Mountain Sanctuary Park

Mountain Sanctuary Park

Magnificent rock formations millions of years old have given rise to pristine rock pools flanked by indigenous vegetation, creating an Eden that’s conducive to shrugging off the grime of city life.

The rocky terrain is pure mountain-bike heaven, with routes suited to all abilities. Barnardsvlei Road suits novices, while the physically demanding Breedt’s Neck Mountain Pass will test the mettle of experts. A demanding 12km trail also forms part of the annual Magalies Monster bike race.

Hiking is also a favourite pastime, with trails that range from 15 minutes to eight hours traversing more than 1000 hectares of countryside.

After a hard day’s hiking and biking, flop into the swimming pool set in a deck overlooking a picturesque valley. Then, when you’re cool and relaxed, throw some traditional South African boerewors (spiced sausage) on the braai (barbeque), as the locals do.

Around the area

Start exploring the park at Perderwater Groot or Fountain Pools where the rock formations are stunning. Walking in the mountains and taking a dip in cooling streams or rock pools is great fun.

Tours to do

Discover your origins at the nearby Cradle of Humankind where limestone caves reveal the fossilised remains of ancient hominids.

What will it cost

A once-off R20 entrance levy per vehicle. Log cabins – R400 per adult per night; chalets – R350 per adult per night; campsites – R80 a night for adults; and day visits – R50 per adult. Various seasonal specials are on offer, so check the listed website before you book.

What to pack

A light backpack, sunhat, good walking shoes, sun protection, water bottle and camera.