TIME TO RECONNECT WITH NATURE
At Kurisa Moya Nature Lodge, the 422 hectare farm offers five different habitats to explore. So, whether you enjoy easy walking trails through an indigenous forest, strenuous hiking trails up a 1900m mountain, a guided bird and nature walk or a self-guided trail, this nature lodge is for you. The environment is beautiful and varied. Animals, birds, mushrooms and butterflies abound and the views on the hikes are spectacular.
The various marked trails are of graded difficulty and length to suit all levels of fitness and enthusiasm. Trails are free for our guests to enjoy and we ask a donation for the upkeep of the trails from day visitors.
Time: + 45 Min
This beautiful walk follows one of the many small streams on Kurisa Moya. It winds through riverine vegetation, over small bridges and into quiet fragrant glades. There is a chance of encountering bushbuck or duiker along this trail, as well as various robins, Green Twinspot, Gorgeous Bush-Shrike and the elusive Buff-spotted Flufftail who call this area home. The moss-covered stone bench, next to the stream allows guests to soak up the tranquility of this wonderfully peaceful trail.
UMSENGE FOREST WALK
Time: + 1 Hour
This three-looped trail takes you into the spectacular, indigenous temperate rain forests of Kurisa Moya. Here you will find the champion tree – an enormous Cussonia Spicata which features in Thomas Packenham's book "In Search of Remarkable Trees" as well as ancient Yellowwoods.
This route has a truly magical feel, with the massive trees coated in moss and old man's beard hanging down from the forest canopy while the forest floor is littered with mushrooms, bract fungus and ferns. Follow these paths also used by the resident bush pigs, bushbuck and duiker and you may be lucky enough to spot some of these forest creatures.
Samango monkeys can be heard and seen foraging in the canopy while Knysna Turacos, Square-tailed Drongos, Narina Trogons, Yellow streaked Greenbuls and the rare Black fronted Bushshrike are often sighted on this awe-inspiring walk.
TRAIL OF TWO DAMS
Time: + 2 Hours
Take a walk through a variety of habitats, starting with a "tollkein-esque" riverine forest from the Farmhouse to the Badger dam, nestled in a grove of pine trees. The trail then passes through a drier bushveld type of environment and into fallow grassland, down to Dabchick dam which has a spectacular view back up towards the twin peaks of Kurisa Moya.
Vervet monkeys are often encountered on this walk and warthog can be found on the fallow grasslands near the dam. This walk offers forest, grassland and bushveld bird species as well as water birds on one magnificent walk.
KOPPIE WITH A VIEW
1) From Farmhouse back to the Farmhouse
Time: + 4 Hours
2) Drive to starting point to top of Koppie and walk from there.
Time: + 65 Mins
This trail explores the drier northern slopes of Kurisa Moya and follows the northern firebreak through a bushveld environment with breathtaking views down the Kudu's-river valley into the lowveld. This area still has kudu roaming in it and jackal or caracal may be seen by the hiker who starts out early enough.
Acacias, proteas and aloes populate these slopes which are inhabited by an incredible variety of birds. Klipspringer can be spotted on the koppie while porcupine spoor and quills are often found by the observant hiker. Flowering orchids can also found along this walk. The steep climb to the top of the Koppie reveals dramatic views to the Soutpansberg and Blouberg mountains as you sit on the very edge of the northern Drakensburg escarpment.
MAJESTIC MOUNTAIN HIKE
Time: + 3 Hours
This trail takes you to the highest point of the escarpment in the area, and as a result, offers you spectacular panoramic views. The steep climb is more than rewarded by the wonderful views back over Kurisa Moya’s indigenous forest, the Komatiland pine plantations and the lowveld stretching out below the Kudu’s River Valley. The Iron Crown mountain of Haenerstburg, as well as the Wolkburg, Blouberg and Soutpansburg mountain ranges can all be seen from this vantage point.
Jackal buzzards and Black Eagles often share these views with the hiker while Baboons and Mountain Reedbuck can be spotted on the mountain slopes. The elusive leopard also ranges over these mountains and you may be lucky enough to see some spoor from its nocturnal wanderings.
Time: 20-30 Mins
This short, scenic trail loops around the two Forest Lodge cabins into the indigenous forest. It can be strolled by the less energetic or by those who want to spend their time exploring the forest more closely.
The loop passes through afro-montane forest and forest edges which are frequented by a large variety of birds as well as troops of Samango monkeys during the day while civet, genet and porcupine start moving about around dusk.
Time: 10-15 Mins
This short loop runs close to the river-line and forest margins with thick riverine bush making it a productive habitat for many different species including Green Twinspot, Buff-spotted Flufftail, Bush Blackcap, Narina Trogon, White-starred Robin and Forest Canary. The Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk pair make a nest each year in the nearby pine trees.
This trail can be strolled by birders searching for elusive species and the not-so-energetic walker. Baboons can often be seen scuffling through the pine needles in search of mushrooms and Caracal have often been spotted along this road in the late afternoon.
MAGICAL HISTORY TOUR
Time: 2 hours
This fascinating trail takes you on a historical tour of the farm’s history from the oak lane planted by the O’Donovans in the 1930’s to the remnants of a traditional Sotho kraal and the graves of the Mabathlela family dating from the early 1920’s.
Follow the road down to the Hauter’s dam, through the oak lane along the road which led to Houtbosdorp, once a thriving centre for the woodcutters of the area. This little town was almost made the capital city instead of Pietersburg (now Polokwane). When you head up on the grasslands to the Aloe kraal and the remains of the Sotho settlement, you get great views down into the Kudu’s River Valley. You may see warthog, vervet monkeys and baboons along this stretch of the trail and as you pass the koppie, you may catch a glimpse of the elusive klipspringer or the Verreaux’s (Black) Eagles.
For those who would love to explore the 7 walking trails through 5 different habitats but would prefer to go with someone who knows the route and can tell you about the animals, birds, trees, mushrooms and butterflies you are seeing, book a guided nature walk with Kurisa Moya’s experienced bird and nature guide. Look out for the rare Samango monkeys or maybe even a Bushbuck or Caracal; have your photo taken next to the biggest Cabbage tree in the world or check out the saw pit used by the woodcutters of old. From R50.00 per person per hour.