Dominated by the Rooiberge range of mountains, Clarens, South Africa, is a small town that has been well-visited by international and domestic tourists for many years. It is an artist's haven, but the discovery of the remains of the largest dinosaurs in South Africa catapulted Clarens into the international spotlight.
It is a very picturesque little town that offers fantastic hiking in the surrounding mountains that can act as a warm-up for the more strenuous stuff in the nearby Golden Gate Highlands National Park. The National Park is just seventeen kilometers from Clarens and a very easy day trip, though there are accommodation options in the park itself.
There are about a dozen trails around Clarens that range from an hour to five or six hours, if you join several trails together. Most of them are circular and the most popular red trail takes you up the mountain in the southwest corner of the town. All the trails are color-coded and well-trodden and signed. They offer fantastic views over the small town all the way south to the Drakensburg Mountains. The orange Caracal Contour Trail is particularly popular with mountain bikers and there are opportunities for horse riding, abseiling, and fishing in Clarens.
Main Street is full of cafes, restaurants, bars, and artists’ studios; accommodation gets completely booked out during public holidays, particularly the long weekends, where the holiday falls on the Friday or Monday, so book your Clarens, South Africa hostel early.
You will find an option for a backpackers' hostel in Clarens, South Africa, at the foot of the mountain and right on the light blue Mallen Walk that follows the tiny river into town or to the dam, where it meets the junction of three other trails. Your Clarens, South Africa hostel is a mishmash of different accommodation options, including huts, chalets, rooms, camping, and two dorm bunkhouses. Your Clarens, South Africa hostel also provides information for walkers and for those hiking in the National Park and the spacious gardens gives the opportunity to just chill out during the day. It does get cold at night, though.
Phuthatijhaba is the regional transport hub, from where you can pick up shared taxis to Clarens on their way to Fouriesburg or Bethlehem.
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