Now discover the most beautiful Magaliesburg waterfall ever
Hike and explore this cascading rocky waterfall, its rock ledges, formations and crystal clear plunge pools below! Gather your friends, a picnic, and a laid back attitude to truly appreciate this hidden gem, considered one of the best Magaliesberg hikes out there!
With a great group of friends we experienced the Castle Gorge hike located in the Magaliesburg Mountain Range. Personally, it had been on my bucket list for years before I made it a reality. And consequently when it finally became a reality, it far surpassed any of my expectations.
The hillsides of Magaliesberg are big, they are wild, sometimes remote – and still being discovered!
How to plan your ideal Castle Gorge trip:
- Where is Castle Gorge
- What to expect
- What you can see
- What to take
- How to book
Where is Castle Gorge:
It is approximately a one and a half hour drive from Joburg / Pretoria (depending on where you are traveling from) situated in the foothills of the Magaliesburg Mountains. But without a doubt it is definitely worth the effort of a day trip.
What to expect:
Initially, we found the hike relatively strenuous! As a matter of fact a steep incline will get you started on arrival up the mountain range. You can expect a cardio blast!
Once you summit the Range pay careful attention to the map as you meander towards the rock-pools. If you miss the markings, you may miss the rock-pools.
In addition to reach the waterfall be prepared to do some boulder climbing and jumping. Before you reach the flagship turquoise “pond” and waterfall you will be rewarded with the most fascinating rock formations.
We generally leave Joburg very early and make it to the waterfall by 10am. We pack a glorious picnic, consisting all our favorite treats, some towels and laze around until approximately 3pm before meandering back.
I say with conviction, “Castle Gorge is possibly one of the post picturesque sites close to the concrete jungle of Johannesburg.”
What to see:
The Magaliesberg Mountain Range is within a biosphere reserve, a UNESCO heritage site and characterised by unique geology, topography, habitats and heritage. According to UNESCO, the rocks of the Magaliesberg bear the ripples of tides which lapped the shore more than 2 000 million years ago
It lies at the interface of two great African biomes – the central grassland plateaux and the sub-Saharan savannah – with remnants of a third, Afro-montane forest.
It is a nature lovers haven, filled with astonishing wildlife, and flora. With regards to the fauna if you maintain a careful eye you may spot porcupine, vervet monkeys, different species antelope and mongoose. If you stay the night you may be treated to a sighting of bush-babies.
Birding is also rich within the area and you can expect anything from storks to starlings, robins, cuckoos, barbets, owls and Verreaux’s eagles!
What to take:
- Plenty of water (at least 3 liters) – especially in the summer months it can easily reach mid 30s Celsius.
- Picnic – sandwiches or pasta salad, boiled eggs, nuts, cold veggies and fruit (a great idea is to freeze grapes the night before and by snack time they perfectly chilled), crisps, gronola, energy bars and drinks, sweets of your choice. I usually love while walking to have a sucker
- Swimwear, towel, suntan lotion, swimming pool floaters (you can deflate them for easy packing).
- Sunglasses – cheap pair (we have had so many people lose expensive glasses in the pools)
- First aid kit (poison ivy is real)
How to book:
PLEASE NOTE A PERMIT IS REQUIRED. YOU CANNOT JUST ARRIVE! In fact you require a code to get in the gate. If you do not book ahead you will not gain entry.
Paid-up MCSA members do not need permits. All non-members need to apply for permits to the Johannesburg Hiking Club (JHC). JHC will also supply directions and gate codes. Allow three days before your weekend outing for EFT payments to clear and emails to arrive. – Contact [email protected]