Things To Do in FicksburgWaterkloof Hiking Trail
Where? Moolmanshoek Private Nature Reserve, Ficksburg, Free State
When? Booking is essential
How? Call Jacana Marketing on +27 (0)41 366-2984
How much? Price on request
Start: Langesnek hut, Moolmanshoek Nature Reserve, 45 km from Ficksburg
Finish: Langesnek hut
Duration: 22 km for 2-day option (33 km for 3-day option)
Fitness: moderate to difficult
Our tip: if you leave out the two optional detours to the tops of the mountains, the two-day hike is not too strenuous at all
Situated in the Witteberg Mountains between Ficksburg and Rosendal, the Moolmanshoek Nature Reserve offers three hiking trails – the Waterkloof, Sphinx and Langesnek. Combining the Waterkloof and Sphinx routes gives you a three-day option.
The hike traverses the slopes of the area's two most famous mountains - Visierskerf and Sikonjella's Hat. Views of these and the surrounding mountains are unbeatable, and hikers having done the trail report at the beauty of the area.
Base camp is at Langesnek hikers hut, a comfortable hiking accomodation that includes electricity, toilets, showers and even a bath. A lapa includes a fireplace, braai facilities and limited wood.
You overnight at Barolong cave, which is very basic so take a mattress and all cooking facilities with you, although there is water in cans and two long-drop toilets.
Day one's initial walk heads across grassland towards the distant mountains. The area is particularly beautiful and you will cross streams, meander through dense bush, scale sandstone and rocky outcrops and uncover hidden grottos. There is the optional, and additional, climb to the summit of Sikonjella.
Day two heads onto the slopes of Visierskerf, its basalt cliffs a tower of strength above you. There is an optional stiff climb to its summit. The return includes rock formations, pretty pools and a series of interesting flora. Highlights are the Porcupine look-out point, the high sandstone cliffs at Bobbejaanskrans and Witgatbad, one of seven pools before the hike leaves the mountains and heads back through the veld.