On this 6-day hike you walk in the Karoo's own canyon, the Buffels River, as it meanders through desolate yet unique terrain in the Moordenaarskaroo. Experience the fauna, flora, geology and history of this unspoilt area.
The hike starts at 700m above sea level outside Laingsburg and ends at 1712m on top of the Komsberg south of Sutherland with views as far as the Cederberg and Klein Roggeveld. The hike averages 16km/day in the (mostly) dry riverbed with a total distance of around 94km..
The trail traverses the Moordenaarskaroo, between Laingsburg and Sutherland.
Nearest town to start: Laingsburg
Nearest town to finish: Sutherland
Self-drive or shuttle to Laingsburg; transport provided from Laingsburg to starting point on Day 1 and back to Laingsburg on Day 7.
Trip Duration / Options
6 days of hiking and 6 nights on the trail. Finish on day 7.
Start / Finish
Start: Meet in Laingsburg, start 17 km outside Laingsburg on the Laingsburg-Sutherland gravel road.
Finish: Komsberg, Moordenaars Karoo, South of Sutherland
Daily Time / Distances
Day 1: 12,6km Day 2: 16km Day 3: 17km
Day 4: 15.2km Day 5: 21.4km Day 6: 12km
On a grading of Easy – Moderate – Strenuous
Moderate to strenuous and challenging; some long days with little shade; no real steep sections apart from the last day ascending the Komsberg on a jeep track. Dry riverbed, hard and soft sand, boulders and rocks with occasional streams and/pools.
A very good degree of overall hiking fitness is required
Technical detail / Terrain
Varying terrain: riverbed with hard and soft sand, rock slabs, boulders and uneven surfaces. No climbing; jeep track uphill and downhill on the last day
Camping in tents; camp set up by support team; shower tents and hot water; bush toilets.
Food Supply / Catering
This is a fully catered trail with lunch packs provided on all hiking days; dinner, breakfast and hot beverages supplied. Hikers bring own snacks for during the hike at daytime and their own drinks. Drinking water is supplied.
Logistic support / Guiding
Hikers only carry a day pack with snacks and drinks. All other camping gear and belongings are transported daily to the next overnight spot.
On this 6-day hike you walk in the Karoo's own canyon, the Buffels River, as it meanders through desolate yet unique terrain in the Moordenaarskaroo. Experience the fauna, flora, geology and history of this unspoilt Karoo 'basin', as a small exclusive group. Magnificent sandstone and slate cliffs, black eagles, rock art and ruins.
This hike is a truly unique experience of the ruggedness and isolation of nature, providing time and space for reflection and connection.
Visit Sutherland and SALT before or after the hike; Matjiesfontein Village
Fauna & Flora
Karoo dwarf shrubland; semi-arid succulent Karoo, dry veld with Acacias in riverbed, aloes, various shrubs and bulbous plants. Breeding black eagle pairs; rock hyraxes. Kudu, small antelope, small mammals, shy nocturnal animals. Abundant birdlife.
Region between winter and summer rainfall. Cool to warm days during Spring and Autumn, but cool nights. Extreme heat and cold during the height of summer and winter.
Seasonality & Best Time Year
Spring and autumn are moderate; temperatures can rise up to 25-30 degrees, but mostly pleasant. Cool to warm nights.
Minimum and maximum number of people: 20
2020: R4800 pp
2021: R5500 pp
Optional Extras: Transport from Laingsburg and back.
All meals included. Lunch provided.
Luggage transfer and camp set-up by support team (hikers pitch their own tents)
Here you'll find any scheduled trails that you can join. Trails may be booked up to one year in advance, so be sure to scroll ahead using the arrows on the left to find if there are any available. The trail operator page will also list any scheduled trails.
If you would like to enquire about different dates, please fill in the form below. Trails are initiated when someone makes an enquiry, and go ahead once the minimum numbers are confirmed.
Scheduled Buffelsrivier Trails
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