This past weekend our son’s class mom arranged a fantastic get together for the parents and their kids at Hennopstrails. It’s one of those places we tend to drive past not taking too much notice of it. It’s literally a short drive (less than 45 minutes) from Joburg a real hidden gem if you’re into doing outdoor stuff with or without kids.
For those dads with 4x4s, they have a trail in the high mountainous section with dongas, mud holes and other man-made obstacles for you to tackle. According to their website they have wildlife too such as Zebra, Kudus, and Wildebeest .. we sadly didn’t get to see these during the hike .. but we got to see horses and cows both which my son loves to admire .. from far.
When the class mom first mentioned it I had assumed the trails were round the corner from
the school for some reason. Friday when I was Googling the venue I realised that we would not be able to sleep in but have to really get up a tad earlier so that we arrive on time. Even with all that prep, we still managed to get lost and arrive late. I think as much as hubby and I are doing our best to shake the arriving late reputation, it just isn’t leaving us.
Hennop has three hiking routes, 2.5km, 7km and 11km trail. As we had a mix of adults and children it was recommended we do the 2.5km route. Before we had started off, 2.5km seemed really easy seeing as hubby and I have run 5km with our son. Running on a flat surface and hiking up and down the side of the mountain just ain’t the same thing! Listening to the comments from the parents we were not the only ones who had misjudged the hike. The 2.5km hiking route was awesome as was clear from all the screams and yelling between the kids. They loved having to climb up rocks, down tyres, crawling into caves and crossing rivers over a very wobbly suspension bridge. Here I have to add that I firmly believe that it was the parents that had more fear than the children .. just looking at how pale some parent’s faces were at this point. We ended the hike by crossing the river back to where we had started off on the hike originally by cable
car. A lot of manual labour required but clearly fun by all the screaming from the kids .. I add
that parents .. were extremely silent here. I’m going to just say it was because we were all just trying to make sure both us and the children remained safe as we crossed the river from so high up.
The route wasn’t bad at all, just became a tad challenging when the toddlers and slightly younger kids became tired and the novelty had worn off. All the earlier screams of joy and laughter were replaced by “I’m tired” , “I can’t walk and need to be carried” and in some instances crying too. Just a mere 800m from the end it was clear we were all tired and really just wanted to settle for the much-anticipated lunch at the picnic spot. The picnic area was spotless, with enough braais to go around. There’s enough space between the braai areas so that you don’t ever feel crowded. When we eventually left at around 2pm the place was buzzing.
This time round the class mom did a superb job. It was really well organized and judging from all the messages last night and this morning from the parents, everyone had a good time, alas some may have a few tender muscles today thanks to the hike!
If you’re looking for a place to get away from the malls and your usual places, Hennops Trails are a great outdoor opportunity for the family. Just be prepared to carry the toddler if you have children in that age group, if not, the older kids will love the short hiking route.
If you haven’t yet gotten dad something for Father’s Day .. this could be a great bonding session with dad and the family maybe?
Found this clip on Youtube, just to give you an idea of the place by a Mr. van ZA