About Motouleng Sacred Caves

Deep in the heart of the Free State Province is where the craggy mountains and endless grasslands meet to create a place of beauty. There is a sense of ethereal mystery here, which seeps into every aspect of this countryside. And this is the breath-taking home of the ancient Motouleng Caves.

Did you know? The Motouleng Caves are perched in the exquisite countryside between Clarens and Fouriesberg, near the border of Lesotho.

These are more than just rocky caves that have the characteristic dank, cool smell. These are majestic, dramatic, and spiritually resonant. They are home to local shamans, but have become an epicentre for people of many different religions to converge, worship, and share their spiritual ideas with others.

The shamans are sangomas or traditional healers, but there are also professed healers of other denominations. This has become a significant destination for fertility pilgrimages, inviting women that are trying to fall pregnant to get spiritual healing. For this reason, they are sometimes known as the “fertility caves”.

The massive rocky overhang looms over traditional huts and tepees, made from organic materials and providing lodging to the local inhabitants and pilgrims. There is a tangible vibe here – some tend to their chickens and goats, while sangomas perform traditional rituals. Others sing and dance while offerings are made to dead ancestors.

Because this is viewed as a sacred place for the sangomas and many others, visitors should dress and act respectfully. For women, this means long skirts and reasonably covered skin. Locals have free access to the caves, while visitors should organise a tour with an official operator to get the most out of the experience.

Scenic backdrops are the order of the day here; thanks to unique mountain ranges, valleys, and luminous grasses that rise up to meet the endless skies.

Clarens is just over three hours from Johannesburg and four hours from Durban. Both of these metropolises have an international airport.

Need to Know

WhereMotouleng Sacred Caves, Outside Clarens, Thabo Mofutsanyana, Free State, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours.

OvernightStay in Clarens Accommodation, Free State

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