Cannibal - St Fort Hiking Trail
Our motto: Hike more, worry less…
At St Fort Hiking Trail you will experience Eastern Free State hospitality at its finest. The farm is situated five km’s from picturesque Clarens, on 2,200 Ha of land in a stunning setting surrounded by the foothills of the Maluti Mountains. It is the home of the famous Mushroom Rock.
- Bird Watching
The entrance to St Fort is at GPS waypoint S28 33.477 E28 24.631
Cannibal Cave GPS S28 34.482 E28 26.264
They only have MTN signal on the farm
After the turn-off to St Fort Farm, the road to the Hikers is clearly marked (about 1km from turn-off)
St. Fort Country House is a sandstone homestead which offers the finest in quality farm accommodation with six en-suite luxury bedrooms and the option of breakfast or self catering. Antique furniture, DSTV, a spacious kitchen with under-floor heating, and a lounge with log fire*, are what make this holiday destination truly unique in this area. Some families prefer to book the whole house for their enjoyment.
For those who love to explore, St Fort offers four expertly laid out hiking trails, namely the two-day Cannibal Hiking Trail which caters for the keen and more adventurous hiker. It includes a night spent in a cave, complete with historic rock art. For a brisk morning or afternoon walk, they offer three shorter trails. All these trails take you through differing landscapes, from breath-taking mountain views, overhang caves, to river walks with numerous picnic spots, forest ambles and boulder hopping in and along gorges. The trails are well marked and provide all the amenities a hiker demands, from comfortable bedding, ablution with flush toilets and hot showers as well as a reed enclosure with braai facilities.
Other activities include:
- Bird watching. At least 50 different species of birds have been spotted on the farm
- Cycling. Bring your own bike and enjoy the freedom of riding around on the farm
- Walks. Both gentle and more challenging hikes
(wood is not provided; please bring along own wood)
Various options for hiking are available:
Cannibal Trail – Circular Two-day Trail
Mushroom, Batwing and Kloof Trail – Basecamp, One-day Trails
The Cannibal Trail:
It is a 2-day hiking trail. The 1st day is 9km and the 2nd day is 7,5km. A walk to the Mushroom Rock adds an optional extension of 2,5km on the 2nd day.
Slack packing option is available:
This must be arranged before arrival. The rate is R30 per item to the cave and R30 per item from the cave. The items must not be too heavy for one person to load.
Legend has it that a cannibal was active in this area and kept his captives in one of the many caves, where he fed them for later consumption.
The route is a circular one of approximately nine km the first day and seven km the second day. The route takes you through differing landscapes, from stunning mountain views, to river walks, forest ambles to boulder hopping in and along gorges. This beautiful farm is situated in the Rooi and Witte Berg Mountains of the Eastern Free State. This is a hikers hike, well-marked and provides all the amenities that a hiker demands, with numerous picnic spots, a swimming hole, interesting scenery and a level of hiking that fits the serious hikers but not too strenuous for the beginner hiker.
On the first day, the trail passes overhang caves with rock ‘kraals’, one of which has bushman paintings. The second day offers breath-taking views of the Malutis including Horeb, Woodhouse, Generaalskop, Visierskerf and George’s Pimple. You will walk through a valley along a mountain stream. You can then leave your backpack at the crossing to climb up to the Mushroom Rock.
One of the shorter trails leads up to the Mushroom Rock, a well-known landmark in the area. The Mushroom Trail is a gentle two hour walk which takes you all along the Little Caledon River where there are many inviting spots to have a picnic or just to sit down and relax, before starting the gradual climb up the mountain to the famous Mushroom Rock from where one can behold the splendour of the magnificent view.
This is a moderate hike which starts from St Fort. An initial climb is rewarded with breathtaking views of St Fort and the valley. Once on the plateau, that path follows a contour which takes you to Batwing Falls. You can drink from these falls and enjoy the falls which are so aptly named as they resemble the wings of a bat.
The path traverses across the face of the Batwing Falls with a short climb out of the valley. Follow the trail which leads you home to St Fort.
This is a moderate hike which starts on the road from St Fort towards the kloof. Follow the arrow signboard to the right. The hike is a gradual climb which takes you to the top of the St Fort farm escarpment where you have a 360-degree view of the mountains. A steep zigzag climb down brings you back to the road.
The 1st night can be spent in one of two dormitories.
The Cottage – has 8 bunk beds and can sleep 16. It has 4 toilets and 4 showers.
The Melkstal – can sleep up to 30/32 in bunk beds. It has 4 toilets and 4 showers.
The 2nd night is spent in a large cave that can accommodate up to 40 hikers. There are 2 cold water showers and 2 flush toilets. They have had over 90 children sleeping over.
At the 1st overnight facility they provide a bed and mattress, braai grid, wood, cold and hot water, showers, electricity, an urn, a 2 plate stove, a fridge and 2 large iron pots. At the cave they provide a mattress, cold running water, a braai grid, kettle and fire-wood
Hiking can be done all year round. A heater is provided in the smaller dormitory. The most pleasant night temperatures would be from September to May. Day temperatures in winter are ideal for hiking.
Sleeping at the Guesthouse is another option, rates for staying can be obtained on request.
Price available on Request
All information adapted with permission of owner