Set among typical eastern Free State mountain scenery, this trail lives up to its name and leads hikers past a large number of Bushman paintings, some of which are well preserved.

Its attractive location and the range of activities offered make this trail a popular venue with church groups; the natural amphitheatre above base camp has been set up as a 'church' with some seating and a pulpit.

There are three different hiking trails, from 3 to 16 km in length:

l. The Hoenderkop Hiking Trail leads across a plateau, through gulleys and along ridges to the castle. The dream of a certain Mr. Hill, this Normandy-style castle of sandstone and cement stands on top of a sheer cliff.

Construction was halted in 1976 due to lack of funds and this incomplete shell is now a prominent landmark. From here there are uninterrupted views of Lesotho. The path then winds back to base camp past a windmill and the Hoenderkop.

2. The Old Fort Hiking Trail is shorter and follows an easy route to a cave with Bushman paintings. After a short climb up to the ridge, the path stays with this contour for some time until it reaches the ruins of an old fort, which dates back to the Anglo-Boer War.

The walk to base camp is through some lovely forested areas and passes a lookout spot and more Bushman art.

3. The Bird Trail is a short walk to a valley near the overnight camp. Birdlife is abundant here with 103 species having been identified, including the relatively rare bald ibis.

Details can be obtained at the Fouriesburg Tourism Centre.

Bushmans Cave Hiking Trail

Map

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