Things To Do in ClarensRhebok Hiking Trail
Where? Start and finish in the Golden Gate National Park, Free State
When? 2 days, 31 km circular walk
How? Call SAN Parks
How much? Price on request
Start: Glen Reenen Rest camp, Golden Gate National Park
Finish: Golden Gate National Park
Duration: 2 days, 31 km circular walk
Fitness: moderate to difficult
Our tip: sweeping views of Lesotho's mountains make the slog well worth it
This is rather an energetic trail in the rolling foothills of the Maluti Mountains, north eastern Free State, arguably some of the most incredible mountain scenery in the country.
The two-day trail, which involves trekking up to the highest point in the park (Generaalskop), gives one a wonderful way to see the park, including some of the best views out over Mont-aux-Sources and the Malutis.
Day one is 14 km to the overnight Rhebok Hut – get an early start as, especially in summer, the days can be very hot and afternoons invariably produce an electric storm. 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 14 km 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 (not great to do in the heat of the day but pack clothing for any eventuality, as weather in the mountains is unpredictable). After the ascent, there is the descent (very steep in places) before venturing down a rather picturesque kloof and down to glen Reenen (hot showers all round).
Golden National Park has a number of other day trails, for those after a shorter walk. Look out for black wildebeest, Burchell's zebra and the rare bearded vulture, or lammergeier.