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Barberton Manor Guest House

'The Gem of Barberton'

4 star accommodation South Africa
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Barberton mountainland 4x4 adventures



The Barberton Mountainland with it’s many gold pioneer trails, forestry roads, waterfalls, rivers, streams, game and nature reserves, provides an ideal base to explore in a 4x4. With lots of self drive options as well as guided options, the Barberton Mountainland is sure to keep you busy and enthralled for days on end. Other activities such as gold panning, micro-light flying and hiking can also be organised.


Eureka City 4x4 Trail

You will visit the ruined city itself, with its horse racetrack, the old Victoria Hotel, the Edwin Bray tunnel and the old ox-wagon route, all the while learning more about the gold pioneering history and it’s famous characters and happenings. The tour culminates in a visit underground into the richest goldmine ever worked by man, the “Golden Quarry”. Nowhere are man’s endeavours to become rich quick as evident as in the “Golden Quarry”. This is an amazing feat of human achievement and defies description! The vast cavernous mine was entirely done by hand, more than a century ago. The Golden Quarry is considered one of the “Mining Wonders” of the world!

The tour is filled with fascinating examples and information on Barberton’s rich geological heritage. The mountainland is home to some of the oldest rocks on planet earth.These rocks are also host to the first life forms on planet earth. You will see lava flows, 3500 million year old beaches, and learn more about the earth’s birth and early history. Evidence of the largest meteorite ever to hit the earth is also contained within this area. The scenic splendour of the area is breathtaking and most of the tour is spent in the beautiful mountain land.

It is not an obstacle course, so anyone with a good suspension and some ground-clearance will be able to cope.


  Three Sisters 4x4 Trail

Depart for Lows Creek to experience magical landscapes and ancient civilizations.   The day is spent traversing a bio diverse area, with trails leading through mountains, valleys and cliffs.  Game like kudu, reedbuck klipspringer and even leopard can be encountered readily, while 15th century temples as well as ancient San dwellings are visited. 

Steeped in legend and history, the Three Sisters are three mountains situated next to each other, offering views as far as Mozambique, the Kruger National Park and Swaziland.  This is a fascinating place with trails that vary in difficulty from A grade to C grade.


Jerusalemskop 4x4 Trail
There is a short drive on a game farm in the centre of the De Kaap Valley. Should keep you busy for 3 – 4 hours with an option of “the mud pool” to test your skills and to extend the experience.

  Dunbar Valley 4x4 Trail

Unbelievable scenic beauty with majestic mountains and the Msauli River that we cross seven times awaits you.  To get to the starting point one has to travel through the picturesque town of Msauli River with it’s beautiful little church, ladies bar and golf course.

The farm Dunbar was formerly a winter sheep farm of the well-known Steyn family of Ermelo. The trail is +/- 20-km and is situated in a game reserve. 

After the ride, you can enjoy a refreshing ice-cold beer in the Msauli ladies bar, which was built with 15 tons of sleepers.

Ebutsini 4x4 Trail

This trail is accessed via the Bulembu road from Barberton to Badplaas.

Situated between the Swaziland border and Songimvelo Nature Reserve, a new community- driven project – focussing on the ever- increasing 4 x 4 market!

Within 3 hours drive from Gauteng, this is exactly what the city “slaves” are looking for. The trail takes you through an area of undiscovered scenic beauty and clear mountain streams, a mountainous area of almost pristine beauty.


Along the way, you can stop to interact with the local people in picturesque villages and kraals. The local communities are the sole beneficiaries of this tourism development of which they are extremely proud.

The Ebutsini trail is a 30-km scenic route, starting at the Ekulindeni Tourism Centre situated 50-km from Badplaas.

It takes 4 – 5 hours to complete, depending on time spent at the picnic and viewpoints.

The trail is not a 4 x 4 obstacle challenge, but is aimed at the 4 x 4 leisure market. Vehicles will not be damaged or scratched if care is taken.




