A hidden gem in the Drakensberg Mountain range

Ever dreamt about seeing a Protea in its natural habitat? The Mariepskop View Point is one of the best kept secrets in the Lowveld and is also home to magnificent National flower of South Africa, The Protea. They bloom from mid-August to early September which leaves you with only a small window of opportunity to witness these amazing flowers. The dirt road starts on the R351 about 50km outside of Hoedspruit which is the nearest town. The dirt road is located about 500 meters past the Blyde filling Station.

The road there starts quite rocky so make sure your vehicle is a fair distance from the ground. 4×4 helps but you can get there just fine without it. Remember R30 cash per person traveling in the vehicle. Don’t be surprised to find stubborn cows lying in the road, therefor don’t speed.  

As you draw nearer to the mountain your surroundings will first take a turn to the more tropical side. Streams flow across the road you will be traveling on. You will also drive underneath canopy’s of spectacular trees dripping with plants dripping with moss. Purple and yellow flowers pop out everywhere and a damp fresh smell fills the air.

Once you reach the top the environment takes another drastic turn and turns into fynbos. Beautifully evergreen bushes and delicately detailed flowers. The road turns concrete somewhere high up. Be sure to follow the indications towards the viewpoint.

The road will get thinner and the views more spectacular. See what seems like the entire Lowveld spread before your eyes. This is where you should start looking for proteas. Once you reach the top you will start seeing them everywhere. Trees filled with bright pink Proteas cover the landscape. You can also be on the lookout for dassies and klipspringertjies which is not uncommon to spot on the mountain. It can get quite chilly there at the top so be sure to take a sweater with. This is also the ideale place to have a picnic in the sky.

 

As always, leave nothing behind and take nothing with, mother nature does not take kindly to theft 😉

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