain .

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    Default Re: Feedback on Lowveld forest venture please .

    Thavhine Kliphuis still up and running?
    2001 Gen 3 Pajero swb 3.2 Di-D

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  10. #8
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    Default Re: Feedback on Lowveld forest venture please .

    I think this will be great. Apart from the accommodation that you talk about, we need some more 4x4 trails in the area also. There are so many special places that can be opened under controlled situations.

    Please keep us posted on any developments.

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    Default Re: Feedback on Lowveld forest venture please .

    I will most certainly drive up and make a holiday of it once the trails are operational! Obviously access control and monitoring should be efficient; it'll only take one group of moegoes to ruin it for the rest of us...
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  13. #10
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    Default Re: Feedback on Lowveld forest venture please .

    YES PLEASE!!!!! And keep it as basic as possible. I've hiked the area & surrounds numerous times, but to take the Pajero & trailer and spend a couple of days with the family will be fantastic. Please keep us posted.

  14. #11
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    Default Re : Forest camping and routes info

    Hi all and thanks for all the feedback , and phone calls .

    We never knew what we are used to is even more special for others who are not allowed in the forests !

    I have to stress that apart from the Pilgrims Hut the other properties are BACK TO BASICS , NO FRILLS , TRUE CAMPING WITH SPECIAL VIEWS . ( water and sanitation in all huts )

    We also have to stress that this venue will be more of a FOREST ROUTE ( using current forestry roads )than an outright 4X4 operation although much fun can be had in some places . Planning is in the pipeline to establish the dedicated 4X4 track as soon as possible . We want to focus on the special magic that driving on rural forest roads offer , and the stunningly beautiful landscape that comes with it .

    Parking your 4x4 in the forest and enjoying a absolute rural and quiet experience is what this is all about . Remember that guests will have access to all Komatiland venues such as Mac Mac Falls , Mac Mac Pools , Forest falls (isolated inside the forests with a great picnic sites ) and a few other day camping sites .

    We now see that there is a much greater market for back to basics camping and routes after engaging with yourselves .

    We have contacted the forum admin to start advertising officially !

    Jean
    Last edited by JeanvanderRiet; 2017/08/02 at 01:17 PM.

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  16. #12
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    Default Re: Feedback on Lowveld forest venture please .

    Quote Originally Posted by Louis Swane View Post
    YES PLEASE!!!!! And keep it as basic as possible. I've hiked the area & surrounds numerous times, but to take the Pajero & trailer and spend a couple of days with the family will be fantastic. Please keep us posted.

    WE will .... Thanks

  17. #13
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    Default Re: Feedback on Lowveld forest venture please .

    This is absolutely awesome - will be keeping an eye on this thread and the advertising.
    Sue

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  18. #14
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    Default Re: Feedback on Lowveld forest venture please .

    Yes you can . Call me and we can chat

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    Default Re: Feedback on Lowveld forest venture please .

    Quote Originally Posted by JeanvanderRiet View Post
    Yes you can . Call me and we can chat
    I'm sure everyone that is interested would like to know the cost, not so?

  20. #16
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    Default Re: Feedback on Lowveld forest venture please .

    Will post before end of week . Waiting for admins to give OK before marketing . Only fair to the forum .

  21. #17
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    Default Detailed info and pics of the sites !



    Prospector's Hiking Trail
    Pilgrim's Rest, Mpumalanga

    The quaint old gold mining town of Pilgrim's Rest is the starting point for the 5-day Prospector's Hiking Trail. If you don't have the time to do the whole trail there are several shorter options. The history of gold mining operations in the Pilgrim's Rest area goes back more than 160 years to the 1840's. The gold rush began in 1873 when the Lydenburg magistrate advised the Transvaal Volksraad that gold had been discovered in the streams. Hundreds of diggers from as far a field as Australia, America, England and France flocked to the gold-fields to make their fortune. The trail passes many relics from these early days of mining as one climbs away from the start of the trail.

    Pilgrim's Rest to Morgenzon 12,6 Km
    The Pilgrim's Rest hut has mattresses, electricity, hot showers, firewood and braai area. The hut is convenience for a short walk into town to visit the Royal Hotel for dinner or just some exploration of the curio shops.
    From the hut, the trail meanders through the town, visiting several of the historical areas before crossing the Blyde River and following an old railway line into Peace Tree Creek. The trail then follows one of the early diggers paths, passing several of the old mines. From here the trail ascends through Protea veld, grassland and indigenous forest to Morgenzon hut.

