Boesmanskrans Hiking Trail

Clarens, Free State

The Eastern Free State area around Fouriesburg and Clarens is the site of several hiking trail and is remarkable for its scenic beauty.  Of the weekend, day walk trail, Boesmanskrans is certainly one of the best.  The facilities are well maintained and equipped although a little cramped for groups of more than 12 people.

Location:

  • The trail is situated 30 km from Clarens in the Eastern Free State

Trail Description:

Day 1 – 9 km:
This trail explores the mountainous more remote areas of the farm. The first part takes you fairly steeply through grassland and passes some major boulders on the way to the bottom of the krans. Along the route it is a good idea to glance back to view panoramic vistas of the surrounding countryside. Once you reach the krans follow the white markers which take you along a level path beneath the towering vertical rock walls. A short wooden ladder helps you to ascend to the foot of a tyre ladder, a feature of the trail. Some hikers might find the ladder a bit of a challenge especially those who suffer from fear of heights. Once this obstacle has been overcome, the trail continues to the right. Here again those who suffer from fear of heights might have problems although wire has been secured to aid safety. Eventually you reach a small gorge and anther small ladder that leads you to more level ground.

The trail now leads you to the left and around a rock face. Just beyond this you come to a shady area, ideal for a rest and a snack to eat. A little further on as the path now takes you into an open valley, be on the lookout for the markers that indicate that you must turn to the right and follow the markers on a bit of a scramble to the summit of a ridge. After a while of well-earned rest on reaching the summit, look out for the white markers that will indicate the direction across the flat top of the mountain. Soon you reach a point where you begin your descent. Tarry a while though before you begin your downhill as you might find your camera useful at this point.

The first part of the descent can be rough and care needs to be taken. This is followed by some easy walking across a sandstone spur until you reach a farm gate and the beginning of your descent to the lowlands and eventually back to the starting point.

Day 2- 4.5 km:
This turns out to be a much easier of hiking. The trail route descends on an easy path past a large plantation of fine Oak trees, the source of much of the food for the pigs that are reared on the farm. You then cross the S325 and enter the lower part of the farm. You then follow the markers through grassland and a gully that brings you to the little Caledon River. A short meander and the trail once more turn in a northerly direction as it eventually returns you to your base camp. The backdrop of the mountains and the tyre ladder from the previous day of hiking is well worthwhile having your camera with you.

Accommodation:

Base Camp:

The the original building now used as base camp was built 1886.  Here the local pastor gave accommodation to the wives of the men fighting in the Anglo Boer War.  Accommodates 6 people, Room 1: 4 x single beds, Room 2: Double bed (linen supplied) another 2 people in a caravan (permanent location with roof, own linen).

Ablutions:

  • Minimum 4
  • 2 x Hot water showers and flush toilets.
  • Spacious lapa with braai facilities, wood and spade.
  • Cast iron pot and kettle supplied.
  • Fridge, deep freeze, stove and microwave oven.

Supply Your Own:

  • Own cutlery and crockery
  • Bedding
  • Towels
  • Torch
  • Binoculars
  • Toilet paper
  • Insect repellent

Climate:

  • Summer months are hot.
  • Winter – very cold nights, cold days.
  • Summer rainfall.

Fauna & Flora:

The famous Erica, make her appearance here.

Game:

Steenbokke, duikers, klipspringers, bobbejane, porcupine and rock hyrax.  Fish may also be catched in the Caledon area.

Bird Life:

A wide variety of different birds may be seen, like the Verreaux’s Eagle, guinea fowl and Yellow-billed ducks.  Egyptian Geese also breed here.

Rates:

  • 2 bedroom house: R200.00 pp.pn
  • Caravan / Camping R100.00 pp.pn
  • Admin fee R55.00 once off per reservation
  • Minimum 4 people.
  • Horse rides @R100 per/hour.
  • Day visitors R70.00 pp
  • Meals (pre-booking essential)
  • Potjiekos, BBQ & potbrood on request.