The geology is very unique here. As the light changes, so does the colour of the cliffs.
to say goodbye to Mike with a heavy heart. There is still much more to explore in the park, but there is also lots to see in the rest of the Eastern Free State.
An old favourite
If you are an off-road lover, you shouldn’t miss Moolmanshoek when you visit the Eastern Free State. It is an old favourite among the 4x4 community and several people have recommended it to me in the past. So naturally, I didn’t hesitate to call the manager, Niklaas Arangies, to make an appointment. “We sell quietness here,” he tells me when we meet. I already got a sense of that when I drove down to the farm through a valley between the Witteberg Mountains, but here on the veranda of the charming old farm house, the world around me is almost indescribably serene. It might have something to do with the fact that the farm is not open to day visitors. And if you really get tired of doing nothing, there are more than enough activities for lovers of the great outdoors. At Moolmanshoek you can keep busy with hiking trails, game drives, mountain bike routes, abseiling and fishing. Besides this, there are about 300 stunning Arab and Boerperd horses, as they breed them here. Naturally, horse riding is one of the most popular activities at Moolmanshoek. There are four 4x4 routes here, but a horse is still part of your experience because the guides lead you on horseback. “They’re the best 4x4s on the farm!” explains Niklaas. My guide, Sampie Mokoakoe, arrives on a gorgeous Boerperd named Rodeo. I follow him up the mountain. He knows the landscape like the back of his hand and from atop his “4x4” he shows me how and where to drive using hand signals. When we reach obstacles he nimbly hops off the horse to show me which line to take. It’s clear he knows almost every stone and bush on the route, because he leads the Amarok so precisely over the sandstone banks that I never have to worry about taking the wrong line. On the other side, Sampie gets back on the horse and bounces in the saddle as he leads me further. Moolmanshoek has three different routes, all of which are more or less a grade 3. The Kloof route is the long-