The village of Kaapsehoop is like something out of a storybook. Home to ancient ruins, eerie mists, and wild horses, it’s a place shrouded in mystery. Follow the otherworldly outcrops and discover why this quiet hamlet was once known as ‘The Devil’s Office’.
GO: From Johannesburg, journey 300 kilometres to the edge of the Drakensberg escarpment. Located above the De Kaap Valley in Mpumalanga, Kaapsehoop is a refuge for wanderers.
SEE: Founded during the 1880s gold rush, this humble village grew overnight into a bustling beacon of hope. Although its fortunes soon dried up, remnants of its riches still remain. At Gold Dust Trading, discover coins stamped with historic tales, or dig up your own treasures in aisles cramped with antiques.
Among the few residents that inhabit this plateau is a herd of nomadic horses. The band is thought to be the descendants of cavalry horses from the South African War over a century ago. Today, there are more than 200 roaming the Berlin plantation and beyond.
DO: Visit the Blaauboschkraal stone ruins perched atop the escarpment, also known as Adam’s Calendar. A provincial heritage site, it has been controversially claimed to be the oldest man-made structure on Earth.
Traverse the Berlin plantation on a horse ride with Kaapsehoop Horse Trails. Led by local guide Christo Germishuys, the journey cuts through 17 000 hectares of untouched forest, providing panoramic views of the landscape.
Relish the untamed beauty of this region on foot. There are several hikes to choose from, including Starvation Creek, which takes two nights to complete. Wind through endangered cycads to the soundtrack of over 200 bird species, stopping to take a refreshing dip in the route's renowned waterfall.
As dusk settles, the night sky is punctured by a swarm of stars. The secrets of Kaapsehoop disappear into the darkness once more, waiting to be brought to light.