    Morgenzon Hut
    Morgenzon hut caters for 16 hikers with bunk beds, no electricity, cold showers, toilets and braai area with firewood provided.
    Trail Options
    From Morgenzon Hut there is the option of returning to Pilgrim's Rest Hut via an alternative route of 8,3Km, thereby making it a two day trail. There is also an option of a three day trail that visits Blackhill and Excelsior huts. This route is 41,3Km long.

    Morgenzon Hut to Blackhill Lookout 15,6Km
    This section of the trail starts off with a short walk to Morgenzon forest station and then crosses Clewer stream before following a section of the old Robbers Pass, the old supply route to Pilgrim's Rest. The trail then descends to Clewer Falls and then climbs steeply along the stream, through indigenous forest until it reaches a historical wagon path. The trail descends into another valley before once more ascending steeply past waterfalls and through fynbos until Blackhill Lookout Hut is reached.
    Blackhill lookout hut has the same facilities as Morgenzon.Blackhill Lookout is one of the highest points in the area and provides excellent views of the surrounding area.

    Blackhill Lookout to Excelsior Hut 10Km
    This is the easiest of the days and can be taken at a more relaxed pace. The day starts with a climb to the Blackhill viewpoint. The trail then descends into a valley and passes through Pine plantations interspersed with rocky outcrops and then rises slowly to a highpoint overlooking Crystal Springs and Themeda Hills. The trail descends again and eventually arrives at a large stream with waterfalls and pools. The trails then ascends to a viewpoint overlooking the Origstad Valley and then crosses grassland until Excelsior Hut is reached.
    The facilities are the same as to be found at Morgenzon Hut

    Excelsior Hut to Morgenzon Hut 15,7Km
    This is a fairly long and strenuous day and an early start is advisable. The day starts with a climb up to another viewpoint before passing through a Pine plantation and then undulates through grassland and Pines before eventually descending into the beautiful Clivia Bush in which a number of beautiful Clivia are to be found. The trail then descends into a valley to a small stream and a historical wagon track. The path then passes the Jock of the Bushveld plaque and the Robbers Pass plaque. The trail follows a stream before reaching Klipspringer Randjies with lovely views before following a stream to Morgenson Hut.

    Morgenzon Hut to Pilgrim's Rest 8,3Km
    The final part of the trial is fairly easy and short, allowing for a further opportunity to visit the beautiful little town of Pilgrim's Rest. The trail follows a path along a plantation edge and grassland before joining the Columbia Race, a furrow that supplied water to Columbia Mine. The trail then descends to the Blyde River and the opportunity for a short swim before the final short walk into Pilgrim's Rest.

    Conclusion
    The Prospector's trail is a unique trail that brings together the historical interests and natural environment of the area, beautifully. The full trail is, however, not easy and should be attempted only by fit hikers. The shorter options should be considered as an alternative by those that are less fit.

    Last edited by JeanvanderRiet; 2017/08/10 at 11:16 AM.

  22. #18
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    Default Re: Feedback on Lowveld forest venture please .

    Hi guys .

    With regards to the Lowveld tourism feedback we are good to go .

    Launch weekend on the long weekend of 22 to 25 September 2017 . Please book in advance . All info on our Facebook page under Last Frontier 4x4 Forest Adventures .

    https://www.facebook.com/events/7939..._history%22%3A[%7B%22surface%22%3A%22page%22%2C%22mechanism%22%3A %22main_list%22%2C%22extra_data%22%3A%22%7B%5C%22p age_id%5C%22%3A125001088126766%2C%5C%22tour_id%5C% 22%3Anull%7D%22%7D]%2C%22has_source%22%3Atrue%7D


    PLEASE DO NOT REPLY HERE , I STARTED A NEW THREAD UNDER " LAST FRONTIER 4x4 FOREST ADEVENTURES " .

    Thanks ,

    Jean

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    Default Re: Feedback on Lowveld forest venture please .

    Hi all.

    After a great week in the KNP we travelled to Pilgrims Rest for our stopover at the Pilgrims Hut advertised on earlier pages on this thread.

    Well I must say Jean and his lovely wife Liesel went out of their way to prepare the hut for us even though it was a month before official opening day.

    The quaint 100 + year old house was spick and span, ready to receive us, and we are honoured to to be the first official guests. Worries of the run down Pilgrims Rest were put at ease by Jean. He phoned in to check if everything was OK before doe doe time and again the next morning.

    Based on our experience they are really trying to revive the area and sure as nuts we will be back to spend more time doing mountain camping and trials.

    Go Jean. well done so far!!
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  25. #20
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    Default Re: Feedback on Lowveld forest venture please .

    Is it still possible to do the forest trails?

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