Hiking in Mpumalanga is a popular pastime that many South Africans enjoy every weekend. Not only does getting outdoors into that fresh air just feel good, but it is also something that will keep you fit and active and it will also give you a greater appreciation for the beauty of our stunning country.

For those who have never been on a hike but who want to take it up as a hobby, getting outdoors and hitting the trails can seem like something that is a little bit overwhelming, but you really don’t have to think too much because hiking is a whole lot easier to do than you think.


Choosing your Trail

The most important thing to consider when you are a first time hiker, is which trails to take on.

Some hikes are a lot more complex, time consuming and taxing on the body. The hiking trail that you should consider booking should be one that is not going to leave you absolutely exhausted. And you should look for a trail that offers spectacular views and it should also include the option of comfortable, pleasant accommodation.

Hiking Gear, Essential Tips and Preparedness

Some hiking trails in Mpumalanga are easier than others in that they are not so remote and off the beaten track that you will need to pack everything plus the kitchen sink. If you are planning to take on a more laidback hiking trail, the most important thing to pack is the right clothing and shoes, which will be determined by the season. If you are planning to hike a more remote trail, you will need to do a little more planning because you will be need to pack a little more than just your clothing.

You should also think about what you will eat while you are on your trip. Most accommodation at the various hiking trails in Mpumalanga will be self-catered, so keep that in mind when planning your trip.

Tips for a Successful Hiking Experience

Embarking on a hiking adventure in Mpumalanga can be an exhilarating experience for beginners. To make the most of your journey and ensure a successful hike, here are some essential tips to keep in mind.

  • Start slow and gradually increase difficulty

As a beginner, you should always pace yourself. Start your hiking hobby with shorter and less challenging trails before tackling more demanding ones.

  • Stay hydrated and nourished on the trail

Carry an ample supply of water and pack energy-rich snacks to fuel your body during the hike. Remember to drink water regularly, even if you don’t feel thirsty, to avoid dehydration.

  • Navigation techniques and tools

Familiarise yourself with basic navigation skills such as reading trail maps, using compasses, or utilising GPS devices. These tools can help you stay on track and prevent getting lost.

  • Sunscreen and insect repellent

Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays by applying sunscreen before starting the hike. Additionally, use insect repellent to ward off mosquitoes and ticks, especially in areas with dense vegetation.

  • Recognise and prepare for potential challenges

Research and understand the challenges specific to the trail you plan to hike. Be prepared for changes in weather conditions, wildlife encounters, and unexpected obstacles along the way.

Safety on the trails should always be a priority. You should always inform someone about your hiking plans, including the trail you’ll be on and your estimated return time. You should also stay updated with weather forecasts and trail conditions before setting out, and consider hiking with a partner or in a group, particularly as a beginner.