March 2001
An off-road route for both 4X2’s &  4X4’s.

This weekend excursion not only offers the off-road enthusiast a driving experience, but also to participate in various other activities, or just to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery of that part of our country. The route will take you to the heart of the Langeberg Mountain’s fynbos kingdom.

The Leopard Trail route is situated on the farm Sitruspoort close to Bonnievale at the foothills of the Langeberg Mountain range, halfway between Ashton and Swellendam.

Sitruspoort is a working farm with fruit and dairy farming as the main activities. The owner, Johan Kriel, is also a collector and restorer of old classic Mercedes vehicles. There are various big farm dams where visitors can test their fresh water fishing skills or just cool down during the hot summer months. Visitors are allowed to walk all over the farm. You are also invited to bring your mountain bikes along as there are quite a few farm trails to explore.

The first part of the route traverses farm land to the western boundary of the farm. From there a steep zig-zag trail leads to the first plateau from where the trail follows the contour for about 6 km towards the Nooitgedacht hut of the well known Swellendam Hiking Trail. The return journey is along the same road.

The second part of the route takes you to the eastern boundary of the farm. Both parts of the route offer vistas over the distant rolling Overberg landscape.

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Camping site: A beautiful situated campsite at the foot of the Langeberg Mountain, offering hot showers, flush toilets and a shed type communal boma.
Farm house: Fully equipped farm house with five bedrooms, two bathrooms, large kitchen and indoor braai room is available on the farm. Bedding available. Bring own towels.
Close-by accommodation: Contact the tourism offices at Swellendam (028 514 2770) or Bonnievale (023 615 1100) for info about other close-by places of accommodation.

The total distance of the off-road trail is about 30 km.
The Leopard Trail Route is about 200 km from Cape Town. Fuel is available at Ashton and Swellendam. Close to Bonnievale at the foothills of the Langeberg Mountain range, halfway between Ashton and Swellendam, with both towns being about 25 km from the trail.
From the R60 route, running between Ashton and Swellendam.
Johan Kriel tel 023 616 2482
Maart 2001

Die Leopard Trail roete lÍ op die plaas Sitruspoort by Bonnievale aan die voet van die Langeberg, halfpad tussen Ashton en Swellendam. Daar word met vrugte en melkbeeste geboer. Die eienaar, Johan Kriel, is ook ‘n versamelaar en restoureerder van klassieke Mercedes voertuie.

Daar is verskeie damme waar besoekers gedurende die warm tye kan gaan afkoel of boot ry en vis vang. Die bergpoele bied aanloklike swempoele. Gaste kan ook op die plaas rondstap. Bring gerus die fietse saam, dit is ook ‘n gewilde omgewing vir bergfietryers.

Die eerste deel van die roete gaan na die westelike grens van die plaas. Vandaar klim dit steil met ‘n kronkelpad tot in die bergdeel waar dit vir ongeveer ses km die kontoer tot digby die Nooitgedacht hut van die bekende Swellendam Voetslaanpad volg. Die terugpad volg die spoor soos jy gekom het.

Die tweede deel van die roete gaan na die oostelike grens van die plaas. Dit begin in die kampplek en loop dan al teen die voetheuwels van die Langeberg. Beide dele bied ‘n pragtige uitsig oor die Overberg se golwende landskap. Dit neem jou ook na goed bewaarde fynbosveld met ‘n groot verskeidenheid plantsoorte.

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KAMPEER FASILITEITE: Daar is ‘n netjiese kampplek met warm storte en spoeltoilette. Daar is ook ‘n groot skuur / braailapa waar ons kan saamkuier en vuur maak.
PLAASHUIS: Ten volle toegeruste plaashuis met vyf slaapkamers, twee badkamers, ‘n groot braaikamer en groot kombuis. Beddegoed ingesluit.
ANDER NYBYGELEň BLYPLEKKE: Daar is verskeie in die omgewing beskikbaar. Bel die toerismekantore by Swellendam (028 514 2770) of Bonnievale (023 615 1100).vir meer inligting.

Die totale afstand van al die Leopard Trail roetes is ongeveer 30 km.
Die Leopard Trail Roete is ongeveer 200 km vanaf Kaapstad. Die naaste petrol is op Ashton of Swellendam. Die plaas is sowat 25 km vanaf beide Ashton en Swellendam af.
Vanaf die R60 roete wat tussen Ashton en Swellendam loop.