Other trails

Most other drives and trails in the Barberton area are public roads. There is ample opportunities to drive around and explore the mountainlands. 
It is however advisable to go for the guided option. The guides know where the hidden scenic lookout points, waterfalls and secret turnoffs are. 
They also fill you in on the history and natural aspects of the area.

Sunset point – Waterworks – 4x4
Ashort drive off the Bulembu road, sunset point is an ideal place to view the De Kaap valley from. Just the right place for sundowners or an evening’s braai, sunset point gives you an ideal vantage point to see the sun set over the valley. The place is frequented by tourists and locals alike, and you might even run into one or two of the local characters.

From here, the road extends down to the municipal waterworks. (NB! The gate is locked you will need a guide for this section).  This is a short dead end drive, extremely steep, and slippery when wet. During or straight after rain, this road is not recommended for the faint hearted. You might get down, but you probably won’t get back up!

Mlomati Scenic Trail (Guided)
This is a beautiful drive in the Barberton Mountainlands through forestry roads, open grasslands, valleys, lakes, streams, waterfalls, indigenous forests, and stunning views over the Songimvelo Nature Reserve and Shiyalongubo dam.  At the dam, we test some 4x4 driving as we climb into the mountains to view the Swazi border and mountain landscape

Agnes - Ameide Scenic Trail (Guided)
Ashort drive up the Ameide Staircase.  A very narrow drive with sharp bends, as we ascend the mountains behind Barberton. There are beautiful views of the De Kaap Valley and the mountains beyond. Mainly forested area but the drive takes you past waterfalls and nature reserves. Proteas, aloes and other flowering plants are encountered.  Without a guide you will get horribly lost in the plantations.

Barberton – Bulembu – Badplaas (Guide Optional)
Several options are available with this drive. You can do a self drive and use the route on your return or approach to/from Johannesburg, or as a circular drive from Barberton. Using the guided option, the guide will take you down the lesser known turnoffs to view waterfalls and views, not visible from the main road.

Described by the famous travel writer T.V. Bulpin as “one of the most scenic routes in Southern Africa” the R40 Barberton – Bulembu - Badplaas road is truly magnificent in it’s splendour and the views are magnificent.  Apart from traversing the vast and scenic Barberton Mountainland, the traveller also journey’s back into time, as the Mountainland contains some of the best preserved and oldest rock-formations on planet earth.  This is an ancient landscape dating back to at least 3700 million years.  The valleys and the rocks in them are host to the first life forms to appear on the planet’s surface roughly 3400 million years ago, and can rightly be described as the “cradle of life”. Mountain streams, waterfalls, tree ferns, proteas, birds of pray, wildlife, rivers and picturesque African villages are all encountered on this trail. Stop at Badplaas and relax next to the mineral baths or grab a quick lunch and return to Barberton via Nelshoogte and the Cascades Waterfall.

Badplaas – Nelshoogte - Barberton (Guide Optional)
On the R38 to Barberton you take the Nelshoogte turnoff and return to Barberton via the dirt road that leads past the cascades waterfall. Drive through pine and eucalyptus forests for most part. You also cross the Queens river several times.

Short out-drives from Barberton to the Cascades waterfall are possible.

Shiaylongubo Dam Scenic Trail (Guide Optional)
This trail leads off the Bulembu road, and takes you down the Shiyalongubo dam road through forested areas.  7 km down from the tar, you enter Peglars bush.  This is a magnificent natural forest with the canopy closing over the road in several places.  For more than one and a half kilometres, you drive through this magical forest. The dam has beautiful setting and is the ideal place to stop and relax.

From here you continue down the steep pass down to Lows Creek to return back to Barberton. On the Guided option we take you up into the mountains beyond Shiyalongubo dam to view some spectacular scenery.  This track can be quite challenging when wet, with drivers not able to make it up during rainy conditions. At the end of the track, we take you on a short walk through pristine mountain forest with stunning yellow woods and flowering plants.


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