One of the draws of my weekend in Clarens was the proximity to mountains and hiking. Just a short drive away from this small town is the Golden Gate Highlands National Park complete with multiple short hikes, perfect for a solo traveller. This park is located in the Maluti Mountains famous for their sandstone and epic views.
My intention was just to hangout in Clarens all weekend, but after I quickly did a once over the majority of the shops in one afternoon then I got antsy and felt like venturing out to nature was a good plan. I didn’t know if hiking alone would be an issue, but I luckily realized tons of people were doing the hikes in GG Highlands and I had nothing to fear. Thus, I spent the whole day exploring the park and once I paid my admission fee I had the chance to hike up various trails. For some reason, the woman gave me the South African rate so my day was even economical.
Once in the park I needed to decide what hike to choose as many are available. The first trail I hiked was up the Brandwag Buttress because I wanted to take in some epic views over the Maluti Mountains. Plus this is a hugely popular trail and with good reason. It isn’t so long as to be exhausting and you get to take in all the incredible scenery. The hike is only an hour and with the clouds looming I didn’t want to chance getting stuck in weird weather and I had gotten a late start due to too much enjoyment of my coffee time at Highlands Coffee.
I made it all the way up without incident and was rewarded with blue skies and lovely views all around.
Next up was driving through the park to catch more viewpoints and to drive the 2 loop drives in the park, the Blesbok Loop and the Oribi Loop.
Finally, later in the day I had some animal sightings including springbok, blesbok, and even some crazy baboons.
More photos of Golden Gate Highlands National Park can be found here.