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Five adventure activities in one ...
Langberg hiking trail, Vrede/Memel
It is not often that one finds five adventure activities offered on one farm, but at Koefontein farm within the imposing Langberg.
Adventurers seeking hiking, mountain biking, abseiling, rock climbing and caving will all have the thrill of finding their sport. All these adventure sports can be combined, from an easy hiking trail to clambering about the huge sandstone boulders that have fallen away from the krantz ledges.
There are two hiking trails that set out from the old Horse Stable – one mountain route and a wetlands route with an abundance of birdlife.
The mountain trails both traverse the Langberg. The first day takes one through two kloof or ravine areas where indigenous trees, shrubs and flowers thrive. The trail follows the contours of the mountain but alternates from walking either below or on top of the massive sandstone kranz ledges. The second day takes one past the waenhuis (coach house) - a huge cave in the mountain in which it is alleged that Boer women and children hid for the duration of the Anglo Boer war with all their furniture and belongings. Continuing a little further, one reaches a cave to enthral all cavers - it is a maze of different routes and legend has it that it goes right through the Langberg!
The section to the top of the Langberg is definitely 4x4 and mountain biking terrain and not for the unfit biker. Rock climbers and abseilers will have the time of their lives with 38 routes all equipped with bolts where they can test their skill against the rocks, with a difficulty grading between 14 and 29.
Due to its high rainfall, this area is rich in plant, bird and wild life. The several dams offer an ideal habitat for many birds found in the wetland regions. Apart from the big poplar grove half-way up the mountain, all the other trees found here are indigenous. The flora is very similar to that of the Drakensberg ecology, and the geological formations are mostly sandstone.
The Horse Stable camp consists of a historical double-storey building dating from the early 1900s. It has electricity, a big lounge/dining/pub area and a welcoming fireplace, with sleeping quarters upstairs. The kitchen and ablution block adjoins the braai area. A thatched enclosed lapa is the perfect setting for team-building exercises. Alternatively, the whole family can enjoy an active period of quality time here. The Langberg trail is ideal for the beginner hiker and is particularly suited to school groups, Scouts or other groups wishing to combine some of these adventures or to spend the weekend in a beautiful Free State farm environment.
Langberg hiking trail: Maximum number of hikers/adventurers: 20
Length/Duration: Two day hikes of approximately 14 km and 8 km
Degree of difficulty: Easy
The Horse Stable: Lounge/dining/pub area downstairs, with fireplace and fridge. Electricity. Upstairs: 1 room with 18 beds/20 mattresses. Equipped kitchen with gas griller, pots, pans, potjies and kettles. Wood available for campfires. Bring your own charcoal. Ablutions: 2 showers, toilets and basins.
Caution – sandstone is slippery in wet weather conditions.
Location of trail
15 km from Vrede, 200 km from Gauteng, 400 km from Bloemfontein.
Acknowledgement and bookings: Jacana