The spectacular 1500-hectare Thaba Thabo Nature Reserve & working farm in the Eastern Free State Highlands is situated between Ficksburg and Fouriesburg near the Lesotho border in the Witteberg mountain range. Only 30 km from Ficksburg, 47 km from Fouriesburg, 70 km from Clarens, 88 km from Bethlehem and 130 km from Afriski. It comprises of mountaintop and valley terrain and is renowned for its scenic setting. The reserve offers 360 degrees of breathtaking views, including the Maluti Mountain Range of Lesotho.
Many towering sandstone cliffs, fountains and perennial streams are found on the reserve. A seasonal waterfall drops into a deep wooded gorge. There are 3 dams offering shelter to an abundance of bird life and wildlife. Two of the dams are stocked with carp and bass. Visitors are welcome to fish at no extra cost.
Thaba Thabo, meaning mountain of happiness, boasts numerous wildlife species which include eland, black wildebeest, blesbuck, impala, zebra, warthog, mountain reedbuck, duiker, ostrich, and steenbuck. There are also many bird species associated with high mountains such as grey-wing francolin, ground woodpecker, stone chat, rock thrush, orange breasted rock jumper, rock kestrel, malachite- and great double collared sunbirds, bald ibis, gymnogene and black eagle.
Thaba Thabo is also a working farm. Apart from being woken by roosters crowing early morning, visitors will have an opportunity to view the beautiful free ranging indigenous Nguni cattle and Damara sheep.
Visitors may walk anywhere as there are no dangerous animals. The topography is also ideal for mountain bikes, quad bikes and off-road motorcycles. There are some areas that could be reached by SUV or pickup but the opportunities are limited and moving around by foot, motorcycle, quad bike or mountain bike offer the opportunity for much of the reserve to be accessed and viewed. Outrides on horseback are offered by a neighbouring farm. Please enquire when booking your stay if the outrides would be available on those dates.
The accommodation is rustic, self catering and cleaned on a daily basis. Bedding, towels, cutlery, crockery, pots, pans and cooking utensils are provided. With no TV, this is an ideal opportunity to take a break from modern life and simply enjoy nature. Uncapped WiFi is available at no additional cost. Electricity is available and is generated by solar panels and stored in batteries. Please leave high energy consuming items like hair dryers and electric blankets at home.
Gumtree can accommodate up to 14 guests and consists of 3 bedrooms, lounge/dining/kitchen area, 5 toilets, 4 washbasins and 2 showers. It has a gas geyser, a gas fridge/freezer, four plate gas stove with oven and a Jewel wood stove for those cold winter days. An outside braai area is available. This building is ideal for families or friends as the below chalets are suited for couples only.
Oaktree consists of 3 cosy rondavel style sandstone chalets, each containing a double bed, a bathroom with a shower, basin and toilet. The kitchenette comes equipped with a double gas plate and a fridge/freezer. A Dover wood stove is also fitted for those cold winter days. An outside braai is available at each chalet.
Visitors are required to bring their own firewood and ice.
It is important to note that only SUV's and pickups can access the reserve. The access road is NOT suitable for sedan vehicles. On a first visit to the reserve it is advisable to arrive before sunset.