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Moolmanshoek is situated in the shadow of the Witteberg mountains, in the Eastern Free State near the border with Lesotho. This game reserve and conservation area is home to an impressive variety of wildlife.
Out on the plains, there are herds of springbok, wildebeest, blesbok, zebra, eland, oryx, lechwe, red hartebeest, waterbuck and sable. The area is also home to species such as ostrich, warthog, porcupine, jackal and caracal.
Moolmanshoek is a horse lovers’ paradise with two award-winning studs for South African Boerperd and Arabian Endurance horses.
The young horses are raised wild on the mountainsides, resulting in characteristic sure-footedness. The trail horses are mostly native Boeperd and also include some retired endurance horses. Depending on their competition schedule, and your ability, you might get the chance to ride one of the endurance horses in training.
On scenic trails you can enjoy long canters on the plains amongst the wildlife; or follow tracks climbing into the mountains and explore wooded ravines. Ride through the herds of young horses and perhaps take an exhilarating turn around the endurance training track.
To make the most of the riding at Moolmanshoek you should be a fit and competent rider, confident at all paces.
On some days you will head out on a morning ride, returning to the lodge for lunch, and ride out again in the afternoon.
During a typical seven night stay, there are three full day rides. One day ride takes you to a part of the reserve where bushman paintings can be found - a picnic lunch is served at a picturesque spot out on the trail. Another long ride takes you past Langesnek Farm to the hamlet of Rosendal, where you stop for lunch. Later, return home by a different route. A third full day ride takes you to the summit of Sekonjela’s Hat with a picnic lunch by the pools. This route then continues to Holkrans cave, where the adventurous can choose to camp out overnight if weather conditions allow (camping is definitely not possible in June, July and August).
The going is fabulous on the grassy plains, and there are plenty of long canters to enjoy. The horses settle into a wonderful rhythm and are happy to keep going for as long as their riders ask. The mountain paths afford incredible views of the reserve below. In places the mountain riding can be technical - there are short stretches of sheer rock to cross and steep ascents and decents to negotiate. But these horses are so sure-footed that you can trust them entirely to keep you safe.
The horses are mostly ridden in simple snaffle bridles, although some go in curbs. You ride in comfortable South African trail saddles, which are specially designed for long hours of riding. Breastplates and cruppers are often used when riding the more mountainous routes.
The lodge offers rides to many of their regular guests but only riders of similar ability will be grouped together. It is possible that you might be joined on your rides by guests who are staying just a few days.
Hard hats are mandatory.
The lodge and guest bedrooms were built in the 1990's from existing farm buildings.
There are six luxury rooms and six classic rooms. The luxury rooms are generally more spacious or have a better view, and all have both a shower and bathtub. Some of the classic rooms have a shower and some have a shower and a bath. They are nicely furnished, but don’t tend to have such nice views as the luxury rooms. The luxury rooms all have double beds, whilst three classic rooms are twins and three are doubles.
There is a billiard room, honesty bar, library and an upstairs terrace which has a beautiful view of the reserve and mountains.
You can arrive and depart on any day, according to availability. So that you can experience all that Moolmanshoek has to offer, we recommend stays of 7 nights.
Please note that availability can change so quickly that the chart below may show space when in fact all the rooms are full. Therefore, please always email email@example.com and we will get back to you to confirm availability for your preferred dates.
Select your preferred arrival date:
So that you can experience all that Moolmanshoek has to offer, we recommend stays of 7 nights. Please contact us for a price for shorter stays (minimum 4 nights).
|2023||Classic Room||Luxury Room|
|Per person sharing (7 nights)||$1,711.27||$1,771.06|
|Single person (7 nights)||$1,885.67||$1,960.42|
INCLUDES Accommodation; riding; full board; local wines, beers, cider, soft drinks, tea and coffee with meals; one game drive (7 night stays); use of hiking trails; local taxes; park entry fees.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT Payable for those in a single room.
PAYABLE LOCALLY Airport transfers; spirits/premium drinks; gratuities; other activities such as 4 wheel drive trails; adventure activities such as abseiling and high ropes; laundry; telephone charges; baby-sitting.
NEAREST AIRPORTS Johannesburg (international flights) or Bloemfontein (domestic flights).
TRANSFERS Transfers from Johannesburg airport cost R5,950 (c. $338.84) per vehicle each way (up to 2 people). Transfers from Bloemfontein airport cost R2,800 (c. $159.45) per vehicle each way (up to 3 people). Transfers are payable locally and shared between all those travelling.
Moolmanshoek is a drive of approximately four hours from Johannesburg International Airport. Bloemfontein airport is around two and a half hours' drive.
We can arrange airport transfers for you. These are payable locally in cash and the cost is shared between all those travelling.
Arriving in the early afternoon should allow time for an introductory ride. On your last day there is usually time for a final ride in the morning and transfers normally depart after lunch. You may need to vacate your room after breakfast so it can be made ready for arriving guests.
In the Ficksburg district of the Eastern Free State 35 km from the Lesotho border. About 4 hours' drive south from Johannesburg.
Summer is from December through to February with day time temperatures ranging from 15 - 32ºC. Rain is possible at this time although it is usually a short down pour in the afternoon and once over, everything comes out cleaner and greener.
During the autumn months of March to May, the trees change to a beautiful colour. Towards the end of May it will get cooler and it is possible to have the first night frost.
June to August is winter. Temperatures drop to zero at night and overnight frosts are common. The skies are blue and the tops of the mountains are covered in snow. Moolmanshoek sees snow every 2 to 3 years and might have 4 to 6 inches lasting a few days. During winter, daytime temperatures can vary from a cold 1ºC to a mild 17ºC.
September to November is spring. It’s a lovely time of year as the rains bring the first green grass and blossom on the trees.
These are some of the best horses I’ve ever ridden on holiday. Extremely rideable and responsive, and while very sure-footed, it was fun to have them looking at things. Nothing dull. Fabulous canters, tack very comfortable. Perfect combination of horses/riding, breathtaking scenery, wildlife, and deluxe accommodations.
Amy ,LyonsOverall rating: 5/5