Adam’s Calendar, a series of stones believed to be the oldest man-made structure on Earth, dating back to 75,000 years old. The ancient circular monolithic stones are located on a plateau just above the town of Kaapsche Hoop, overlooking the Barberton Valley and are part of the Blue Swallow National Heritage Site. Visitors need a guide to explore the stones and learn about the history and mystery surrounding them.
Horseback riding is another popular activity at the reserve, with the BBK Horse Trails offering a variety of options for visitors. The trails are idyllically situated in the mountains and plateaus of South Africa’s Mpumalanga Province, just outside the small town of Waterval Boven. The countryside is filled with forested mountains, beautiful blooms, crags, stunning grasslands, streams, and majestic waterfalls, offering visitors a chance to explore the natural beauty of the area on horseback. The BBK Horse Trails offer a variety of options for visitors, from short one-hour rides to full-day and overnight options, tailored to accommodate riders of different abilities, and are suitable for young and not-so-young alike.
The Rocky Drift Nature Reserve is not only a haven for hikers and nature enthusiasts, but also for anglers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and experience the tranquility of freshwater fishing.
The Waterval Boven Ladies team holds titles as the overall team category winners as well as 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize champions at the South African National Ladies Championships, showcasing that fishing is not only a male-dominated activity but also a cross-gender pursuit that requires strategy and skill. The Waterval Boven Fly Fishing Association is the largest in the Mpumalanga area and offers the perfect opportunity for anglers to hone their skills in the fresh air and fresh water environment of Waterval Boven.
The reserve offers three fully-stocked dams which are open all year round for premier trout fishing, suspended in the picturesque mountain settings. The Elands River, which runs through the reserve, offers six kilometers of fishing opportunities, with nine beats, each with its unique water speed and pool variety, making it perfect for both day visitors and club members. The club’s objective is not only to improve the fishing in the Boven waters but also to preserve the sanctity of a fly-fisherman’s soul.
So pack your fishing gear, leave the office and kids behind, and head to the Rocky Drift Nature Reserve for a chance to cast your cares aside and relax in the peaceful surroundings of nature. Whether you’re an experienced angler or just looking for a leisurely day out, the reserve has something for everyone to enjoy.
Tegwaan Country Getaway
The Rocky Drift Nature Reserve offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy, one of which is hiking. Tegwaan Country Getaway, located within the reserve, is the perfect starting point for a number of beautiful hikes. Here are a few of the options available for visitors to explore:
Stone Circle Loop – Boven Vista – Valley View
This hike offers varied options, from a 3.5 km loop to a 7 km hike. Starting from Tegwaan Country Getaway, the moderate trail takes visitors out to the escarpment, passing by various stone circles and by the Rock Fairy small waterfall. There are also two view points that can be added to the main loop, which increases the distance and offers even more amazing scenery, including the valley of the giant aloes.
Rock Fairies Waterfall
This hike is a 10 km trail that starts from Tegwaan Country Getaway and heads out towards the edge of the escarpment, walking along the top until hiking down to the Rock Fairies river and then up the river to the waterfall at the bottom of Rock Fairies Gorge. The river is beautiful, and it feels almost tropical once you’re in the canyon. The waterfall, which is over 50 m tall, can only be seen by hiking in. There is also the option to hike out and be picked up at the Five Arch Bridge, but transportation arrangements would depend on the number of people.
Boven Vista to Rocky Drift
This 10 km hike takes visitors over the hill into the next valley and into the Rocky Drift Nature Reserve, where there is a riverside restaurant. The hike is intermediate – difficult with some steep areas. From Rocky Drift, there are a number of other amazing waterfall hikes available.
With so many options to choose from, the Rocky Drift Nature Reserve is a hiker’s paradise, offering visitors the opportunity to experience the beauty of the natural world while challenging themselves on the more difficult trails. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll, the reserve has something for everyone to enjoy.
The reserve also offers a variety of other activities for visitors to enjoy, including quad biking, camping and prolific bird watching, including black eagles, steppe buzzards and numerous falcons and kites. Wildlife in the reserve includes bushbuck, baboon, klipspringer, duiker, steenbok, reedbuck, monkeys, leopard, genet and rock pythons.
