A great hike on the doorstep of Jo'burg and Pretoria

Enjoy the incredible views on the top of the koppie (hill top).

The hike is an easy 6km hike starting at the Blockhouse Museum, going past an original 120+ year intact Blockhouse, onto the Mule Trail built by the British Army in the Anglo-Boer War to supply the Blockhouses on top of the Kalkheuwel hill tops.

Enjoy the Points of Interest along the walk, including the ruins of the original Blockhouses and the Sangers built for the gun positions.

Fascinating history while hiking. At the end of the hike, there is a wonderful restaurant serving great food and drinks.

Pet Friendly

The hike is PET FRIENDLY!


Hiking fee is R50!

Local restaurant

100% Discount off Hiking fee, if R150 or more is spend at the restaurant, per person.Read More »


The Mule Trail Hike is a relatively easy 6km circular hike which climbs to the top of the Kalkheuwel hilltops, following the 120+ year old Mule Trail up the ridge.

  • Area: Broederstroom, Hartbeespoort
  • Contact Details: 076 926 3121
  • Booking Required: No, but registration is compulsory at the venue
  • Price: R50 per person with discounts applied at restaurant
  • Payment Method: Credit card or EFT / NO CASH will be accepted
  • Pet Friendly: Yes
  • Well-marked: Yes
  • Ablution: Yes
  • Secure Parking: Yes
  • Car Access: Easy on paving – no 4×4 or SUV required
  • Other Offerings: Restaurant and Pub


Discover the rich history of the Mule Trail and Blockhouse.

Who built the Mule Trail and when?

The British Army built the Mule Trail in 1900 during the Anglo-Boer War.

Why was it built?

The Mule Trail was built to carry supplies up to the soldiers stationed at the Blockhouse on the hilltop.

What is a Blockhouse?

A Blockhouse is basically a small fortress which is sited to protect something of importance from enemy attack. It is a building from which the soldiers who live in it, can fight from, and defend both the place they are guarding, and themselves from being shot or blown up.

Why did the British build the Blockhouse here?

After the British loss at the Battle of Kalkhuewel in June 1900 and the Boers retreated from the hilltop, the British realised that the three hilltops and ridge of Kalkhuewel were strategically important to protect as the Kalkhuewel Pass was the closest pass through the mountains connecting Johannesburg to Pretoria via a western route.

During the early stages of the Anglo-Boer War “The Blockhouses” when the Boer Forces had artillery, blockhouses were constructed from stone, quarried, and carved by stone masons, and were imposing structures. Once the British occupied Johannesburg and Pretoria, it was predicted the war would be over, however the Boer Forces continued for another 16 months with a mobile guerrilla campaign. Initially an effective train wrecking tactic was used on the Pretoria to Komatipoort rail line, which forced the need for smaller, cheaper, and quicker to build blockhouses.

Major Spring Rice, a British engineer officer based in Middelburg designed a blockhouse made partly from veld stone and curved corrugated iron sheeting ‘sandwich’ packed with shingle for protection against the formidable Boer Mauser rifle. At this stage of the war the Boer Forces had no artillery pieces, so the blockhouses could be much more lightly protected. They cost about 60 pounds to build, and the garrison was only 7 soldiers which was usually supplemented with 2-4 African guards for sentry duty at night.

These smaller “Rice Patter Blockhouses” were mass produced in seven Royal Engineer factories scattered across South Africa, with most of the raw material imported from Britain. Each factory mass produced around 50 per week and sent them as ‘flat-pack’ kits on trains and ox-wagons to their point of construction.

The British built three Rice Pattern Blockhouses on the Kalkhuewel hilltops – the main Blockhouse compound on this hilltop (Blockhouse 1) and a two additional smaller Blockhouses on the adjacent two hilltops (Blockhouse 2 and 3).

The Battle of Kalkhuewel

3 June 1900

Lieutenant General John French of the British Empire led a cavalry of 4500 horsemen along the narrow Kalkheuwel Pass (now the R512) advancing West and North to occupy Pretoria.

The Boers needed time to save their guns and wagons from capture.

On this hilltop, under the command of General Sarel du Toit, a commando of Boers ambushed the British column.

The narrow pass prevented the British guns and reinforcements from moving to the Front Line.

The Battle lasted all night and before dawn the Boers retreated having saved their guns and wagons.

South African War 1899 – 1902


Don't hike alone

A party size of four is recommended and if you’re travelling alone, hike with a guide. Don’t split up—rather take the pace of the slowest member.

Be prepared

Take enough water (at least a 1.5L bottle or two per person) and wear sunblock, proper hiking shoes, and a hat. Check that the weather is hike-friendly the night before and take a warm jacket for mountain hikes as conditions can change rapidly.

Tell somebody and plan ahead

Always inform someone at your hotel or in your family of your intended route and your expected time of return. Check a map of your hike before setting off so you are sure where you need to go. Always take the well-trodden path and look out for signs to verify you’re on the right track.

Know what to do in an emergency

In the event of injury or other serious trouble stay in one place and find shelter. Do not move the injured person unless they are in a dangerous position. Do not leave the injured person alone—if possible send two people for help, while one person stays behind. Make a detailed note of where the injured person is, and look out for landmarks to navigate back to the spot.

In the event of snakebite, immobilise the person and lay them flat on their back. Do not give them food or water. Get help and keep the victim very calm—shock and adrenaline is a major factor in the progression of snake bite symptoms.

Be responsible

Please don’t litter, feed any animals, or disturb the wildlife on your hike. Be considerate of others and don’t play loud music. Smoking or lighting any kind of fire endangers the area and should be avoided.

Emergency contact

Save the following numbers to your phone, in case of emergencies:

073 293 4488 / 076 926 3121


+27 60 455 5032


Open Saturday & Sunday - 7:30am to 5pm

K40, R512 Pelindaba Rd, Hartbeespoort, Broederstroom

We are here to help. Please let us know if you have any questions, or if you would like to pre-book your hike with us. Corporates, Families, Individuals and Pets welcome.



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