Castello Catharina

Castello Catharina is a beautiful estate situated on a hilltop with clear views of Clarens and the surrounding countryside. The state of the art estate is surrounded with breath-taking views of the mountains and a variety of birds that give a beautiful view and tranquillity.

The area is convenient for people who live around the CBD as it is located a walking distance away from town. Another advantage is that the estate is close to restaurants, curio shops and lots of tourist attractions. Inside the estate is a large en-suite accommodation with comfy extras such as big beds, tea, coffee facilities, plasma screen televisions with satellite. Tenants don’t need to worry about the weather as the estate is equipped with air conditioning, an open fire place and private balcony.

There is also an undercover parking available. Some other beautiful edibles including a free WiFi, and a short distance of 22 km to the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. Castello Catharina is also located 20 km from Langtoon Dam and 600 m from Clarens Methodist Church.

The estate boats of a big rooms that come with a wardrobe. Certain rooms also offer a kitchen with a dishwasher, an oven and a microwave. Visitors at Castello Catharina can enjoy a full English/Irish breakfast. The place has a beautiful terrace where guests can cycle and do a number of activities.

The reception offers the following languages Afrikaans, English and Zulu at the 24-hour front desk.

Castello Catharina has been welcoming guests since 14 Nov 2017.

058 256 1543

29 Hill Street, Clarens 9707, South Africa

Baris Guesthouse

Baris Guesthouse is lodge located 10 km from Clarens and 27 km from Golden Gate Highlands National Park. The lodge is located on a spectacular farm just outside Clarens town.

The guesthouse features a grill and spectacular views of the outside surroundings especially the garden. The cottage has a free private parking on the site available for the clients.

The rooms have entertainment, making it easier for clients to enjoy away from the comforts of their homes. Some of the facilities available include a flat-screen TV and a seating area where you can relax. There are free toiletries available as well as a hair dryer.

Families and couples that ravel with large quantities of language must not worry since the cottage has a big storage space where tenants can store their stuff.

The lodge gives room for guests to enjoy numerous activities available within the cottage such as cycling, fishing and hiking. Baris Guesthouse contains one of the best-rated locations in Clarens and tenants are happy about it compared to other properties in the area.

Baris Guesthouse is regarded among the best rated properties in town. Guests can enjoy the value for their monez taking into account the nature of the services provided at the guest house.

Chief among the spectacular things contained inside the guest house include four luxury suites, overseeing attractive greens, featuring king-size or twin beds, full bathrooms, fully equipped kitchens, lounges with DStv, four-seater dining tables, and private gardens with braai facilities. The guest house also offers guests cleaning services and parking on the premises.

Guests can enjoy the tranquillity of the farm, or venture out to see attractions in Clarens such as the Basotho Cultural Village, the Clarens Golf Estate and the Art and Wine Gallery on Main.

Some of the facilities include a Braai/Barbecue, indoor fireplace, satellite TV, hiking, credit card facilities and parking on premises.

Address: R712, Clarens

Phone: 083 637 2786

Wild rides with quad biking

People from the big cities of Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town escape the city life for a stay in the small picturesque town Clarens in the Free State. And why wouldn’t they since it’s only a few hours’ away from their main cities. Clarens is only three hours’ drive from Johannesburg and Bloemfontein and four hours from Durban.

Clarens is part of the scenic Highlands Route and is surrounded by mountainous splendor. The Rooiberge is the range encompassing the village, whilst further on towards the southeast, the mighty Maluti Mountains stands proud forming a backdrop which changes with the seasons, from shades of purple and blue in summer to the snow-clad slopes of winter.

It’s a place for shoppers, foodies, art and nature lovers and adrenaline junkies. And understandably so with a sport like quad biking, if you’re in the mood for easy going, non-strenuous physical activity.

Partake in the town’s sport of quad biking on the town’s main attractions its mountains. It’s a great way to see the scenic countryside of Clarens by following trails behind the majestic Maluti Mountains or quad bike riding with routes that follow the foothills of the Rooiberge.