The surrounding area also offers many other attractions for visitors to explore. The Stone Circle Museum, created by author, scientist, and explorer Michael Tellinger, is a great stop-over for curious travellers, consisting of a small country bistro, bar, bookshop and museum. The museum aims to educate and inform the world about this ancient human heritage that can be traced back to the earliest times in human history and shine a light on the activities and harsh lives of early Homo sapiens.
Stone Circle Museum
The Rocky Drift Nature Reserve is not only known for its hiking and fishing opportunities, but also for its rich cultural heritage. The Stone Circle Museum, created by author, scientist, and explorer Michael Tellinger, offers visitors a glimpse into the history of the ancient civilization that once inhabited the area.
Located on the N4 between Nelspruit and Waterval Boven, the Stone Circle Bistro is the perfect stop-over for travelers looking for a meal and a dose of culture. The bistro, bar, bookshop, and museum are all housed in one location and aim to be a haven for new-age thinkers, where ideas can be shared and guest speakers can be invited to give talks and events.
The museum exhibits the ruins of the most mysterious and misunderstood ancient civilization on Earth, scattered throughout the mountains of Waterval Boven and Mpumalanga. The aim of the museum is to educate visitors about the ancient human heritage that can be traced back to the earliest times in human history, shedding light on the activities and harsh lives of early Homo sapiens. Visitors can see examples of the mysterious stone ruins that have puzzled historians and archaeologists for many decades.
The Stone Circle Museum is a must-see destination for anyone interested in history and ancient civilizations. It offers a unique opportunity to learn about the rich cultural heritage of the area while also enjoying a meal and a drink at the bistro. The museum is also a perfect stopover for travelers en route to other destinations.
The Rocky Drift Nature Reserve is not only known for its natural beauty and recreational activities, but also for its rich cultural heritage, which includes the ancient and mysterious Adam’s Calendar. Located on a plateau just above the town of Kaapsche Hoop, overlooking the Barberton Valley, this peaceful space is filled with open sky, incredible views, and a series of standing stones that closely resemble Stonehenge.
Adam’s Calendar is believed to be the oldest man-made structure on Earth, pre-dating any other structure found to date, at 75 000 years old. The ancient circular monolithic stones are just one of an estimated one million ancient stone ruins scattered throughout the mountains of southern Africa. The stones were discovered in 2003 by Johan Heine and Michael Tellinger, who have co-authored several books on the subject.
According to the discoverers, Adam’s Calendar is the flagship of the ruins and is still accurate as a calendar, following the shadow of the setting sun cast by the central monolith onto a flat calendar stone next to it. Aerial pictures seem to support this hypothesis.
A tour of the stones, either with Michael Tellinger or one of his guides, will take over an hour and includes a visit to the ‘workshop’ – a scattering of loose dolomite stones said to be the remains of where the stones were worked (the stones are believed to have come from a source of dolomite about 2 kms away). Visitors will also see the Stone Altar, the path of initiation that Credo Mutwa and other sangomas agree was used for ceremonies, scrutinize the valley created by a meteor below you and the two mounds thought to be pyramids. All of this is tangible evidence of consciousness among the earliest humans in what Tellinger calls the true Cradle of Humankind.
Adam’s Calendar is protected as part of the Blue Swallow National Heritage Site, and visitors will need a guide in order to explore the stones. Whatever your reaction to the claims, the tour through the stones is intriguing, the story is riveting and the views and experience are fascinating.
Another must-see attraction in the area is the Sudwala Caves, a spectacular natural wonder that offers a unique insight into the Earth’s history. The caves are some of the oldest known caves in the world and are also home to a variety of interesting rock formations, including stalactites and stalagmites.
There are a number of nature reserves in the area, including the Blue Swallow National Heritage Site, as well as hiking and cycling trails that offer visitors the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the area.
Rocky Drift Nature Reserve and the surrounding area offer a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. From hiking, fishing, and horseback riding to visiting ancient ruins, natural caves and nature reserves, there is something for everyone to discover and enjoy.