Johan Kriel tel 023 616 2482

Leopard Trail 4X2
by Braham van Zyl

Mentioning the name Leopard Trail to outdoor enthusiasts will definitely raise a question or two in their conversations. Although it was a relatively unknown hideaway up to now, farm owner Johan Kriel ensured me that the outdoor community will have to take note of what is going to happen at the foothills of the Langeberg Mountains over the next few months.

Situated halfway between Ashton and Swellendam, Leopard Trail is a short 2 hour’s drive from Cape Town’s northern suburbs.

The EksplŰr SA 4X2 diff-lock group had their monthly outride to Leopard Trail at the beginning of March 2001. Ten vehicles and 25 passengers turned up. It was quite an historic event for our hosts, Johan and Lizette Kriel, as we were the first guests at their new campsite. They acquired the farm Daskop recently, not only to consolidate it with their own adjacent farm, Sitruspoort, but also to utilise the tourism potential of Daskop’s natural beauty.

As toerisme fasiliteit is Leopard Trail al vir ‘n paar jaar aan die gang. Dit het begin toe die Kriels ‘n groot ou plaashuis, waarin tot 18 mense kan slaap, opgeknap het en dit aan gaste begin bied het. Saam daarmee het hulle ‘n boot op die plaasdam gesit, visvangplekke by die damme ingerig, ‘n paar veldpaadjies vir veldfietse skoongekap, en ook ‘n tweespoorpad die berg uit as 4X4 roete begin bemark.

Die aankoop van Daskop open nou die geleentheid om die toerisme fasiliteite tot aan die voet van die berg uit te brei. Daar is pragtige diep klowe waar nog digte inheemse bosse is. Die kamp staan juis aan die begin van een van hierdie klowe. Johan sÍ daar gaan sommer binnekort nog ‘n paar huise ook staan. Hy het ook van die ander plaaspaadjies begin oopmaak vir meer ryplek.

Our March group’s vehicles varied from an early 60’s Series II Land Rover to a late model Mazda Drifter. Leon Viljoen of Worcester even turned up with his caravan, while all the others pitched a variety of tents. Arnold Steinman’s rooftop tent on a 4X2 confirmed that the 4X2 crowd is not far behind the 4x4’s and is soon going to outgrow its childhood stage.

The route itself was easily accessible to the 4X2’s, although the first part up the mountain involved a steep and difficult zig-zag climb. Deon Hauptfleisch, in his red Isuzu “enough X 4” diff-lock 4X2, proofed to the rest that an extra load of about 300 kg of sand ensured a positive grip with minimum wheelspin. Stuart McAllister, in his brand new Landrover 90 TDS, idling all the way up and down the mountain, frustrated some of the 4X2 drivers who, without the extra help of low range gear, needed a little bit more speed to negotiate the more difficult parts of the trail.

Jaco van Vuuren in sy Isuzu en Rian Esterhuyse in sy Nissan was nou al onderskeidelik vier en vyf maal agtereenvolgend saam met ons en begin sekerlik kwalifiseer vir ere-kleure. Rian het ook sy Nissan so effens gelig, wat miskien die begin van ‘n nuwe tendens in 4X2 geledere kan wees. Dink net hoe mooi gaan ‘n groep 4X2’s lyk wat net so hoog soos hulle 4X4 boeties loop.

Leopard Trail sal ons beslis weer sien. Daar is sommer nog heelwat roetes wat ons nie gery kon kry nie. Boonop het Johan belowe dat hy ons volgende keer die klowe wil invat om ons te gaan wys waar die geraamte van ‘n bees hoog bo in ‘n boom sit, waar ‘n luiperd die dooie dier gedurende die 1950’s ingesleep het. Hy wil ons dan sommer ook die watervalle en die diep bergpoele gaan wys wat ons hierdie keer gemis het. En, ons sal dan graag wil sien watter nuwe oorblyfasiliteite hy bygekry het.

Wie op hulle eie vir die Kriels by Leopard Trail wil gaan kuier, kan meer inligting by die akkommodasie afdeling van hierdie webwerf kry. Kyk sommer ook na die ander kuierplekke waarvan daar vertel word. Kliek hier vir die akkommodasie skakel.