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Lammergeier Highlands Reserve - 4x4 Trails - Eastern Cape Accommodation - Central South Africa Portfolio
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Lammergeier Highlands Reserve

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The Lammergeier Private Nature Reserve accommodation and adventure trails are situated near the southeastern part of the Drakensberg, commonly known as the Witteberg. We are situated between Lady Grey and Barkly East in the Eastern Cape and cover an area of some 25000hectares. Ranging in altitude from 1500m, our lowest riverbed, to 2750m, which is the highest mountain peak on the reserve called Snowdon, with spectacular views from the mountain peaks and in the valley gorges. On arrival our guests are greeted at Reception and provided with map and necessary information for their activities or are escorted to their ‘home’. Certain hiking trails are marked while others are GPS orientated. These run through kloofs, river crossings, up on the plateaus and up onto mountain ridges with beautiful scenery. The Karringmelkspruit affords plenty of opportunities to enjoy the sparkling waters – some 13 km of pristine wild trout waters and in summer we wait for the rains, so that the long waited tubing ‘games’ can begin. We regularly see sightings of the Lammergeier, Cape Vulture and Black Eagle as well as many other bird varieties too numerous to mention. A longstanding policy of organic farming has been followed, where no pesticides and herbicides are used, which has increased the bird and wildlife dramatically. The Isted family has been awarded the Prestigious Grasslands Society of South Africa “Conservation Farmer of the Year “ Award for 1997.


Woodlands Cottage

This quaint little sandstone cottage is situated a stones throw away from the Karringmelkspruit Stream renowned by Flyfisherman for its spirited wildtrout and shy yellow fish.

Woodlands is a fully equipped, self-catering cottage for up to 4 adults and 2 kids.

Summer views offers the splendor of cascading waterfalls and lush green mountain sides in contrast to the magnificent autumn colors & winter reds which offer picture perfect night skies and picturesque snow capped mountain peaks.

This friendly little cottage promises not only a snug and warm nights rest but also the tranquility and heart felt spirit of true South African hospitality.

Woodlands cottage - a perfect hide out for your next getaway or family holiday.


- Main Bedroom ( Double Bed )

- Attic Room ( Two single Beds )

- Double bunk ( Kids )

- Open plan kitchen, lounge area

- Outside braai / barbecue

- Microwave

- Inside fireplace

- Fridge/Freezer

- Cutlery/Crockery provided

- Linen and towels provided

- Tea / coffee making facilities

- Parking

- private entrance

- Firewood available for purchase

What to bring:

- All food & Drinks

- Swimming towels (Summer)

- Sunglasses/Hats

- Sunscreen (a must-winter & summer)

- Binoculars

- Warm weather clothing & Jackets

- Camera

Ossa Guesthouse

Ossa Guesthouse is a big rambling farmhouse in a lovely garden and a beautiful setting. Ossa can accommodate up to 12 guests sharing. This venue is ideally suited for families who love the outdoors – 6 bedrooms, two bathrooms, a huge kitchen with an AGA stove, fridge freezer, microwave and small electric appliances are available. The big dining room and huge lounge both have solid fuel heaters to ward off the winter cold. An outdoor braai facility in the quad provides for many an enjoyable evening.

Our newly built boma provides the ideal environment from social gatherings to corporate brainstorming session.

Enjoy fully catered (By special arrangement for group packages) or self catering depending on preference.

From magnificent mountain views from the comfort of your sofa to the warm hospitality of your hosts, the Isted Family, you can be assured of an enjoyable and hospitable breakaway.

Whether it’s a family breakaway, a group of friends or a corporate getaway, Ossa Guesthouse is sure to fulfill all your needs.

Ossa Guesthouse is within close proximity to facilities such as marked hiking trails, birding, 4X4 trails or just a relaxing picnic along the beautiful trout stream, the Karringmelkspruit.

