Clarens is a small town surrounded by its main attraction mountains. Especially since the village itself is situated in the foothills of the Maloti Mountain range of the Kingdom of Lesotho.
The never ending landscape of mountains such as the Rooiberge, the range encompassing Clarens and Maloti, also spelled Maluti is just some of the town’s tourism attractions.
Along with the activities you can do on the mountains. Choose to go mountain hiking or horse-back riding on trails behind the majestic Maloti Mountains or quad bike riding with routes that follow the foothills of the Rooiberge.
The sandstone cliffs are also a characteristic feature not only in the geology of the town but also in its architecture as most private or guest homes in the Clarens Valley are made from or clad in sandstone, and even the Golden Gate Highlands National Park has sandstone formations.
The Maloti Mountains are often referred to as ‘majestic’ due to its shades of purple and blue, and its range forms a high alpine basalt plateau up to 3400m in height with the highest peak in South Africa north east of the range Thabana Ntlenyana at 3482 m, and the highest in the continent is south of the Kilimanjaro. While the highest mountain in the Free State; stands at 3291 m. Snow and frost may be found even in summer on the highest peaks.
The mountains paths present few danger other than snow from time to time along with the twists and turns along the spurs of mountains but also be careful as most lack tar and are gravel and can offer a rough route or drive and some require experienced off road drivers and a 4X4. Whereas in the towns neighbouring kingdom Lesotho; is where driving in wet weather, can be challenging. And in winter it’s advisable to carry tire chains due to the sometimes impassable snow drifts and during thunderstorm months, flash floods occur in the mountains and river levels can increase dramatically and within minutes.
Also make yourself at home with some of the accommodations near the mountains. Bokpoort Holiday Farm located about 10 minutes outside of Clarens has open spaces and fantastic horse trails between the Maloti Mountains near Golden Gate National Park. Or the four star Protea Hotels Clarens around the Rooiberge and head out to the prestigious Clarens Golf and Trout estate nestled at the foot of Maloti Mountain.