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Take a hike: Heaven in the Hels River

The Hels River hike is not for
people with ankle problems. You will scramble, climb and rock-hop for about 4 km through this river.
The Hels River hike is not for people with ankle problems. You will scramble, climb and rock-hop for about 4 km through this river.

The Hels River hike might be short on the Strava app, but it’s large on life! It’s a 10 km out-and-back route, absolutely bursting with adventure.

The Hels River is part of the Olifants River catchment, between Middelburg and Loskop Dam in Mpumalanga. This section of the catchment features dramatic gorges carved into the characteristic red sandstone. The hike is wild and rugged, a real off- the-beaten-track escapade. You can do it as a day trip, or spend the night camping on the banks of the Olifants River.

The hike starts at the Loskop Adventures office on the edge of a kloof – one of the tributaries of the Hels River. The first kilometre is along a gravel road that skirts the kloof edge, dropping about 130 m to a turning circle at the top of an abseil site. There’s always the more exhilarating option of ziplining down to this point – seven cables criss-cross the valley, spanning a total length of about 1,4 km.

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