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Rustler’s Valley, Ficksburg, Eastern Free State.
“Africa is not for sissies”. Farming in South Africa is not always profitable or sustainable. Rustler’s Valley, near Ficksburg, is one such farm. Situated in a hidden valley, this was a favourite spot for cattle rustlers to hide stolen cattle until they could take them up into the hills of Lesotho. Still slightly maverick, the farm is now run as a new age experiment in ecotourism. The fantastic scenery supports activities such as hiking and horse riding. The workers, who have lived on the farm for generations, are being retrained to make a living from various aspects of tourism such as building and maintaining whimsical accommodation, working in the kitchen or looking after the horses.
The main thrust however is to live in harmony with the environment, so the farm is run on permaculture principles. Residential courses in subjects ranging from permaculture to tantric yoga are hosted regularly. There are four annual music festivals at Easter, the winter solstice, the spring equinox and Christmas. This is not a destination for the staid and set in their ways, but it is pretty unique.
Ficksburg is on the R70 southeast of Senekal, which is on the N5 east of Winburg, which is at the intersection of the N1 with the N5. Travel southeast on the R70 from Kroonstad via Senekal and Rosendal to Ficksburg, which is at the intersection of the R70 and the R28. AIRust
3048/3%Last update: 2014-03-09 14:14
Author: Alan McIver
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