Ficksburg

Looking out towards the highest mountain in the Free State, the majestic Visierskerf is this guest house and conference centre. Built from the local sandstone the building overlooks a dam and wetland area which hosts several water birds. Moolmanshoek is a proclaimed Game Reserve and natural heritage site (nr.199.)  This Heritage site is renowned as the mecca of trails in the Free State, having offered the Waterkloof, Sphinx, Langesnek the Visierskerf 4x4 Eco trail and the new 7 km Serengeti over the last 14 years. Accommodation in the Guest lodge offer ultra luxury accommodation for all hikers and off road enthusiasts.  The guest house is under the management of the best young cordon bleu chefs in the country and is renowned as  one of the best country restaurants in South Africa. Activities offered are plentiful from hiking, horse riding, mountain biking opportunities, fishing, bird watching, farm activities and abseiling. There are eleven bedrooms en suite each named after the owners and mountains of this Private Game Reserve. Guest will enjoy the comfort of a library, sun deck and two lounges as well as a pool table. Winter evenings can be spent around a cozy fireplace in the lounge and some bedrooms. Moolmanshoek also has a spacious hall where conferences, country weddings, agricultural auctions or other functions can be enjoyed. A beautiful chapel adjoins the hall for that special wedding.  The classic interiors complement the ambience of this magnificent sandstone paradise in the Eastern Free State.

 

Suite type

 

Suite no

Honeymoon Suite                

Queen

8

Balcony Suite                      

Queen

4

Stoep & Fireplace                

Queen

3

Stoep & Fireplace                

Twin beds

1,2

Courtyard Suite                    

Queen

11

Courtyard Suite                     

Twin beds

9,10

Stoep                                     

Twin beds

5,6,7

Stoep

Twin beds

12

Mews

Queen

13

Mews

Queen

14

Mews- Family room

Queen

15

Mews- Children only

Twin beds

15

 

EXTRAS IN ROOMS: Hair dryers, writing desk, coffee/tea facilities

 

Activities:

 

Game Drives:

Accompanied by guides, guests are likely to encounter the following wildlife at close range in our mini Serengeti. Black Wildebeest, Zebra, Springbuck, Bless Buck, Mountain Reedbuck, Steen Buck, Duiker, Fellow Deer, Red Hartebeest, Eland, Oryx, and Ostrich.Game drive

 

Night game Drive:

Under the beautiful Free State night sky you can experience the nightlife on the reserve such as Porcupine, Hare, Spring hare and Jackal etc. (Min of 4 people, 1-2 hours)

Hiking trails:

There are 2 hiking trails covering a total distance of 52 km in the reserve, all starting and finishing at the Langesnek Hikers’ House. These trails have been well planned to show hikers all the beauty and variety of the area.

  • Waterkloof Trail:
    • 2 days or 3 days with basic overnight facilities for 20 hikers. Grading: Average
  • Sphinx Trail:
    • 2 day trail with comfortable overnight facilities for 20 hikers. Grading: Average to somewhat easy.

 

Day walks:

There are a number of marked short trails (day walks) in the reserve, mostly starting out from the Lodge. You can also take a 'kierie' and do a leisurely stroll on the vehicle tracks to view the abundant game in the “Serengeti” area. If you are more adventurous and fit, you can take on something more ambitious and climb one of the peaks in the reserve.

  • Langesnek Day Trail:
    • A shorter and longer option for day hikers. Very good facilities at Langesnek Hikers’ House. Grading: Easy to average.
  • Aunt Mitchell’s High Tea Overhang:
    • Walk to the sandstone overhang (with a stunning view) that was used as a regular “high tea” spot many years ago.
  • The Five Dams walk:
    • Take an easy stroll through poplar groves, past five dams and enjoy the scenery and bird life near the lodge.
  • Sandstone Gorge:
    • Take a longer walk to the Waterkloof ravine and enjoy the mountain streams and waterfalls of this beautiful gorge.
  • Peak climbing:
    • Put on your boots and tackle one of the high peaks in the reserve, like Visierskerf (2407m), Sekonyella’s Hat (2312m) or the Pyramid (2167m) for a view you will remember!  

Meerkat experience:

Moolmanshoek is one of the few places in southern Africa where guests can experience wild meerkats (suricate) habituated to human presence in nature. The intricacies of the meerkat social system and their interaction with their surroundings are enchanting. Most people, including children, are left in awe after spending an hour or two with them. Moolmanshoek is the first place where wild meerkats have been observed in the snow. Besides tourism, the objectives of the meerkat project are research and conservation.  

