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Kututsa Hiking Trail

The Kututsa Hiking Trail near Ficksburg, South AfricaThe Kututsa Hiking Trail is situated on the Franshoek Farm just outside of Ficksburg in the Eastern Free State, near the border with Lesotho.

The trail is rated as moderate to difficult, but well worth the effort for the scenic beauty of the area. The trail moves up and through the sandstone mountains that back the beautiful Franshoek Valley with its free roaming herds of horses and Polo fields.

The base camp is an old barn with a view over the polo fields, and is equipped with basics, matresses and braai facilities.

Day One of the trail  is 12km and is quite steep as it heads up into the mountains but features an initial 4-5km hike through riverine forest along the line of the Franshoek mountain stream, and up to exceptional views of the Valley below. A short descent after the initial climb takes you across a road before a further ascent into the heart of the Witteberg sandstone mountains and through a variety of interesting sandstone formations and rock overhangs – some of the best the Maluti and Witteberg ranges have to offer. The rock overhangs in this part of the Free State are some of the biggest, longest and most impressive, and one of these, Kututsa Cave, serves as your overnight shelter.

Rock pools below the cave offer late afternoon swims.

Day Two is 10km and is again a steep ascent up a rock face above the cave. A feature of this part of the trail is the thick indigenous bush and quartz crystal deposits found in the mountains. The climb takes you up to a vantage point from where you can see the Maluti Mountains in Lesotho, and then back down to the Valley.

The trail can accommodate groups of up to 30 hikers.

More on the trail and to book

Getting there: Take the R26 north-east out of Ficksburg, turning left after 8km. Follow the signs from there.

More on the quaint town of Ficksburg More on the Eastern Free State area

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