This fun trail has sus­pen­sion bridges and even a ca­ble­way.

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Cross a sus­pen­sion bridge and ride a ca­ble­way at Hennops Trails in Gaut­eng.

HENNOPS TRAILS, PELINDABA The Hennops River flows through the heart of Gaut­eng. It winds through suburbs and small­hold­ings and cuts across three golf cour­ses be­fore it reaches the foothills of the Ma­galies­berg. If you trace the course of the Hennops on a map, it’s al­most as if the river changes its mind when it reaches the moun­tains. Not up to the task of carv­ing through, it swerves away and joins up with the Croc­o­dile River on its way to the sea. Hennops Trails is right on the bend where the river swerves away. There are var­i­ous hik­ing, moun­tain­bik­ing and 4x4 trails, plus a pic­nic site with braai fa­cil­i­ties, an ablu­tion block and two swim­ming pools. You can buy snacks and drinks at the kiosk in the re­cep­tion area be­fore you head to­wards the river. If it’s early and you’re not prop­erly awake yet, or­der a cup of cof­fee at the cof­fee stall. You’ll walk through river­ine for­est to the river where there’s a ca­ble­way. I know you’re cu­ri­ous but carry on – we’ll get to the cable car later. There’s a fork in the road: go left to do the Dassie Trail (2,5 km) or right for the Ze­bra (5 km) and Krokodil­berg (10 km) trails. I don’t have too much time, so I opt for the Dassie Trail. The first kilo­me­tre is un­der the for­est canopy, along the banks of the Hennops River. The mur­mur of the wa­ter drowns out the sound of traf­fic on the nearby R511. Walk past the low-wa­ter bridge, which leads to the pic­nic site, and fol­low the river. Soon you’ll climb up a low, rocky hill with a nice view at the top. Look for the lad­der on the west­ern side of the hill and climb down to Hos­pi­tal Cave, which was used as a field hos­pi­tal by Boer sol­diers dur­ing the An­glo-Boer War. Fol­low the signs down to the sus­pen­sion bridge over the river. If you’re ner­vous about cross­ing, don’t be – the bridge is sturdy and has been in use since 1932. On the other side of the bridge, the path climbs into grass­land in the foothills of the Ma­galies­berg – look for jack­als, warthogs and kudu. There are two stands of trees here, about 400 m

HANG OUT (above). The sus­pen­sion bridge across the Hennops River might feel wob­bly, but hik­ers have used it to cross the river for al­most a cen­tury.

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