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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

Maluti Tours

As often people don’t know what’s possible and available to them tours assist the traveling public in that regard. When they do decide to travel and see other parts of the world like a visit to Lesotho.

For a day trip to Lesotho get to see even more of the stunningly beautiful country through Maluti Day tours. Maluti Tours aims to bring people into Lesotho and assist them in having a genuine Lesotho experience of the beautiful rugged area.

By offering scenic tours to nearby attractions of the more breathtaking spots to visit, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular mountain scenery. With views of the Lesotho Lowlands and Highlands and of the Golden Gate National Park, which you’ll find is indeed golden when the mountains and vegetation glitter as the sunshine hits them. This will also include a visit to Basotho Cultural Village

Learn a little bit more about the history of Lesotho and its people, King Moshoeshoe, and the San. Or visit breathtaking Katse Dam for fly fishing, stunning mountainous views and many photographic opportunities en-route and also at the Dam itself.

And visit the Afriski Mountain Resort to enjoy the snow with the family on the ski slopes. Or for that nature or romantic getaway do a pony trekking at Maliba Lodge.

Also visit Cherry farms for a local Cherry Tasting Tours you’ll be treated to tasting several superb Cherry Wines and Liqueurs. Whilst enjoying the beautiful scenery in this peaceful setting. And also a stay for lunch is an optional extra.

Maluti Tours also provides a convenient shuttle service from OR Tambo International Airport. Johannesburg or King Shaka Durban Airports directly to your hotel door in Clarens or Fouriesburg, rates on request depending on a number of passengers

Maluti Footprints and Tours

Clarens is a key point along the scenic Highlands route, which includes the Golden Gate Highlands National Park – linking the towns of Harrismith, Bethlehem and Fouriesburg, all along the Lesotho Highlands, the Maluti’s and the Drakensberg.

If you’re looking for experiences and memories that you’d never had thought about or recommendations about the kingdom of Lesotho there’s Maluti Footprints and Tours. It’s a specialist travel and tourism firm which focuses on cultural tours into Lesotho or even just a relaxing getaway around the area.

It’s based in Clarens, Eastern Free State, Maluti Footprints and Tours offers tours to Lesotho, Katse Dam and Afriski. A steep drive up is worth it, as you get to enjoy lovely views and informative drives about the area. You may purchase lunch at the Katse Lodge before heading back down the mountains.

Maluti Footprints and Tours endeavors to give visitors a genuine experience of Lesotho when you come on their tour. And when planning a trip to Lesotho, Maluti Tours comes strongly recommended by tourists and visitors who’ve used their services.

The beautiful rugged Lesotho, have a driver/guide impart you with so much knowledge about the area and the people (geology, archeology, history, biology). All things that you wouldn’t know about if you had driven yourselves.

Let the guide also take you to see the lifestyle of the locals, taste a couple variations of the local brew where you can sit in a dark room with a village made beer it’s a great experience you won’t forget. As well as meeting a local village doctor/healer.

Visit Liphofung cave as part of the day trip, and enjoy a picnic lunch in brilliant sunshine with others there as part of your tour for a great day. You can take a personalised tour which is a tour itinerary arranged according to your preferences and known knowledge of the country or you can even opt for the pre-planned ready to go tours. With Maluti Footprints and Tours, you’re assisted to book the best bed and breakfast establishments that Lesotho has to offer.

Dinosaur Tours

There’s a small village called Clarens in South Africa and although it was established in 1912. The town is still very much steeped in so much more history, such as learning about what roamed the universe in the town before humans.

If you take a guess they had large bodies, long necks and small heads, and long tails and hatched from eggs about three times bigger than a hen’s egg. Yikes! Yes. That’s right get an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of prehistoric giants – dinosaurs.

Geology and paleontology has never been this interesting. A visit to Clarens avails you with the perfect opportunity to go on fossil hunting trips in the vast natural habitat of the Free State.

Through Dinosaur tours in the town it will be a dinosaur hunting expedition in Clarens for proof of prehistoric life in the town billions of years ago. Visit the Dinosaur tours for history buffs or spend hours exploring who and what inhabited the town.

On the tour you’ll see many examples of fossils from the area. It will be an opportunity to see a great variety of teeth, claws and limb bones of the prehistoric giants, to the leaf impressions of ancient ferns.

The Dinosaur tour begins with a very comprehensive and informative talk on the geological history and Paleontology of the region. You’ll then be shown an ancient river/lake bed where the track ways of multiple species of dinosaurs and mammal-like reptiles can be seen.

It’s a trip to the ancient trackway where the fossilized footprints of dinosaurs are not only seen but followed as well. Making for a historic walk, pun intended. This will also allow for the learning about what the Earth was like during that period and how the different rock layers formed.

The fun of ‘dino hunting’ is all about being up in the sandstone cliffs of places like the Golden Gate Highlands National Park with a good guide who can point out the relevant signs for you. These Dinosaur Tours are great for anyone, young and old and just about anyone who’d like to know more about the fascinating world of life before us.

