There are two huts at the basecamp from which the trail starts sleeping a total of 24 people. Each has a refrigerator and a two plate stove with kitchen utensils. Ablutions include a hot shower in each and braai facilities.
There are two trails that radiate out from the base camp, day 1, 13,5km and day2, 7km. There is also the option of a backpacking route across the valley to the neighboring farm that some of you will know as Bermanzi. The focal point of the first days trail is the Uitkom falls that are the second highest falls in Mpumalanga. The river gorge is lined with beautiful riverine indigenous forest. The trail can be quite strenuous especially in the heat and humidity of summer. Once the gorge is negotiated, there remains a fairly steep climb out followed by a meandering walk through interesting rock formations that the area is well known for. The second day of the trail descends into another valley, passing a beautiful waterfall and cascade on its way to the bottom. This is followed by an ascent through another riverine gorge with beautiful cascades.
Day 1 - Waterfall Trail:
This trail is 13,5km in length and needs a fair level of fitness. Starting from Aloe Kaya Hut the trail traverses grassland until it reaches the edge of the Bankspruit gorge, close to the top of the Uitkom falls. From here the trail descends through indigenous scrub forest to the foot of the falls. Care needs to be taken as the rocks can be slippery. The trail now follows the banks of the spruit down the gorge for some distance before rising steeply through grassland to the top of the escarpment and then meanders through impressive rock formations back to camp.
Day 2- Hells Bells Trail:
Although only 7km in length, this trail, provides the ideal opportunity to explore another part of the farm. Along the route one finds a beautiful waterfall and a spectacular wooded kloof. For those hikers who prefer to backpack, there is also Oom Paul's Trail that leads across to Bermanzi and back.
Distances from nearest town:
· Close to Machadodrop, Mpumalanga
Access road status:
· The farm road needs to be taken carefully especially if arriving at night.
· Day trails from a central basecamp or alternatively a backpack route to the neighbouring farm of Bermanzi and back. Base camp called Aloe Kaya camp
· Moderate. A certain degree of fitness is needed especially in summer.
· Well marked when last assessed.
· Turnoff Badplaas-Machadorp road - S25 47.056 E30 17.988
· Overnight camp - S25 49.053 E30 22.731
· Lodge - S25 48.985 E30 22.291
· On higher ground
· Luxurious and well maintained camp
Aloe Kayas Base Camp:
- 2 x charming double storey wooden pagodo’s, (not tree houses), but rock houses, built into the extraordinary canyons;
- Bunk beds and mattresses;
- Each sleeping 16 (2 rooms per pagodo accommodating 8 people per room);
- Each pagodo has a fridge, 2 plate stove, braai facilities and kitchen utensils.
- Potjies x 2, pans and pots; and
- It is electrified and equipped with hot showers and toilets with a view.
- A separate braai area overlooks the “Hell’s kloof”.
- You can purchase firewood for R20 a bundle. Safe parking at the camp.