Fly-fishing and fishing:

Enjoy fishing in natural spring water. There are black bass and carp dams. Bring your own rod. Catch and release.

 

Abseiling:

High sandstone cliffs for a great abseil experience. Heights vary from 20m to 40m. Minimum of 4 people. We also offer an extreme abseil of 115 m by special prior arrangement. Minimum of 6 people and only suitable for those with abseil experience.

 

High ropes:

We have a high ropes course at our leadership centre. It is available for personal challenge and team building, or for the more adventurous. Minimum of 4 people.High ropes 

 

Horse riding:

Come and experience horse riding as never before in the spectacular Eastern Free State Mountains. See breathtaking sights and large herds of game from horseback. Moolmanshoek breeds award-winning SA Boerperde and endurance horses. There are more than 300 horses on the reserve. It is an experience you will never forget! 

Horse cart:

We also offer horse cart rides through the game area, where up to eight people can enjoy this unique experience. Minimum of 4 people.

 

 

Mountain biking:

Bring your mountain bike and explore the game reserve on the tracks and paths, or venture further on the gravel roads of our beautiful district.

 

4x4 Eco route

There are 3 routes namely:

 

Langesnek – 2-3 hours / 10 km:

The Langesnek trail starts of by traversing a wetland area, over rock plates and then a short, steep, rough climb to the plateau where panoramic views of the surrounding mountains reach all the way to the Lesotho Maluti’s. Alternating grasslands and rock plates lead through an almost lunar landscape where drivers can pit their skills against the solid rock in preparation for the extremely steep decent, leading back to the flatter areas.

 

Visierskerf / Kloof – 8 hours / 28 km:

Passing under the Witteberg overhang, the track enters an area that was only in 1992 that the first vehicle drove through the beautiful, unspoiled area. After viewing the greater valley area, with its suikerboss and indigenous bush, the route crosses the Nature reserve, where black wildebeest, zebra, springbuck, bless buck, duiker, fellow deer and ostrich can been seen.

 

Kiepersol garden - 2-3 hours / 8 km:

Tracks over sandstone plates leads to Kiepersol garden on a route that is arduous for both vehicle and driver. The rewards are views of the southern side of the range and the Kiepersol garden from which the route takes its name further along the route above the valley remnants of the old wagon trail winding its way through the grass to Fouriesburg can still be seen. The return route offers some interesting kloofs before returning to base camp. This trail is a birdwatcher’s paradise.

 

Moolmanshoek Day Trails:

Hikers Hut:

  • 4 rooms. 3 rooms accommodating 4 people each and one room accommodating 6.

Kitchen:

  • Electricity, pots, pans, stove, fridge.  Please supply owne cutlery and crockery

Ablutions:

  • 2 toilets. 2 showers, basins and one bath .

 

Trails:

Day trails:

There are several options for day trails / walks from the Langesnek hikers camp.

Short walks may be done in  the gorges. The owner will direct hikers.  Hikers can also arrange to be taken to the mountains and do a trail back to the camp, with this option more time can be spend in the mountains and gorges and less in the valley which is the flatter part of the trails.  Costs to be taken to the mountain is R300.00 per vehicle with max 8 people per  vehicle.

 

The second day of the original Langesnek trail is still in use, ± 10 km:

The day trail starts off by passing a very deep gorge before it starts the ascent towards the back of the Second Pyramid mountain. After passing the “Supertube” mountain stream, the trail reaches an unexpected (and welcome) shady indigenous forest full of olienhout and ghwarrie trees. On reaching the top of the saddle, one has a choice. Here the fit and courageous hikers will have the opportunity to add another 2 km to their hike up the Pyramid mountain. The trail continues to follow the contours of the two Pyramid mountains through the indigenous forests and along the sandstone ridges to wind its way to the site of the overnight hut of the popular Sphinx trails. Here the natural dam offers a refreshing spot for lunch and time to relax and swim. The trail then returns following some of the second day of the Sphinx trail. It veers off after “Aunt Mitchell's High Tea Corner” and winds underneath the sandstone ridge before returning to base camp.

 

Fit hikers can also do the complete Waterkloof trail (± 20km) or the complete Sphinx trail (± 16 km)