Home Trails/venues Free State Camelroc
No camels but great hiking ...
Camelroc hiking trail, Fouriesberg
This gateway trail offers spectacular views of the Free State and Lesotho and is one of the best options in the sandstone mountains for beginner hikers and for family, school or church groups.
Situated near the Caledonspoort border, Camelroc is ideal for hikers or visitors to this area wanting a short stopover. It is also a perfect base for exploring Lesotho’s major tourist attractions, including the Katse Dam, the ski slopes, the mountain retreats and other tourist attractions.
Both the trails set out from a central base camp which accommodates 16 people, but bigger groups can be accommodated as there is a lovely camping area inside the old stone kraal with additional camp sites on the lush green grass.
The first day’s trail is about 9 km but one should not be fooled by the apparently short distance. The hike is full of challenges and interest, and takes rather longer than may be expected. The trail winds its way up the mountain in between poplars and clumps of indigenous bush and then underneath the sandstone overhangs for quite a distance. There are strenuous climbs up the mountain with names like “Heartbreak Hill” and “Moedbreek Hoogte” - apt descriptions! Access to the most magnificent cave, “Gods Window”, is from two different routes - catering for the bold is access via “The Ledge”, or one could use the gentler route, called the “Chicken Run”. One crosses over a dramatic, almost suspended bridge to The Camel Head, the pinnacle of the trail.
The trail continues on top of the plateau towards Caesar’s View where the Malutis come into full view, after which the route starts descending. It should be possible to spot the blesbuck in the game camp from this vantage point. The trail drops into a gorge and remains in the shade under indigenous trees high above the Caledon River. The last stretch winds its way through the poplar groves to end off at the pools in the river near to the overnight cabin.
The second day is an enjoyable combination of a mountain and a riverine trail, with a strong cultural historical influence. On this day the views into the Free State come into their own. The San paintings are reached by way of a dramatic bridge crossing the fast-flowing Little Caledon River. A strange overhang cave, called the “Grot Woning”, is a mysterious dwelling of some past inhabitants. There has been much speculation about the history of this area. This day offers lots of swimming and can be combined with tubing down the river where the owners meet up with the hikers. Day hikers are welcome by permit only. There is a very challenging 4x4 track on the farm - the 6 km distance will take at least an hour or more. Camelroc offers two well-laid-out hiking trails for the weekend hiker or day walker. It is the perfect base for venturing into Lesotho or to visit as a midway activity stop between the Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. It is an ideal way in which to discover the sandstone splendour and beauty of the Eastern Free State.
Two day trails - 9 km and 4 km.
Number of hikers:
Degree of difficulty: Easy to average
Base camp: Cabin with 4 cubicles each with 2 bunk beds, Total 16 beds/mattresses. Three 4-man tents on request and extra 12 mattresses. Lapa and 4 braais areas and a drum braai. Supply own charcoal/wood or buy from farm. Outside scullery. Cooking facilities in cabin with 1 x 3-plate gas cooker, pots, pans, 3-legged and flat-bottom potjies/pots, skottelbraai. Gas heater and coal stove for chilly nights. Ablution block: 2 flush toilets, 2 showers, 2 basins, gas geysers and solar lights. Gas lamps, candles and paraffin lamps.
Location of trail:
8 km from Fouriesburg, 230 km from Bloemfontein, 320 km from Gauteng.
Acknowledgement and bookings: Jacana