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Hiking in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park

The Rhebok Hiking Trail, Golden Gate National Park,South AfricaThe Rhebok Hiking Trail is a demarcated and guided 2 day 1 night hike in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park near Clarens in the Eastern Free State Highlands. The Golden Gate Park is the only National Park in South Africa to have been proclaimed for the conservation of scenery – and the scenery is spectacular! The Rhebok Trail is one of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of this mountainous area with its rolling grasslands and sandstone wonders.

The trail starts at the Glen Reenen Rest Camp early on the first day. Day one is 14.5 kms and starts with a fairly steep ascent up one of the Golden Gate’s most famous sandstone formations – the Brandwag. This section continues through many beautiful sandstone formations, overhangs  and rock pools to the overnight camp at the Rhebok Hut – where you will find basic amenities (including a hot water shower) and a braai area.

Day two is slightly shorter, but can take longer due to the terrain. The second day’s trail follows a stream to a waterfall, and there are many rocks with slippery ascents and descents to negotiate. This is followed by a long ascent to the top of ‘Generalskop’ mountain – from where you can enjoy magnificent views into neighbouring Lesotho. From here, the trail descends back down to Glen Reenen – and while there is relief at going downhill again, it is quite steep in parts and not always easy.

The Rhebok Trail is rated as strenuous. It can get very cold and misty in the mountains, so warm clothing, boots with good grip, and wet weather gear are essential items in your backpack. In winter, there is a good chance of snow.

The trail must be booked in advance with SanParks, and the maximum group size is 18.

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More info on the quaint town of Clarens More info on the Eastern Free State area

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