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Wolkberg Wilderness Area

Wolkberg Wilderness Area

Wolkberg Wilderness Area is an area that is maintained for its scientific importance as a natural ecosystem which has remained largely untouched by modern progress, and is an important catchment area which delivers a high quality water supply to the surrounding communities. And in doing the above Wolkberg Wilderness Area perfectly fits the definition of a Wilderness Area. The area is the catchment area which gives origin to the Letaba, Thabina, Letsitele and Mohlapitse Rivers, all of which are watched over by yellowwoods, wild figs, wild beeches and waterberry trees. The Mohlapitse River and its tributaries have cut through the landscape dramatically over a long period of time, with the result that the wilderness area is characterised today by beautiful peaks, sheer cliffs, deep valleys and high waterfalls. The river separates the Strydpoort Mountains from the Drakensberg Mountains.

The beautiful 22000 hectare Wilderness Area is positioned approximately 80 km south-west of Tzaneen. The Wolkberg which means Cloud Mountain is part of the northern Drakensberg and Strydpoort ranges. It is characterised by its great, vertical quartzite krantzes, countless kloofs, cool, deep and densely forested ravines, massive buttresses and folded and interlocking spurs. The area was aptly proclaimed a wilderness area in 1977.

The Wolkberg is rich in birdlife with 150 bird species to see including the hamerkop, bat hawk, black eagle, lilac-breasted roller, blackcollared and pied barbets, pearlbreasted swallow and crested francolin. Hikers have the chance of seeing klipspringer, grey rhebok, mountain reedbuck, duiker, bushbuck, genet, otter, the noctumal caracal and vervet and samango monkeys, and if extremely lucky, leopard and brown hyena.

A row of quartzite cliffs that face north east for about 2 km, known as the Devils Knuckles, drop over a distance of 6 km to the west and form a striking feature of the reserve. There are some long hiking trails with overnight camping spots in the area but there is an easier hiking route along a series of ridges to the spectacular Thabina Waterfall, and another one from the Georges Valley end of the reserve towards Serala peak. Serala, which is situated on the edge of the escarpment, is the highest peak in the wilderness area, reaching a height of 2050 metres.

This stunning part of the Limpopo province is loved by local hikers, climbers, walkers and wanderers and this is mainly due to its variety of trails and its diverse habitat. There are marked trails, but you can walk anywhere you want, exploring dramatic gorges and cliffs, thickly forested ravines and wide-open grasslands.

Don't go to the Wolkberg Wilderness Area without your swimming costume because the area boasts clear stream, refreshing waterfalls and potholed pools.

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