4×4 Eco Trails
‘Drive out’ magazine Roll of honour – Top 10 winner (2001, 2004, 2005, 2006). Enjoy the Reserve in a 4×4 accompanied by a qualified driver or a guide on horseback. There are 3 routes namely: Langesnek Route, Visierskerf / Kloof and Kiepersol Garden. These routes can comfortably be done over a weekend, showing different aspect of the reserve. Experience the sandstone splendour at its best. Recommended time of year, all year around. Minimum of 4 vehicles, maximum of 15, except for Lodge guests.
Visierskerf / Kloof
20 km, 4-5 hours.
Passing under the Witteberg sandstone overhang, the track enters an area that was first explored in 1992. After viewing the greater valley area, with its sugarbush proteas and indigenous bush, the track crosses the Nature Reserve. Black Wildebeest, Zebra, Blesbuck, Ostrich, Steenbok, Duiker, Springbok, Eland, Red Hartebeest and Mountain Rhebuck can be seen. Further along the route, remnants of the old wagon trail, Fouriesburg is still visible. The return route offers some interesting kloofs before returning to base-camp. This trail is a bird watcher’s paradise.
10 km, 2-3 hours.
The Langesnek trail starts off 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 can be seen.
Alternating grasslands and rock plates lead through an almost lunar landscape, where drivers can put their skills against the solid rock in preparation for the extremely steep decent, leading back to the flatter areas.
8 km, 2-3 hours.
Tracks over sandstone plates lead to the ‘Kiepersol Garden’, on a route that is arduous for both vehicle and driver.
The reward is a view of the southern side of the range and the ‘Kiepersol Garden’, from which the route derived its name.
Feedback from a 4×4 club owner
After discovery of the Moolmanshoek 4×4 trails on offer in the early 2000’s, we have returned several times over a near 10 year period. Not only is the 4×4 terrain magnificent, but the true Free State hospitality extended converts any visitor into a friend, after a mere weekend at the eco-farm. What drives us to come back? It is the ambiance of the 4×4 trails, led by guides on horseback. The magnificent sandstone mountain backdrops, towered over by the Visierskerf Peaks, keeping a watchful eye on the 4x4ers as the slowly, yet under expert guidance and control, climb higher into the range, unleashing a breathtaking beauty, for as far as one can cast the eye. Winter or Summer. Awesome, absolutely awesome! The routes are not that technical in the dry, and the odd natural obstacle do challenge the driver at times, always under the watchful eye of the Moolmanshoek guides. In the wet, the large stone layers on the mountainside cause interesting lines to be taken, and concentration is key. Choose any of the 3 routes on the farm. Each one is as enjoyable as the next. To round off the experience, the camping and lodge facilities are out of this world. Moolmanshoek also offers other interesting activities such as abseiling, the meerkat experience, horse outrides and other adrenalin pumping action, thereby allowing one to put together an extended 4×4 package for any number of days. To top the experience, the close knit Nel family runs the various aspects of the eco orientated Moolmanshoek operation, and they always have a smile and a willing hand to extend to make your stay an unforgettable one. We have been there in the past, and will keep coming in the future. It remains one of the best 4×4 experiences in the South African outdoor market. – Alan Goodway