Serendipity Eco Trails


trails_limpopo_serend_11


101 Trail Guide | 2010

Serendipity Eco Trails

Tierkloof, the farm on which Serendipity Eco Trails is located, lies hidden next to the Great North Road between Modimolle (Nylstroom) and Mookgophong (Naboomspruit), 140 km from Pretoria.
Owner Johan Klopper is passionate about his farm and its well-maintained trails. Each vehicle is thoroughly inspected before being allowed onto the trails, tyre pressure and ground clearance are checked and terrain conditions discussed with each driver.Johan also insists that permits are in order and indemnity forms completed and signed.

There are two options – a scenic trail that is three to four hours long, and a one-hour adrenalin charger. The 36 km scenic trail is family-orientated but still presents some good challenges. Stretching through valleys and gorges, over savannah and mountain streams, it incorporates almost all types of driving conditions. Apart from several river crossings, there are some steep bits, with escape routes where necessary. You even drive down the river in one section, and this can be a challenge in the rainy season. The drive features beautiful scenery, abundant game and birdlife, rock pools, waterfalls and indigenous forests.
The shorter 4 km trail is more technical and demanding, covering rocky terrain and riverbeds, with steep ascents and shale-covered descents. A recovery vehicle may be useful for the mud sections. Low-range and diff lock are recommended for all the trails.

What you need to know

Accommodation:
Serendipity offers six self-catering chalets, rustic tree houses and camping. The largest of the chalets is Tierkloof, a restored farmhouse that overlooks a seasonal waterfall and features an open-air shower. The Serendipity Villa, for couples and singles, and the group-orientated Lodge are the most luxurious of the chalets. The Dikbas, Zebra and Wildevy chalets offer more basic, family-type facilities. Built over a stream, the Bundu Tree House offers something between chalet and camping, with 10 beds and room for four tents. The Tree Hut offers the same facilities, but with four beds. There are also a number of camping options, most with amenities.

What else?
Hiking, mountain biking and off-road biking. Quad bikes are welcome. The Nylsvley Bird Sanctuary is five minutes away and the area is well known for its hot springs.

Contact:
Wilma & Delia
014 743 3540,
014 743 1665,
082 553 3266;
info@serendipitytrails.co.za,
www.serendipitytrails.co.za

Nearest town: Mookgophong (Naboomspruit) (16 km)

Best time to go: All year round

Trail distances: The two trails total 40 km.

How long will I be driving? 4-5 hours

GPS: S24.62282 E28.56065


Full review | Peter Levey (June 2007)

Looking for a quick escape, something a little different from the usual bump and grind? Peter Levey may have found just the place for you – a guaranteed off-road delight for nature lovers, tree huggers and twitchers.

Johan Klopper, owner of Serendipity Eco Trails, has a special passion for his game farm and its 4×4 trails.

Each vehicle is thoroughly inspected before access is permitted onto either of Serendipity’s two trails, terrain conditions are discussed with each driver and tyre pressures and ground clearance checked.

Furthermore, unless permits and indemnity forms have been completed, signed and handed in, no one may even enter the well-maintained trails.

Tierkloof is Johan’s pride and joy and the farm on which Serendipity Eco Trails are located. It lies hidden next to the Great North Road between Modimolle (Nylstroom) and Mookgophong (Naboomspruit), just 140 km from Pretoria.

Aside from the numerous alternative activities the farm offers for those who just want to get away from the daily rush, there are two trail options: a 3-4-hour scenic trail and a one-hour adrenalin charger.

The lowdown

Despite being family-orientated, the 36-km scenic trail still offers good challenges. Stretching through valleys and gorges, over savannah and through mountain streams, this trail incorporates almost all types of driving conditions.

Apart from several river crossings, there are also steep ascents and descents.
Escape routes are provided where necessary.
You even drive down the river in one section – a task that in the rainy season could become rather challenging.
Depending on how long you indulge and languish in one of the many rock pools and picnic spots en route, the trail takes 3-4 hours to complete.

The joy of the drive is certainly the bushveld scenery: rock pools with crystal clear water, waterfalls, indigenous forests, abundant bird life and panoramic views of the Waterberg are all part of the day.
The plentiful game is a bonus − expect to see kudu, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, impala and other antelope during the drive.

By contrast, the shorter, 4-km-long trail is more technical. It offers a full spectrum of challenges, allowing Serendipity to cater to the full spectrum ofl skills levels and experience.

This more demanding trail covers rocky terrain and riverbeds, with steep ascents and shale-covered descents.
A recovery back-up vehicle may be useful if you plan on spending any time in the mud, especially in summer when vehicles often get trapped. Low-range and diff lock are therefore recommended for all the trails.

Johan allows a maximum of 20 vehicles on his property, so the trails never get overcrowded, which is especially reassuring if you want to take your time on the rocky axle-twisters.

Why your wife will love it

Serendipity’s first-class accommodation ranges from luxury chalets to a peaceful mountain bush hut.

The six self-catering chalets and similar number of campsites offer varying degrees of comfort and isolation.

Johan’s careful attention to detail and love for the outdoors is evident in the placement of every chalet and campsite, with due
consideration to the environment and the experience of his guests.

