Turning 30 is a significant milestone in my book, so to celebrate, I knew that I wanted to treat myself to a different experience that would be etched in my memory for a long time to come.
To mark my 30th birthday, I decided to trek one of the many mountain peaks spread across the Drakensberg mountain range. I chose the Mnweni and Rockeries mountain pass hike, a three-day and two-night stay that will see us ascend over 1000 meters on the second day into Lesotho. Mnweni is not one for the faint-hearted, I’ve been told.
To prepare, I had planned a few practice hikes, and one of these was at Hennops Hiking Trail and picnic spot. My colleagues joined me for this relatively easy morning hike. The trail is marked, making it easy to navigate the loop. We decided on the 5km Zebra trail, which begins with a sharp incline, but the slope is relatively flat from there. Be sure to look out for the loose rocks along the route. Hennops hiking trail and picnic spot is a favourite for Joburger’s due to its proximity to the city. It is located just a short drive outside of Johannesburg on the R511, towards Hartbeespoort Dam.
Pack a picnic basket and blanket and enjoy a well-deserved lunch afterwards. The picnic spot has braai facilities, plenty of shaded sites and a swimming pool to cool down from the morning’s activities.
Before you hit the road…
- Bring along your sunscreen, hat and plenty of water. There are no taps on the trail, and you wouldn’t want to be dehydrated.
- The drive and scenery around Hennops is magical. Do bring your camera along to capture the special moments.
- There is a fee payable at the start of the hike and they do not use a card machine. Bring cash along.
My partner and I returned to Hennops to complete the 10km trail. Word of caution, do not attempt this trail if you have low fitness levels. It is a long and challenging trail. There are plenty of inclines to test the best of hikers, to the point that I became weary. Fortunately, the trail has two emergency exit points to guide you back to safety.
Do bring along your trekking poles to guide you on the trail. One can always use the balance that the other third and fourth leg provide.