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Unique sandstone caves ...
Kututsa hiking trail, Ficksburg
The overnight camp of this trail has possibly the most unique sandstone caves in the whole of the Eastern Highlands. The cave area was obviously used by many generations of area residents and has carried the name “Kututsa” throughout history.
The Kututsa Trail crosses several farms in the Witterberg Conservancy. The trail lies in a sandstone mountainous gorge in the western side of the Witterberg mountain range and has views of the Maluti Mountains in sight. This area is renowned as one of the most picturesque in the Eastern Highlands.
The trail is designed to emphasize the diversity flora (even the Cape Holly is found here) and the geological formations of the Eastern Free State. Game that may be seen are fallow deer, duiker, steenbuck, grey and red mountain reedbuck, and warthogs. A good selection of bird-life is found, with black eagles nesting in the area. The only spotting and tagging of a Bush black-cap in the Free State was recorded at the Kututsa.
The trail commences at the barn, which is set in amongst a grove of old majestic oak trees and shady poplars, overlooking the polo field. It follows the Franshoek spruit through a poplar/acacia forest for 4 to 5 kms. One then climbs up to a panoramic view of the area, passing an old settlement amongst the rocks at the top. The remaining hiking on day one ends at the Kututsa Cave. Arriving here early allows time to venture off to the second cave where there is a waterfall in rainy seasons. Just 100 meters below the cave are fresh water rock pools where one can cool off and relax under the shade of the indigenous trees.
At the start of the 2nd day trail the hiker climbs up the plateau amongst a scattering of semiprecious stones. Throughout this day’s walk, one would have as a backdrop the picturesque Maluti Mountains.
Maximum number hikers: 30
Length/Duration: 22km. First day 12km. Second day 10km.
Degree of Difficulty: Average to difficult
Base camp: Barn with hay mattresses. Hikers are welcome to pitch their own tents. Ablution facilities: two bathrooms with showers and toilets. Hot water/shower upon request. Two braai areas. Gas braai available in rain.
Overhang cave: Dividing wind shelters with hay on floor for sleeping, one pit toilet, drum water, braai facilities, grid and wood. Fresh fountain water available at 2nd cave. Kettle, skottelpan + 3x3-legged potjie.
Location of Trail :
23 km from Ficksburg, 350 km from Gauteng, 240 km from Bloemfontein
Acknowledgement and bookings: Jacana