Only two hours outside Johannesburg, deep in the Magaliesberg Mountains, lies a rather unusual destination that is well worth exploring, as members of the Weekend Warriors found out this past weekend
Steeped in history and surrounded by natural beauty, the Karee Krans trail can take anything from six hours to two days to complete, because there is just so much to do. It’s up to you, however, whether you choose to truly experience this unique place or merely zip through. Many however agree that Karee Krans deserves a full weekend so settle in, put your feet up and relax, you’re in good hands.
Robert van der Merwe, the owner, will not only guide you through the trails but is also a useful man to have around. He is a mine of information and has plenty of anecdotes about the area.
If you’re worrying about the family getting bored while you’re getting your 4×4 fix, don’t. If they choose not to go off-roading, there are plenty of other activities to keep even the most adventurous entertained: from foefie slides and swimming to abseiling, horse riding and canoeing. There is even a gym, should they be that way inclined.
The 4×4 routes are split into three trails of varying difficulty, guaranteed to keep the 4x4holics busy for a weekend. You can do the Karee Krans trails on your own or go with a guide. The trails are well signposted and maps are provided upon arrival.Most people begin with the 5.3 km A route. This route is tricky, so take it slowly. Carefully evaluate each challenge before tackling it. Diff-lock is essential but if you don’t have one, don’t fret – the obstacles are still worth a try and Robert has built-in escape routes for emergency situations.
Trail B is shorter, but packed with excitement. Robert has designed a route that will challenge the driver and get the old heart pumping.
Dauntingly steep and slippery slopes combined with exhilarating water obstacles create a course that is more smoke and mirrors than real danger, but nonetheless keep your wits about you and drive slowly. You will require guiding every now and again on this trail. Located halfway along the trail is a dam, which makes a great picnic spot and you can camp here. It’s the perfect spot to relax, take a shower, slip down the foefie slides or just enjoy the scenery. If that’s a little too rustic for your tastes, you can head back to the comfort of the chalets. These are fully equipped, two-bedroom cottages, with two beds in each room. They are self-catering, but for those of you who really don’t want to cook on your weekend off, you can ask Robert to arrange meals for you.
Last but not least is Trail C, the shortest and easiest of all the trails. This trail is designed with one purpose in mind: to make you slow down and really take in the wonder of your surroundings. A fantastic parting experience before you head back to the hustle and bustle of the city.By the way, if you are considering Karee Krans as a conference or wedding venue, Robert is more than willing to assist. There is a beautiful lapa and he often caters for large functions. There is also accommodation for groups of hikers and school children.
Weekend Warrior Advice: Don’t rush the experience. Put your feet up, relax, really take in the surroundings and don’t forget to bring the family.
For cool videos and photos of the weekend, visit the Weekend Warriors on Facebook.