Clarens San Traverse

The Clarens San Traverse is a 3-day slackpacker offering the unique combination of high berg wilderness and cultural treasures. The area is famous for its landmark San paintings, well-preserved dinosaur fossils, fine restaurants, quirky art cafes and intriguing African folk-lore tales.

Our charismatic guide will lead you safely from one destination to the next, whilst sharing his unique perspective on ancient culture and the stories of the people who once inhabited this valley.

  • Trip Duration3 Hike Days / 3 Nights* Shorter and longer variations
  • Daily DistancesDay 1: 17kmDay 2: 14kmDay 3: 5.5 - 10km
  • Trail Grading2-3/ 5 for Fitness.2-3/ 5 for Technicality Mostly cleared paths and farm roads. A few sections of off-camber grassy trails and a few steep ascents and descents.
  • Trail TerrainThe terrain varies between well maintained hiking paths, mountain paths, ravine trails and rocky ridges.
  • AccommodationComfortable farm stays & 3-star lodges
  • Logistic SupportA fully guided and catered lodge-to-lodge tour with vehicle back-up and daily luggage transfers. Return transfer provided.
  • Group SizeMin of 4 persons and max 12-14 persons per group.
  • PricingOn a full group of 8-12 persons: R5000/pp/sharing
At a Glance

Daily distances and pace are quite manageable, making this an excellent trail for families and persons looking to test-out the trail waters.

You will overnight in charming country houses, just outside of Clarens. With meals, transfers and luggage transfers all arranged for, all you need to do is wake up and enjoy the golden-lit sandstone trails, so unique to this part of the world.

  1. Day 1Arrival Day

    Self-drive to the trail head near Clarens, Free State.

    Overnight: St Fort (dinner)

  2. Day 2Hike Day 1: St Fort to Schaaplaats (17km / 7hr hike)

    Breakfast at St Fort. Gradual hike up the scenic ravine onto the high Basothu grasslands.

    Overnight: Schaaplaats Country Guesthouse -offering twin/double en-suites and communal bathrooms (breakfast, packed lunch, dinner)

  3. Day 3Hike Day 2: Schaaplaats to Rock Art Paintings (13.5 km / 5 hr)

    Hike through farmland and up along a river trail to visit a national monument rock art cave paintings. Continue along the grassland ridge with dramatic views of Lesotho and the Caledon river.

    Drivers will be transferred back to collect their vehicle at St Fort.

    Overnight: Schaaplaats Country Guesthouse (breakfast, packed lunch, dinner)

  4. Day 4Hike Day 3: Clarens Historical Walk (5.5km-10km / approx 2-4 hr hike)

    Self-drive to Clarens for a historical walk through the village onto the circular trails of the Clarens Conservancy.

    Restaurant lunch in Clarens for own account.

A fallow field amongst Clarens Sandstone

Caves and overhangs provide a shady rest-spot

Homely farmstays and country lodges - 3-star equivalent. Most rooms are ensuite, but some of the rooms will share a bathroom. Breakfasts and dinners will be prepared and served at your overnight lodgings.

Original Sandstone cottage, St Fort - First nights accomodation.
  1. Do we carry our own backpacks?

    No. Vehicle luggage transfers will be provided between your overight locations on this slackpacking trail.

  2. What type of footwear is appropriate?

    Worn in hiking boots or a more rugged hiking shoe with a decent rubber sole.

  3. What is the best time of year for this trail?

    Any time outside of peak school and public holiday periods. But April/May is when the cosmos is in flower .

At a Glance

Price varies based on group size, but indicative price based on a full group size (8-12 persons) - R5000/pp

Whats included in this tour
  • 3 Nights Accommodation - based on a double or twin sharing basis
  • All Meals: 3 packed/picnic/restaurant lunches for the hike days and 3 dinners and breakfasts at your accommodation
  • Professional Hiking Guide for all days
  • Trail & Reserve Permits
  • Land Permissions