Things To Do in FicksburgKututsa Hiking Trail
Where? Franshoek Farm, Ficksburg, 9730, Free State, South Africa
When? Booking is required/
How much? Price on request
More? See website
Start: the barn on Franshoek farm, eastern Free State around Ficksburg/Fouriesberg
Finish: the barn, Franshoek farm
Duration: 22 km over 2 days
Fitness: moderate to difficult
Our tip: hikers rave about the overnight camp at Kututsa Cave, where there are some of the most incredible sandstone caves in the area
The Kututsa trail meanders through a number of farms in the Witterberg Conservancy, in the heart of a sandstone gorge on the western flank of the Witterberg mountain range. This part of the Eastern Highlands is regarded as the most beautiful.
The barn, set in amongst a grove of oak and poplar trees, doubles as a crêche during the day, and provides a rather unique concept of straw for beds, which hikers find both novel and comfortable. It overlooks a polo field.
Day one 12km follows the Franshoek spruit through the poplar/acacia forest, afterwhich a steep climb past an old settlement in amongs the rocks at the top provides hikers with incredible views over the valley below. After a slight descent, one climbs again to the highest bit of the trail in amongst incredible sandstone mountains.
Katutsa Cave is a huge overhang and the farm places hay in the sleeping areas for extra comfort. There is plenty of space and two compost loos, a kettle, skottel pan and potjie pot. If you get there early enough, you can venture into the other cave in which there is a waterfall during summer. There are also fresh water rock pools just below the cave.
Day two 10 km climbs the rock face above the cave and through the Witteberg Mountains, winding through indigenous bush and crystal deposits. Throughout the trail, during which there is a fair amount of climbing, the Maluti Mountains are in the background.