Hiking, Trails and Routes

ID #1760

Ben Nevis Walking Trail, Clocolan, Eastern Free State.

The town was named after the mountain, whose name is a distortion of the Sotho word “hlohowane” which refers to the climax of a war. Bushman (Bushmen) paintings are evidence of its original inhabitants. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Kwena occupied the area. Raids by other tribes plagued them, which led to rebellions. Mosheshoe later unified the different tribes to form the Basotho nation.

Skirmishes between farmers and Basotho led to three wars.  The wars ended in 1865 and the area became known as conquered territory. On the highest peak on Clocolan Mountain, there is a stone-packed rampart – a relic of the many battles that took place.  Basotholand was then a British Protectorate and Britain sent some of its veteran soldiers to ensure peace in the area.  They gave their farms names with which they were familiar. Ben Nevis is named after the highest mountain in Scotland.  Hennie Keyter planted the first cherry trees on Ben Nevis in 1927.

The Ben Nevis walking trail is on the slopes and top of Clocolan Mountain.  At the starting point is a cherry wine cellar where cherry wine and different liqueurs can be tasted.  Preserved and bottled products, dried and fresh fruit are for sale.  The end point of the trail is a peaceful shady area near a swimming pool.  Here you will find a tea garden where refreshments are served. Alternatively, have a braai -- facilities, braai packs and picnic baskets are available.  Lunches or braais can be served to large groups in the lapa but this must be booked in advance. 

The trail takes four hours. If you choose to walk for longer, you can take an adventure walk to the farmhouse and sleep overnight.  There are many indigenous trees along the road. See spectacular views of the Maluti Mountains from the top of the mountain. Sandstone formations are a feature of the area. Products of the farm include:

•    Asparagus                         September through November
•    Cherries                            November
•    Plums and Peaches            December
•    Peaches and vegetables     January to February
•    Olives                              April
•    Pumpkin Seed washed and dried    Winter

Clocolan is off the R26 between Ficksburg and Ladybrand, which is on the N8 southeast of Bloemfontein, which is at the intersection of the N1 with the N6 and the N8. Travel from Clocolan on the R708 towards Marquard. Turn right onto the S380 after 4-km and drive east for a further 4-km.  Ben Nevis is on the left. BDBennevis

Contct:            Ben Nevis
Box 141 Clocolan 9735
+27 (51) 943 0031 telephone

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Last update: 2014-03-24 19:50
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.2

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