Karoo Erdvark Trail

Karoo Erdvark trail

The Karoo Erdvark trail is situated on the farm Rooiheuwel.  Rooiheuwel is a self-catering Karoo Guest Farm in South Africa, situated in the beautiful surroundings of the escarpment of the Nuweveld Mountains in the Great Karoo with a typical mountain-karoo landscape, 80 km west of Beaufort West and 60 km north of Leeu-Gamka.

The karoo with its unique landscape and wide-open spaces is a place where the visitor is graced by a magnificent authentic karoo experience, diverse and varying scenery consisting of mountains, valleys, kloofs, plains and rivers with perennial pools and fountains. The silence, tranquility, peace and open starry sky at night is something special – a place where you can listen to the heartbeat of the Karoo.  It is also an enormous semi-desert and one of the world’s unique dry regions with the greatest variety of succulents in the world, a huge and diverse flora as well as a variety of primate, game, reptiles, invertebrates and birds.  Temperatures start increasing during November and remain high until February. It decreases by April to become cold in the mid-winter months of June and July. Snowfalls may sometimes occur as late as September – October.

Take off your city shoes, embrace the vastness of the karoo and experience the beauty of simplicity.

Karoo Erdvark Hiking Trail Description:

The Karoo Erdvark Trail is the first Green Flag Accredited Hiking Trail in the Karoo with its unique landscape consisting of flat-topped mountains with enormous vistas over the outstretched plains but also incised valleys and kloofs with small perennial pools and fountains for a swim.

The trail is situated in the beautiful surroundings of the escarpment of the Nuweveld Mountains, 80 km west of Beaufort West. It has been developed to give the hiker a wilderness experience and consists of a network of trails that varies both in length and difficulty; with options for the more experienced hiker as well as for the leisure hiker.

The trail runs across a functioning sheep farm, but game and many birds are to be seen. The hiker is graced by magnificent, diverse and varying scenery of typical mountain-Karoo landscape while the silence, tranquility, peace and open sky at night is something special to experience. It is more than a hiking trail; it offers an authentic Karoo experience – with a “skaap braai” option available.

The accommodation is in a typical Karoo farm house with excellent facilities. A huge farm shed is also available for larger groups or for the “budget hiker”.  The trail has at its disposal a nearby airstrip for small airplanes such as the Cessna and Pilates.

Day 1: 12.9 km
You hike from Boplaas, to Tafelkop to Middelplaas, where you overnight.

Day 2: 9.8 km
You hike from Middleplaas to Arendsnes. You overnight in 3 tents or you may pitch you own tent or sleep under the “afdak”.  There is no running water or toilets.  Water however is provided.

Day 3: 15.44 km
You hike from Arendsnes to Rietvlei.  You overnight in an old school building.  Mattresses are provided.  There is a toilet and running water.

Day 4: 15.3 km
You hike from Rietvlei to Grootdroom and overnight there.

Day 5: 14.3 km / 12.8 km (shorter trail)
You hike from Grootdroom to Boplaas.

Slack Packing option: A slack packing option is available to transport your luggage. The roads that are being used are over rough terrain.  For both the 5- and 7-day trail, the trail distance is 280km and thus an additional R1680.00 pp will be charged.

Accommodation:

Traditional Trail accommodation is classified based on facilities as either rustic, standard or excellent. With the emerging of slack packing, a category, ‘luxury ‘has been added. Some trails might have both types of accommodation: traditional as well as luxury.

Key:
  • Rustic:            Shelter with minimum facilities
  • Standard:       Hut with basic self-catering facilities
  • Excellent:       House (multi-rooms) with cooking facilities in kitchen
  • Luxury:           B&B / Hotel / Guesthouse or other catered accommodation, also available to general public
Boplaas:

Rated as excellent

  • Sleeping units: Luxury tents / cottage/ house with several sleeping rooms
  • Toilet: Flush toilet inside sleeping unit (guideline1:6 people) with toilet paper provided
  • Beds: 4 beds
  • Mattresses: Thick (10cm) high density foam or spring
  • Ablution: Hot water can be made by means of a “donkey”.  Cold water only or nearby stream / dam.
  • Braai / barbecue area: Under cover barbecue, with wind shield on 2 sides, with grate (guideline 1:10 people to accommodate two or more groups)
  • Fire wood provided: Only one bag for braaiing
  • Kitchenware: Cutlery / crockery / pots & pans provided
  • Kitchen: Separate “kitchen”/common room with basin / tap inside
  • Lighting: Electricity / gas / solar
  • Heating / Facilities for drying clothes: Outside line
  • Cooking: Fridge / cooler AND Stove / Hot plate / Burner inside hut
Shed:

Rated as standard

  • Sleeping units: Basic hut or tent provided (one communal sleeping unit).  Shelter against elements for sleeping or tent site
  • Toilet: Separate toilet building, flush facilities outside hut (toilet paper provided).  Pit toilet (max 50 m from hut) OR alternative hygienic system (toilet paper provided)
  • Beds:  Mainly bunkbeds
  • Mattresses: Thick (10cm) high density foam or spring
  • Ablution: Hot water available
  • Braai / barbecue area: Under cover barbecue, with wind shield on 2 sides, with grate (guideline 1:10 people to accommodate two or more groups)
  • Fire wood provided: Only one bag for braaiing.
  • Kitchenware: Pots & pans OR cutlery / crockery provided
  • Kitchen: Separate “kitchen”/common room with basin / tap inside
  • Lighting: Electricity / gas / solar
  • Heating / Facilities for drying clothes: Outside line
  • Cooking: Stove / Hot plate only