Did you know?Loteni, which means 'in the ashes' in isiZulu, was so named due to the burnt appearance of the shale found in the river valley.
Animals like the oribi, mountain reedbuck, zebra, warthog, bush pig, duiker and baboon roam freely in the upper reaches of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands where the Poplar Grove and White Rocks hiking trails take you close enough to see these species in their natural habitat.
Poplar Grove and White Rocks are farms in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, each of which features a distinctly different hiking route.
The 6km Porcupine Trail from Poplar Grove takes about three hours and passes through a wooded region, across a series of suspension bridges, up a mountain ladder and over the Mooi River more than once.
At 9km, the Oribi Trail from White Rocks takes a day and traverses open grassland along an undulating route featuring many waterfalls.
By request you may also detour to take in San rock art, and there’s ample opportunity to cast a line into a river or dam along the way.
Hikers are provided with a picnic basket containing water, cool drinks and snacks. Should you prefer to take your own refreshments, costs will be reduced accordingly.
Hiking in the summer heat can be a hot and tiring experience so you’ll be glad to hear that provision is also made for a spot of canoeing and swimming along the way.
For safety reasons children under the age of 12 years are not permitted on full-day hikes and children under the age of nine are not allowed on the half-day hike.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Poplar Grove Farm
Tel: +27 (0)72 877 3605
How to get here
Take the Southern Drakensberg resorts turnoff from the N3. Poplar Grove is located 24km outside of Nottingham Road on the Loteni/Sani Pass road, and White Rocks is 11km further on the same road.
Tours to do
The Midlands Meander arts and crafts route.
What will it cost
Hiking is R200 per person for a half-day and R400 for a full day, including snacks and drinks. Accommodation costs R300 per adult per night and R150 per child under 12 years of age.
What to pack
Hiking boots, windbreaker, water bottle, hat, sunscreen and camera.
Where to stay
There is a self-catering guesthouse on the property that sleeps six.
More than 200 outlets on the Midlands Meander offer an enormous variety of home-baked, home-sewn and home-crafted goods that are not found in conventional shopping centres.