Bermanzi Hiking Trail is found in Mapumalanga between the towns of Machadodorp and Badplaas. The hike is a base camp trail that leads to the beautiful Uitkoms waterfall, which is the second highest fall in Mapumalanga.
We chose this base camp trail as we had some first time hikers going along. We were a group of 13 hikers.
Bermanzi offers a 20 km hike divided into 12 km on the first day and 8 km on the second day.
Day 1: Walking Bermanzi Hiking Trail
On the first morning there was a lot of excitement among the first time hikers while everyone was getting ready to take off.
Even though this was a base camp hike, a few of us walked with our full backpacks, as we are preparing ourselves for Mount Kilimanjaro.
The trail took us on a long descent along the mountain ridges. The descent was nice to start out with, but made us worry as the further we walked down we knew in the back of our heads that we will eventually have to climb the mountain back up.
The first view point was reached with breathtaking panoramic landscapes.
The forest climb up was very hot and the ground was covered with biting ants and ticks. One could not take a rest from the steep uphill otherwise “the attack of ants” took place on our legs.
From here the trail took us further down into the indigenous forest where we crossed the river numerous times while making our way up to falls. During this part of the hike Dean lost his sleeping bag without even noticing it until we arrived at the next resting point.
Our group got separated into two groups with me being part of the second group. While enjoying and appreciating the forest elements, our group took the wrong turn and got lost in the forest. We wondered around looking for the Bermanzi hiking trail when the three men who was part of our group eventually found the right route again. It was at this moment when we heard wild baboons close by and Ravon had “baboon eyes”.
The trail finally led us out of the forest on our way to the uphill climb to the magnificent Uitkoms waterfall. Before we reached the waterfall we had to take a break for lunch and found the perfect spot. Underneath a huge Yellow wood pine tree that was surrounded by old rock formations.
After lunch we took the final ascent up to the top of the waterfall. What an amazing view. However, to describe in words or capture on photos is nearly impossible!
We filled our bladders with fresh cold water from the waterfall and started walking the trail back to base camp in the hot mid summer day.
When we reached base camp we enjoyed some cold ciders and beers while relaxing in shade, after taking a well deserved cool shower. The sunset was amazing from the mountain top.
The night was spent around a BIG bonfire, enjoying everyone’s stories of the day. Dean, Renier and Harry was our “braaiers” for the evening and we all stuffed ourselves with perfectly grilled steak. Ryan made some traditional pap and sheeba to go with the braai vleis.
We ended the night with some marshmallows over the open fire before we had to move inside, as a big storm forced us to go to bed.
Day 2: Walking Bermanzi Hiking Trail
Day two had a late start and two of our fellow hikers decided not to finish the trail with us.
The rest of us got ready for the second day and took the trail as it led us downhill to the foot of the waterfall.
The first few kilometers was inside the indigenous forest and it was very hot and humid because of the previous night’s rainfall. Everything was green and woken up by the storm. We saw some interesting insects and reptiles on our way and had some nice breaks along the way.
When we reached the Uitkoms waterfall we took a swim and cooled off on the rocks while enjoying lunch. It was at this point Harry surprised Dean with his sleeping bag that was picked up along the road down to the waterfall.
After cooling off next to the water we had to pull ourselves away from the waterfall and on our way back to base camp. We took the last stretch back to finish the weekend off with an amazing experience.
I would definitely recommend the Bermazi Hiking trail to all hikers.