So sit back, relax, enjoy the tranquility and warm heart of Southern Africa’s best kept secret…


- 6 Bedrooms ( Sleeps 12 sharing )

- Open plan kitchen, lounge area

- Outside braai / barbecue

- Outside Boma a braai area

- Wall heaters & Electric blankets in all rooms

- Microwave

- Inside fireplace

- Fridge/Freezer

- Cutlery/Crockery provided

- Linen and towels provided

- Tea / coffee making facilities

- Parking

- Servicing of units depending on options chosen

- Self catering facilities

- Volleyball court

- Table tennis

- Darts

What to bring:

- All food & Drinks (Self catering only)

- Swimming towels (Summer)

- Sunglasses/Hats

- Sunscreen (a must - winter & summer)

- Binoculars

- Warm weather clothing & Jackets

- Camera

- Sense of humor :-)

Mtombo Hiking Hut

Mtombo Hiking Hut (Grading-Basic) sleeps 15 people comfortably. These facilities have got bunk beds, electricity, a Dover wood stove, outside braai facility, flush toilets and hot water showers. This is a beautiful place to enjoy the stars at night.

Horse Riding

Horse Back Riding

“ The sound of horses hooves drum through my head and then silence…”

Lammergeier offers horse trails varying from half day rides and longer depending on experience and fitness. An ideal way to take in the breathtaking scenery and surroundings. Several healthy, strong farm horses are available to be ridden. Tack supplied but please bring your own hard hats & riding gear).

The trails are customized according to your requirements. See Packages for further details

Water Activities

White Water Tubing is sure to get the ADRENILIN RACING!!! (in season)

Equipped with life jackets and helmets, our guests brave the rushing waters.

Calming their nerves after all the excitement with rusks and hot chocolate – what a life!!

For a more relaxed and placid experience spend the day at the river with the family.

Different picnic spots with braai facilities are available.

Lammergeier Private Nature Reserve thanks you for taking only photos and leaving only footprints, ensuring that the environment remains as nature intended it to be-Pristine and beautiful..

Good food, great company and beautiful surroundings, could life get any better!

Hiking Trails

Nature Trails

Black Eagle Trails

From: Mtombo hut to: Olympus hut

Distance: 11km

Approximate duration: 4-6 hours

Conditions: Comfortable walk with a few steep sections.

The walk: Down Tempe Valley, down into the Karringmelkspruit valley past Black Eagle & Hammerkop nests. Enjoy a slide at the Slidey pool idyllic swimming & picnic spots. 4-5 River crossings, spectacular views of the Olympus gorge. Focus is on enjoying the river!

Witteberg Skywalk

From: Olympus hut To: Top of mountain

Distance: circular 12km walk

Approximate duration: 5-6 hours

Conditions: Tough, very steep, rugged

The walk: Magnificent rugged scenery as you overlook the Transkei & Lesotho. Can combine it with the Cheese factory trail to Pelion (8-9 hour walk). Keep look out for the Cape Vultures & Lammergeier, as well as the Grey & Red Rhebuck.

1. A tough 22km walk to Snowdon peak for the experienced hiker! Camp out (no facilities) but spectacular views at just on 9000 feet above sea level. Wild flowers magnificent. Lammergeier & Cape Vulture on route. Wilderness walk for only the fittest!

2. Return to Upper Pelion house via the waterfalls, spectacular wilderness walks. 6-8 hours.

Cheese Factory Trail

From: Olympus hut To: Pelion House

Distance: Approximate duration: 5-6 hours

Conditions: Fair

The walk: Along krantzes through the river valley up to Pelion House. Pass by the old Cheese factory ruin. (If only doing the Cheese factory route to Pelion, detour to the old water wheel, two river crossings further down the river). Swim in the deep pool below the Water wheel ruin. Stop at the old stone sheep dip en route back to the factory. Walk up the valley, in the Five Oaks riverbed to the Roman Baths, ideal for a skinny dip before arriving at Pelion!

Snowdown Trail

Snowdon Trail is for the experienced hiker. It is a tough 22km, unmarked walk to Snowdon Peak - having to camp out with no facilities. The top has absolutely spectacular views at just on 9000 ft above sea level. Wild flowers abound in this environment. We often see the Lammergeier on this route. It is a good 10-12 hours walk. You return, absolutely exhausted, to Upper Pelion house via the waterfalls.

A spectacular wilderness walk!

Table Mountain Trail

From: Pelion House to: Tempevale Valley

Approximate duration: 5-6 hours

Conditions: Fair to steep mountain ascents.

