The “week” that was

Chirstmas has come and gone we are now in 2015 and  I’m sure that most of us have already forgotten those New Year’s Resolutions.    Traditionally, this is however, a time to reflect on what we’ve achieved and to set our goals for the year ahead.   A thought that immediately springs to mind, is that we live in a fabulous place and one of the reasons why Clarens is so special is that we are lucky enough to have so many wonderful community organisations and generous individuals who are prepared to give of their time and resources to ensure that our village just keeps on getting better and better.   Please have a look at the Community Page on our website:   You too, may be able to make a positive contribution.


The Twitcher returns

Yes indeed.  Can’t keep a good man down, as the actress said to the Bishop.  The Twitcher is back to enlighten and entertain, and in some rare cases, abuse.  But no-one in our fair village of course.  It seems like an age since we last talked; well, you listened possibly while I rabbited on.  After a spell in a Siberian prison for a small, perhaps even insignificant demonstration in Red Square, in support of the Bolshoi Ballet’s cake sale, I came to understand that the key to the meaning of life is in fact Cricket.  Yes, nothing like a set of rusty prison bars to focus the mind and all mine could conjure was the sight of Dale Steyn, thundering down the pitch to decimate an innocuous Australian, flailing his bat helplessly at the oncoming bouncer.  The rest is history of course.  Our own thugs at the top of the heap, verbally abusing the rest.  Glorious game, cricket.

Which brings me to the subject of this return to Clarens News.  In short, the need to share a cricketing highlight from the glorious annals of this noble sport on our own oblong, er, square.  I quote verbatim from a missive recently to hand from a foreign Sporting and Hunting Correspondent, RW ‘Belcher’Agar:  Read more


It’s all about Trout

A recent article on the CNN website:  African sushi:  Mountainous fish farm links Lesotho with Japanese chefs   highlights the trade in trout from Katse Dam to Japan.   Have a look – it makes for an interesting read for anyone living in or visiting Clarens, since Clarens played an important role in the construction of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project.   This project has featured in quite a few articles which were written for our newsletter and which appear on the Clarens News Website:

Launch of Lesotho Highlands Water Project- Phase 2  (Clarens News: May 2014.  Article by Mary Walker)
Lesotho Highlands Water Project – Phase 2  (Clarens News: March 2014. Article by Mary Walker with  historical insight into building of Phase 1)
Water – Lesotho Highlands Water Project (Clarens News: September 2013.  Background on the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, with reference to the impact of this project on Clarens)
Self Drive – Ash River Outfall Drive  (Clarens News: April 2014) Map and information.
Self drive: Clarens to Katse Dam  (Clarens News: March 2014.) Article by Rod and Rose Smart on their Katse experience – with tips on driving in Lesotho.)
Katse Dam  (General information on Katse Dam, Tours to Katse Dam from Clarens, and the Katse Botanical Gardens.)


Tight lines on the Ash River

(Photograph:  Clarens Fishing)

A subject seldom touched on (but featured in the WildFly Fishing Series on Supersport) is the excellent trout fishing to be had in the Ash river just below the Ash River Outfall.   It seems that trout in our local rivers has become a bit of an environmental hot potato, with purists arguing that they do not belong in our rivers where they impact on the local indigenous fish population, and pragmatists that argue that the benefits of having trout in our rivers far outweighs the damage that these fish may cause.   Whatever your beliefs, the fact remains that we have a thriving trout population in the Ash river which provides almost perfect conditions for trout – and these fish are not only thriving, but also breeding in the river.   So much so, that the Ash river is now considered by many to provide the best trout fishing in South Africa, and Clarens is attracting fly-fishing enthusiasts from far and wide.
For more information on Fishing in the Clarens area – visit the Clarens News website page on Fishing:  


Annual Birding Weekend in Golden Gate Highlands National Park 

Registrations are now open for birders to participate in the Sasol Golden Gate annual birding weekend which takes place from 6th-8th February 2015. This event organised by the Free State Region of the Honorary Rangers, raises funds for SANParks conservation projects within Golden Gate Highlands National Park. 

The Golden Gate Vulture Hide was partly funded by previous birding events and provides birders the opportunity to spot the rare bearded vulture.   Read more

Please note that registration for this event closes next friday: 16th January, 2015


Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Article and photograph by Damien Coulson

Head ranger
Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “bi-Weekly Plant of Interest”. This week we’re focusing on a member of the Lamiaceae (Sage and mint) family.

Ajuga ophrydis (Bugle Plant in English & Senyarela in Sesotho) is a perennial herb which may grow to 250mm tall. This remarkable yet understated herb grows sparcely distributed in rocky grassland areas, in close proximity to rocky slopes at higher altitudes up to 2700 m A.S.L, occurring from the Eastern Cape through to Mpum.

An altogether attractive plant, this specimen was observed above the Porcupine Trail, along what will soon be our new cycle route – the Caracal Contour. Interestingly this specimen and several new wildflowers were only observed in the area in which cattle have been excluded and in which an intact portion of fence remains, and is evidence of the need to conserve our natural heritage. As a matter of interest, this is the only member of the Ajuga genus which has been recorded in S.A.

Click here to read more



10 January 2014
Clarens Country Market
24 January, 2015
Burns Night at Coutryard Restaurant
26 January, 2015:   Klopse Friendship Club Meeting
6-8 February, 2015
Annual Birding Weekend at Golden Gate
31 January 2015
Shades of Broadway at Bon Appetit 
Azette Wiesner 7th February, 2015

Book launch:   “Woord-engel” by Azette Wiesner. 

(With songs on the Woord-engel CD  performend by Jeanette Jacobs, a local singer, and the Clarens Vintage men’s choir with René Human.)


13-15 February, 2015Love Rosendal Festival


Remember to have a look at our Classifieds page on the website – espcially if you’re looking for a flat to rent.