Addo Elephant National Park has extended one of the walking trails in its Zuurberg section to now make it a five-hour activity – the Doringnek Hiking Trail. Hikers will now get to explore and see even more of the rolling hills and mountains of the Zuurberg mountain range, which is what many avid hikers have been requesting for years.
The hike, which departs from the Zuurberg permit office and was initially three hours long, has been extended to five hours, or approximately 12km in length. The circular route includes a picnic spot along the way and passes “Otto’s pool” – in which hikers may choose to cool off on hot days. Drinking water, a sunhat and sunblock are essential, especially during summer.
The Zuurberg mountains are home to four of the Park’s five biomes – fynbos, grasslands, forest and subtropical thicket (also known as valley bushveld). The area is special as three cycad species and two yellowwood species – all endangered – can be found here. A total of 1 100 plant species have been recorded in the area.
Animals to look out for along the route include mountain reedbuck, red hartebeest, bushbuck and other small buck species, monkeys, baboons and dassies. Bird life is also prolific in the Zuurberg mountains.
There is no charge for doing the hike. Only conservation fees are charged for entering the Park (SA citizens – adults R69 and children R35). Only cash payments are accepted at Zuurberg, or a valid permit from one of the other sections of Addo. Operating hours are from 07:00 to 12:30 and 14:00 to 16:00 daily. Hikers need to undertake the activity by 12:00 so that they make it back in time for gate closure at 17:30.
Other activities which can be undertaken in this section of the Park include a shorter one-hour hiking trail and one-, three-, five-hour and overnight guided horse trails.