Cannibal Trail

Despite its name Cannibal, the hiking trail, just outside Clarens is an easy two-day hike that’s ideal for weekends and is easy enough for the whole family. And not some grueling hike for hiking enthusiasts as you’d think the name suggests.

Although it is named because of a period in time during the early 1800s when there were a series of wars in the area. Between indigenous tribes that saw a fair number of them seeking refuge in the caves in the mountains. And at the same time, there was a widespread drought, rumor has it that cannibalism was reinstated as a result.

But back to the hike that’s situated in the Rooiberge and Witteberg Mountains. It has a trail that’s a circular 16 km route and it’s considered to be one of the moderate to easy hikes for several reasons.

Day one is a relaxed 9 km that takes roughly 5 hours to complete with plenty to entertain you along the route. There are very few hills other than at the start of the hike, and the route takes one through grassy plains, dry river beds, forests, rock pools and past five or so overhangs.

Even the hike back is 7 km and easy to do, even if it starts with a climb up the mountain. As from up there, you are rewarded with incredible views. After following the plateau you head back down into the valley and along the Caledon River.

But the night time is the right time on this hike as after a day of wonderful scenery. You get to enjoy and experience an overnight in the cave. Where you’re given your own mattress and a groundsheet, tables, and benches to sit on and even cold water showers and flush toilets. It’s the closest you’ll get to luxury in a cave.

This overnight stay in the cave is relevant as you’re in one of the very caves known as Mike’s Cave, where indigenous tribes sought refuge from the war. And a bonus the hike ends with enough time to still explore Clarens.


Camelroc MTB Trails

A fun ride, stunning scenery, and a whole lot of challenges along the way make for an awesome Camelroc MTB experience.

It’s an MTB riding trail for MTB riders looking for a challenge.

There are two trails that are rated as an easy to technical level, one a figure of eight, the other a circular trail. Both trails are challenging but what makes these trails particularly attractive are the incredible views, that you literally climb to the top of a mountain for.

Therefore the trail comes highly recommended especially if you want awesome scenery. And want to take the road less traveled especially the part that takes you to the top of the mountain.

As the trail takes you past a pass that allows you to ride through trees, then alongside the Small Caledon River, up a mountain, followed by interesting plateau riding, and then the next minute you’re on a whole lot of long winding downhill’s.

This is included in the 30 km circular trail. A trail that’s aimed at highly conditioned riders as it’s considered a difficult to extreme route in its entirety with a tough climb to the mountaintop.

It’s the get-off and push variety. That despite it being 30 km will keep you going for a good three to five hours, depending on your fitness and strength levels. Although it does include two short-cuts that mean you can shorten the ride to a 10 km or 20 km trail.

If all of this sounds a bit daunting, you can opt for the other MTB riding trail. There’s a 10 km figure of eight lies in the lower regions of the farm. It’s not taxing and you’ll complete it in about an hour, ideal for beginners or those after a moderate ride.

The trails take place at Camelroc Guest Farm near Fouriesburg, Free State. Booking is essential and you pay an admission fee per rider if you’re not a guest on the farm.

Hiking in Clarens

Explore Clarens with Clarens Conservancy Trails

When making a visit to the small town of Clarens there are several trails in and around the area for you to enjoy.

That offer magnificent views some are short roughly half an hour while some take several hours. But all are developed and maintained by the Clarens Village Conservancy.

A registered Non-Profit Organisation which actively promotes projects to improve the environment around Clarens working in conjunction with the local municipality to manage the nature reserve area.

Clarens Village Conservancy consists of a group of people, homeowners and businesses who together look after the town’s natural resources land, water, energy and plants so that everyone may enjoy them.

In the town that’s today a tourist attraction and capital of everything from adventure to art. With its ‘claim’ of the most trees in the Free State, scenic backdrops of the Maluti Mountain and Rooiberge, quiet demeanor and ever flowing rivers. The beauty of nature is abundant in the town that’s a ‘jewel’ of the Eastern Free State.

On the conservancy trails get to enjoy all this abundance that the town is known for of lovely views and a walk that can turn out to be a game watch. Such as at the Kloof and Dam Walk where you can spot various wildlife in the area through their 1km walk that, roughly takes an hour to complete. You can also walk around the dam to see water birds.

On this trail get to walk your dogs or to stretch the legs just as with the Spruit Walk this route is essentially to stretch your legs or walk the dog and wanders along the Clarens Spruit past the Oldwood scrubforest and through a poplar and cedar plantation.

While a steep climb during the Kloof Mountain Trail, a 4.5 km walk that’s roughly takes three hours is worth it. As then you’re rewarded with great views out over the village, Mount Horeb and the Maluti.

The routes include:

  • Leucosidea Trail – 2 km, roughly 1.5 hours
  • Mallen Walk – 1-3 km, roughly 1 hour
  • Sandstone Koppie-Maluti View – 300 m, half an hour
  • Scilla Walk – 2.5 km, roughly an hour