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Maluti Cave Hiking Trail, North Eastern Free State

Maluti Cave Hiking Trail, North Eastern Free State, South AfricaThe Maluti Cave Hiking Trail in the Eastern Free State is nothing short of fantastic. The trail traverses mountain terrain filled with sandstone caves, magnificent gorges, high jagged cliffs (kranse), deep forested valleys, mountain streams and waterfalls.

The trail follows the Mont-Aux-Sources escarpment with incredible views into Lesotho and the Northern Natal Drakensburg with its dramatic and steep mountains, the route moving from cave to cave – many of which contain some of the finest examples of San Rock Art found in South Africa, and some of which are still used by local Sotho Sangomas and/or considered sacred spaces.

Base Camp is the Tseki Hut in Phuthaditjaba (Witsieshoek). The hut is situated in public land, but you can leave your cars here as there is a guard on duty 24/7.
Tseki will be your last contact with ‘civilisation’ before you head into ‘off the grid’ no road access mountain wilderness bordering Lesotho and the Natal Drakensburg, so be sure that you have everything you need for the next three days of hiking, including GPS, warm clothing for cold nights and sudden weather changes, lights, flash-lights, plenty of bottled water*, sunscreen and a Sotho Guide for Day 2 of the trail**. You don’t want to get lost here – even while the awe-inspiring vastness you will be hiking through is what makes this trail so special.

There are two overnight huts deep in the mountains at Mkhondo and Matsieng. Both are fairly new and modern and kitted out with have solar power, but besides that amenities are basic.

The Maluti Cave Hiking Trail is rated moderate to difficult, and requires a good level of fitness. Detailed trail maps will be provided on booking. There are several route options between the huts and a 2 day trail is also available.

For more trail info and to book: 0861 5222 62 or

Getting there: Phuthaditjaba (Witsieshoek) is situated east of the Golden Gate National Park. From JHB or Durban, take the N3 to Harrismith, then take the R712 south past the Sterkfontein Dam. From Clarens take the R712 east through Golden Gate.

* There are mountains streams and a river on the trail, but the water is not always potable due to extensive grazing by cows.
** Day 2 of the Trail will take you to the Phororo Viewpoint on the Lesotho border, where you will see the magnificent Malutsenyane Waterfall. Well worth it, but a guide is essential and you need to be prepared for climbing, sudden weather changes and cloud mist.

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

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