Quad Biking trips range in length from one-and-a-half to two hours depending on the participants’ skills level. Choose between a technical ride, a game-viewing outride or just a leisurely sundowner trip. Some quad bike riding tours are for the nature lover while some can cater for those who’d like speed and do obstacles at a flying pace.

Wild Rides Quad Biking cater for novice to experienced quad bikers offering quad biking experiences in the Maluti mountains, only 10 km from Clarens.

Here’s a YouTube video of what quad biking in Clarens is like enjoy.

White Water River Rafting on the Ash River

To really enhance your experience of the beautiful blessings that Mother Nature has bestowed on the province of the Eastern Free State. Why not visit Clarens, a small town that sits in a valley, and that’s an easy drive from cities in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Free State and North West Province.

And while you’re spending time on your much needed getaway why not get to experience why Clarens is known as the adventure capital. When you get to enjoy an outdoorsy feel in the town’s scenic landscape this invites you to be one with nature out in the features that the town is known for such as its mountains, clear streams, crisp air and trees.

And speaking of streams why not partake in what the town’s water is acclaimed for, White water river rafting in the crystal clear waters of the Ash River. A water sport to try if you’re a fish taking to water type, the Ash River is best noted as having ‘exciting grade 3 and 4 white water rafting all year that’s not rain dependent’. Paddle by the river by day and camp on the river banks by night.

If river rafting has been on your bucket list then fit on your lifejackets and helmets for a ride of your life. Should you want to partake in this activity here’s what to expect. The day starts with a short drive out to the river, for a safety-brief on the do’s and don’ts for the days rafting action.

Then get on the water onto the rafts for adventure and be ready for any action the river can throw at you. With some waves, with a sting in the tail, some flat water and some of the biggest water-fights in history.

Along the way you’ll also reach rapids known as the “Breathiliser”. Then more action all the way with grade 2 and 3 rapids like “Car-wash”, “Alles-verloren-alles-gevonden”, And once you get to the bridge an awesome grade 4 rapid with the name “Fish-pond”, as well as a paddle to the waterfall, with a few small rapids in-between.

With all the excitement you’ll take an interval breather with some refreshments on the rocks and you’ll also be fed with a famous and delicious river-lunch on the banks of the river.

Seeing is believing check out this YouTube video

Sethuthuthu Tours

If you’re looking for a formidable knowledge of the history of Clarens and surroundings Sethuthuthu Tours makes for an interesting tour.

The quaint town of Clarens is a great stop-off if you happen to be traveling from Gauteng or Kwa-Zulu Natal to the Cape and vice-versa.

Situated roughly three-hour’s drive from Johannesburg, in the embrace of the beautiful Maluti Mountain range, the charming town is known as the “Jewel” of the Free State and there’s so much more to it than its picturesque setting.

If you seek adventure on your vacation, Sethuthuthu Tours can arrange a wide variety of outdoor getaways to suit all. From their game viewing safaris of the ungainly grazers, the early Khoekoen called the Black Wildebeest “gnu” because of its cry (genu) which it bellows when alarmed.

On safari get to view these grazers that were once faced with extinction but are now off that danger list. They differ from the Blue Wildebeest by their long white tails and white manes.

Also visit Sethuthuthu Tours Wilderness area for a once in a lifetime adventure with tours to the Golden Gate (Qua Qua) National Park presented in a 4×4 game viewing vehicle by qualified guides. It’s breathtaking scenery and game and dinosaur fossils and footprints and Bushman paintings too.

Visitors are not only introduced to geology, anthropology, history and fauna and flora of the Eastern Free State.  But these tours offer edutainment as it’s education combined with fun and excitement too. Like try their ATV (Quad) tours offered in the Rooiberge Conservancy area, bordering Clarens.

Ride into the mountains, with quads that are easy to use and a guide that’s very knowledgeable about the history of the area. Although their quad rides are definitely not designed for those who like speed as you’ll notice in this YouTube video

But they’re great for the nature lover and families are welcome to try out the quad biking trip. Some of the sections are challenging but even a novice is able to negotiate them. There are many different tours to choose from, ranging from 90 minutes to a full day.  Meals and drinks are included in a full day trip.