The walk: Leave Pelion House, walk along the road, through Five Oaks veld along the ridge passed the poplar bushes, down into the Keiskama valley. Cross the stream at the picnic kloof, head up the gorge along the plateau for Table Mountain at 8200 feet a spectacular view... Spend time listening & watching for the baboons, Cape Vulture & Lammergeier plus the other raptors abound. Walk down the west side of the mountain down into the Tempevale valley, back up to reception where you would have left your vehicle.

Alternatively you could take the lower path below Table Mountain past the Bongola Dam , over the neck & into Tempevale valley back to reception.

Pelion Valley Walk

From: Pelion House to: Exploring area

Approximate duration: As long or short as you want!

Conditions: Fair with gradual incline

Why so special: The farm Upper Pelion is a Natural Heritage site, one of only 80 in South Africa!

It is a very sensitive catchment area. Mon-tane bush & grassland is a refuge for many bird species... The wildflowers in spring & autumn are a sight to behold, Mountain bamboo abounds. In February/March the Nerinas are an unforgettable sight as they stretch right up from the streambed onto the top of the krantzes at the main waterfall. The Dolos dobo lily hides away in the shady wooded area, and Forget-me-nots carpet the valley beneath the knar led old Ouhout trees. There is also a rare succulent above the waterfall. A Herbarium of the Wildflowers is being established with photographic records. Rhodes University are involved in the identification programme as several flowers have been sighted which have not been documented as yet!

THE ACTUAL WALK will head you out from Pelion House & up the valley for a lovely walk along the stream bed (montane bush with lots of bird life, wildflowers usually in abundance after spring rains right through into the autumn). Stop off for a swim in any one of the many waterfall pools, explore the hidden waterfalls & look for unusual flowers in the wooded area near them. Hike up to the main waterfall in the riverbed - stops are a MUST here... This 45m fall freezes 250mm thick during winter! Alternatively, take the rocky footpath up to the top of the waterfall, & back to the hidden falls & main stream junction, taking in the scenery on the way back to the Pelion House.

Off road Trails

Mountain Biking

Lammergeier invites you to try your skills at technical trails ranging between 5 and 25 km trails. Maps are available for the serious explorer.

The trails range from cattle tracks, to 4x4 roads - through water, valleys and up mountain peaks. Test your endurance at 2 700m, train at this altitude and the Cape Argus won’t even be a challenge!!

For the relaxed individual, farm roads allow you to meander at your own pace for more relaxing exercise. (Own bikes required)

Different accommodation facilities are available for the mountain biker, from self-catering hiking facilities to self-catering cottages.

Quad Biking

Lammergeier Adventure trails cover some of the most scenic riding terrain in South Africa. Trails range from 1500m to 2800m in altitude over an area of about 50 000hectares of riding terrain through the reserve and surrounding Transkei area.

Weekend trails or day trails are arranged according to riders skill levels and length of stay. Guests have the option of guided trails or family outings depending on preference.

Summer offers plenty of river crossings so whenever you are feeling a bit hot or tired, a swim in the river works wonders...

Winter on the other hand might see you riding amongst spectacular iced waterfalls and snow ladden mountain sides - a definate must for the keen photographer and outdoor adventurer !

One can do up to 50-60km per day... !! Guaranteeing a good nights rest !

Half day, full day and packaged trails are available to all of our guests on the reserve.

Join in the fun! This is a wonderful way to explore nature.

For those who enjoy roughing it can test their skills on a mini enduro motocross track adjascent to the guesthouse where guests stay. Kids can enjoy themself under a watchfull eye...

A definate must when visiting Lammergeier, so bring your bike or quad and come explore the mountains with us

4x4 Trails

“ Its not just another destination, it’s another world…”

Lammergeier Adventure Trails invites you to escape into a world of adventure – test your skills against the natural elements.

The beginning of a new world takes you from the depths of the valleys to the top of mountains leaving you overlooking the landscapes at a breathtaking 2 750m above sea level

Rocks, water, valleys and mountains – let us take you to where the eagles soar!



Lammergeier Highlands Reserve - 4x4 Trails - Eastern Cape Accommodation