The Magaliesberg mountain range extends 120km from Rustenburg in the west to near the Bronkhorstspruit Dam in the east.
A party of seven of us, led by Neil, headed from Foothold, Hikers Haven at the base of the escarpment up the Chain Ladder, did a circular loop and back down the chain ladder to Foothold again. About 4 hours, taking account of rest stops, lunch, etc.
The climb up and down the chain ladder was quite an experience – about 30 metres or 100 ft – the quickest way to the top of the escarpment and back down again. Definitely takes a bit of nerve, and something you certainly won’t find in the Slieve Blooms in Ireland! I wouldn’t call it outright ‘dangerous’ but there was certainly no room for errors or slips. Nor would it be the place for panic attacks!
Really interesting hike. The African bushveld is hard to describe to people who have never been there. The one thing that always strikes me is the sheer vastness. Lots of rock-pools and interesting flora, especially the beautiful aloe plants which seem to thrive where it shouldn’t be possible!
There is quite a bit of wildlife around here. We didn’t see any on the hike but vervet monkey and baboon were making a real racket – though not visible due to the thick cover. Small buck such as duiker and klipspringer (Afrikaans for rock-jumper) are also common, as are porcupine, jackals and mongoose.
The record also says elusive leopard live here, but their reclusive nature and wonderful camouflage means they’re seldom seen during the day – which was ok by me. Who knows, those piercing yellow eyes may have been silently watching!
Interestingly enough I found the climb back down more nerve-racking than the climb up – might have had something to do with needing to look beneath my feet as I was climbing down. Definitely felt myself holding on a bit tighter on the way down, a slight sigh of relief as my feet touched terra firma again and all was ok!