River Rafting in Clarens

Clarens, it may be a small picturesque town but it definitely packs a punch for its diminutive statue proving that dynamite comes in small packages. The town boasts some of the best extreme sports around like river rafting.

One of the many activities that the town specialises in and in what the town’s water is acclaimed for white water river rafting in the Ash River.

The Ash River is fed by the Trans Caledon Transfer Tunnel, which pumps water from the Katse Dam high up in the Maluti Mountains of Lesotho. The crystal clear water flows down the Ash River all the way to the Vaal Dam.

The Ash River in Clarens is a firm favourite among tourists because the water is always high. And tourists partake in the water sport of River Rafting in Clarens, which is best noted as having ‘exciting grade 3 and 4 white water rafting. And is a firm reminder as to why Clarens is considered the adventure capital of the Eastern Free State.

Participants get to experience the tranquility of nature and the excitement and thrill of white-water rapids. Every day all year round, because the water in the Ash River is not rain dependent.

Just practice with me now, sway from left to right. Then paddle by the river by day and camp on the river banks by night. But while river rafting do look out for action all the way with grade 2 and 3 rapids like “Car-wash”, “Alles-verloren-alles-gevonden”, don’t say you weren’t warned.

Rhebok Hiking Trail

For the hiking enthusiast, there’s Rhebok Hiking Trail. It’s the hiking trail to take if you’re looking for something energetic and arguably some of the most incredible mountain scenery in the country.

In the rolling foothills of the Maluti Mountains, north eastern Free State and including some of the best views out over Mont-aux-Sources. It’s a two-day trial, which involves trekking up to the highest point in the Golden Gate National Park known as Generaalskop, giving one a wonderful way to see the park.

The Rhebok Hiking Trail takes place in one of Lesotho’s nearby attractions the world-renowned Golden Gate National Park Highlands. This is situated in the Eastern Free State just 22km from the town of Clarens. It has a quality or appeal of accommodation offering accommodation of hotel room, suites or chalets.

The Glen Reneen Rest Camp at the Golden Gate Park is where the hiking trail starts. Day one the trail starts with a climb up Brandwag and past some of the best sandstone cliff formations in the province. The trail evens out past rock pools perfect for swimming (do not tarry too long) and through grasslands when it descends to the overnight hut.

Day two is 14km and is a difficult walk, taking up to 8 hours to complete. The start includes heading up a waterfall to where the trail heads up Generaalskop with some steep sections. After the ascent, there’s the descent (very steep in places) before venturing down a rather picturesque kloof and down back to Glen Reenen Rest camp (hot showers all round).

If you want sweeping views of Lesotho’s mountains the trek will be well worth it

A number of other day trails are available at the Golden Gate National Park, for those after a shorter walk. Possible sightings at the park to look out for include black wildebeest, Burchell’s zebra and the rare bearded vulture, or Lammergeier.

Rebellie 4×4 trail

For a taste of extreme head out to Rebellie 4×4 Trail, just 15km from Clarens is one of South Africa’s top 10 4×4 trails.

The Rebellie 4×4 Trails offer different routes which are there if you’re demanding a challenge. As well as the bonus of game-viewing opportunities as wildlife is often encountered on the trails.

The trails are a difficulty grading of 3 to 5. As the terrain is varied with rocks, mud, river crossings, sand and sandstone, steep or slippery you’ll get to know just how big the obstacles are.

But if you’re looking for a tamer mountain trail, Rebellie offers that too with mountain trails that are (rated 3-4). It’s beautiful mountain drives that offer spectacular mountain scenery over the Eastern Free State. Or, even easier, the six-kilometre winding dirt road that leads to Rebellie from the turn-off.

Then there’s the trail that’s known as one of the highest obstacle course trails in the country. That’s in the Golden Gate Rooiberge close from the Lesotho border where if you’re smack bang at the lookout point to your right you’ll look straight down into Lesotho. While to your left you’ll see the Golden Gate Highlands National Park.

