About Maloti Route 26

The Maloti Route covers the distance between Rouxville and Fouriesburg in the Eastern Free State; a self-drive tarred road that hugs the Maluti Mountains - a series of sandstone cliffs that form the border between the Free State and Lesotho.

Did you know? This 300 km stretch is one of the most scenic drives in the country.

Named for the major feature of the route, the Maluti Mountains form the backdrop, their shifting shapes changing with the time of day and season; a constant companion along Route 26.

There is lack of consensus as to the 'official' length of the route. Some say the route links Ladybrand, in the east, to Rouxville, in the west. Others lament that to stop there is to exclude the delightful towns of Ficksburg, Clocolan, Fouriesburg and Clarens.

An alternative is to follow Route 26 as far as Ficksburg, from Rouxville, and then add the diversion up the R70 to the little artist's retreat of Rosendal – a popular weekend retreat for Gautengers.

Certainly, if you use Route 26 as your guide then you could follow it all the way to Fouriesburg continuing on Route 711 to Clarens, and Route 712 to the Golden Gate Highlands National Park with Phuthaditjhaba as the route's easternmost boundary.

Rouxville, Zastron, Wepener, Ladybrand, Clocolan, Ficksburg, Fouriesburg and Clarens – each of these little towns has a character of its own – particularly the less-frequented towns to the south west, where they are less-geared to tourists than those to the east of the route.

Highlights include: the vulture colony in Zastron, Wepener's Sorrow Mountain on the border with Lesotho, Ficksburg's cherry festival, hiking trails in and around the farms of the area, and Fouriesburg's sandstone cottages (a lovely alternative to Clarens).

Check the condition of Route 26 ahead of driving as, whilst tarred, you could experience potholes and road repairs. To drive the route comfortably, set aside three days with overnights in towns of your choice.

Need to Know

WhereMaloti Route 26, 300km Drive between Rouxville and Fouriesburg, Eastern Free State, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours.

OvernightStay in Fouriesburg Accommodation, Free State

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