The romantic Serendipity Villa and group-orientated Lodge are the most luxurious of the chalets. Nestling between tall indigenous trees, Serendipity Villa caters exclusively for couples and singles. Featuring a shower set in natural rock, even the Villa’s bathroom offers panoramic views of the Tierkloof.

The largest of the chalets is a restored farmhouse on the side of a valley.
Overlooking a seasonal waterfall, it features an open-air shower, electricity, gas stove and a braai area. The Dikbas, Zebra and Wildevy chalets offer more basic, family-orientated facilities.

Built over a stream deep in the indigenous bush, Bundu Tree House straddles the middle ground between chalet accommodation and camping. The tree house has 10 beds and room for four tents.
The Tree Hut offers the same facilities, but with four beds.

Camp-wise, Bundu Camp can accommodate 20 vehicles on five stands, the Bush Camp six vehicles on four stands and River Camp five vehicles. The latter can also accommodate single- and double-axle caravans.

Each site has its own braai, wash-up and ablution facilities, which include hot water, a flush toilet and an electricity point. The same is true of the Bush Camp and River Camp.

The more rustic 4×4 bush camp, Echo Camp, is the only exception. It can accommodate five vehicles and has full ablution facilities but no electricity. (Our only complaint at all sites was the lack of good ground cover.)
And all of that’s beside the novel converted shipping-container homes. Johan really thinks of everything.

Drive Out says: Besides the sheer variety and quality of accommodation, the off-road and activity options are guaranteed to have you coming back again and again.

What you need to know

WHY SHOULD I GO?
Excellent off-roading, unspoilt nature, diverse and first-class accommodation options

EN ROUTE
How long are the trails?
The two trails total 40km.
How long will I be driving?
4-5 hours
Maximum number of vehicles:
20 vehicles
Do I get a map?
No, but the trails are very well marked.
Will my car get scratched? No
Should I remove the running boards? No
Should I take a compressor? Yes
Can I turn around half-way?
No, the trails are one way.
Can we have a braai en route?
No open fires – picnicking or gas only at the designated picnic spots.

THE SURROUNDS
Best time to go? All year
Can I take my family along? Definitely
Just for the day or the weekend? Both
Are there ablution facilities for day visitors? Yes
Can I see game?
Yes, it’s a great game and birding destination.
The nearest town?
Mookgophong (Naboomspruit) (16 km)
How do I get there?
On the N1 to Polokwane, take the Modimolle (Nylstroom) off-ramp at the Kranskop Tollgate. In Modimolle, turn right into Thabo Mbeki Road and continue for 16 km. Turn left onto the R101 (the Mookgophong road), and after 11km, left at Serendipity’s gate.
The nearest fuel?
Mookgophong (16 km)

WHERE CAN I STAY?
Serendipity offers a comprehensive range of self-catering and camping options. For more information visit www.serendipitytrails.co.za

WHAT ELSE

What else can I do there?
Hiking, mountain-biking, off-road-biking and quad bikes are welcome. The Nylsvley Bird Sanctuary is five minutes away and the area is well known for its hot springs.

Must I take anything special?
Binoculars and bird- and tree-identification books. (Nature is serious business here, with marked bird and tree trails for enthusiasts to follow), swimming gear, sunscreen, hats and hiking shoes. Cycling enthusiasts are welcome to bring their own mountain bikes.

COST?
Trail: R250 per vehicle per weekend

Accommodation:

Chalets:
Lodge: R300 pppn with linen, R250 without
Villa: R200 pppn with linen, R150 without
Zebra: R150 pppn
Dikbas, Wildevy, Tierkloof: R120 pppn

Campsites:
Bundu Tree House: R100 pppn
Bundu Tree Hut: R80 pppn
Bundu Camp, Bush Camp, River Camp, Echo Camp: R60 pppn

Day visitors: R250 per 4×4 and R150 per quad
Weekend visitors: R250 per 4×4 per weekend

CONTACT?
Wilma van der Merwe *014 743 3540; *014 743 1665, *082 553 3266; *info@serendipitytrails.co.za;  *www.serendipitytrails.co.za


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What you should know

Contact:

Wilma & Delia

Telephone:

014 743 3540, 014 743 1665

Cell phone:

082 553 3266

Best time to go:

All year round

Route distance:

The two trails total 40 km

Maximum vehicles:

20 vehicles

Directions:

On the N1 to Polokwane, take the Modimolle (Nylstroom) off-ramp at the Kranskop Tollgate. In Modimolle, turn right into Thabo Mbeki Road and continue for 16 km. Turn left onto the R101 (the Mookgophong road), and after 11km, left at Serendipity’s gate.

Accommodation:

Serendipity offers six self-catering chalets. Built over a stream, the Bundu Tree House offers something between chalet and camping, with 10 beds and room for four tents. The Tree Hut offers the same facilities, but with four beds.

Camping:

There are also a number of camping options, most with amenities.

What else?

Hiking, mountain biking and off-road biking. Quad bikes are welcome. The Nylsvley Bird Sanctuary is five minutes away and the area is well known for its hot springs.