The route is technically tough requiring 4×4 experience as there are some serious rock climbs and steep ascents on the route to take you to the top of the world at 2,200 m above sea level.

At the end of the trail is where you can park and pitch your tent providing for a campsite in the mountains. Here there are no facilities and you need to be self-sufficient. But for the day visitor this is their turnaround point and the trail follows the same way back to the farm.

If you’re the type who’d rather go glamping Rebellie 4×4 trail boasts a quality or appeal of more formal accommodation. Either than the basic campsite, there’s also chalets and self-catering bungalows and luxury lodges that can accommodate up to 35 persons together.

There’s also ample space for tents and stands for caravans around a large barn. It’s a camping space for those who prefer pitching a tent around the Shed with its ablution facilities, kitchen, bar and hall.

Check out this YouTube video of an obstacle at Rebellie Game Farm

Outrageous Adventures

What’s a must in Clarens the outrageous adventures that you can get up to of course. Where else in South Africa are you going to get a chance to ski in the snow, go white water rafting, abseiling, horseback riding out in the wide open mountainous landscapes; try your hand at archery and quad bike in the mountains.

Outrageous Adventures offer outrageous adventures in various locations in South Africa. Experienced guides are always at the ready to ensure that you have an awesome adventure. Their Clarens based adventures include:

White water rafting Outrageous Adventures also raft in various other rivers like Orange River, Mkomazi River and Mzimvubu Transkei. Or raft on the Ash River in Clarens a firm favourite among tourists.

Who partake in what the town’s water is acclaimed for, White water rafting in the crystal clear waters of the Ash River best noted as having ‘exciting grade 3 and 4 white water rafting.

Experience the tranquility of nature and the excitement and thrill of white-water rapids. Every day all year round, because the water in the Ash River is always high and not rain dependent. Visit Outrageous adventures website to understand why through a viewing of a few photos.

How better to show you the excitement and thrill of their white water rafting, than with a few photos. After all, a photo is worth a thousand words.

Outrageous Tours provide excitement and adventure ranging from mild to wild with activities that also include Abseiling. Outrageous adventures also specialises in 5-day Youth camps for children from 14-18 years.

Activities include:

  • Archery
  • Abseiling
  • River rafting
  • Walking trails
  • Kettie-Paintball
  • Orienteering and map reading
  • Raft building
  • Conquering Mount Horeb
  • Walk to Fertility Cave
  • Art
  • Climbing skills and techniques
  • Horse riding
  • Visit to Basotho Cultural Village

The above activities can also be included in tailor-made corporate getaways, team-building events and conferences with an adventurous edge. At Outrageous Adventures, it’s also free trips, specials and more.

Mushroom Rock

Clarens is part of the scenic Highlands Route and is surrounded by mountainous splendor. The Rooiberge is the range encompassing the village, whilst further on towards the southeast, the mighty Maluti’s stand proud in shades of purple and blue.

All around are the sandstone cliffs with their multi-coloured layers. This horizontal strata is a unique geological feature of the area, and is known as the Clarens formation.

Clarens is known for its spectacular sandstone mountains and wonderful climate; it’s one of the most picturesque spots in the country and has been acclaimed as the “Jewel of the Free State” rich in loveliness.

And there are more jewels and hidden treasures to see and be found in this small town like one of its places of interest. Mushroom Rock on Clifton Farms about 3km on the Fouriesburg road. The trail to Mushroom Rock from Golden Gate should only take 50 minutes to complete. As it’s a short, easy 1.5 km back-and-forth route.

After setting out from the Glen Reenen Rest Camp the path takes you to the base of the striking, red-shaded Mushroom Rock.

For the best views of Mushroom Rock are those from the other side of the main road through the park: along the Ribbok Trail or the Zuluhoek (Afrikaans for Zulu’s Corner) vehicle lookout point.

Nevertheless, the imposing cliffs are still worth a close-up visit, for the geological masterpiece that’s this true beauty. You’ll see the Mushroom Rock jutting above the rock shelf atop the mountain directly adjacent to St Fort