Tag Archives: Clarens Environmental Education

Hibiscus aethiopicus (Common Dwarf Wild Hibiscus)


 Hibiscus aethiopicus. Clarens Village Nature Reserve
Hibiscus aethiopicus (Photo:D.Coulson)
 Hibiscus aethiopicus. Clarens Village Nature Reserve
Hibiscus aethiopicus. (Photo: D.Coulson)
 Hibiscus aethiopicus. Clarens Village Nature Reserve
Hibiscus aethiopicus (Photo: D.Coulson)

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “Bi-weekly Plant of Interest”. We’ll be looking at a member of the Hibiscus or Mallow family (Malvaceae), from the widely distributed Hibisus genus.

Hibiscus aethiopicus (Common Dwarf Wild Hibiscus in English & lereletsane-le-leholo in Sesotho) is a small herbaceous species that grows to between 140 & 350mm depending on topography. This small Hibiscus grows in grasslands as well as along steep mountain slopes at recorded altitudes of up to 1800m A.S.L. H. aethiopicus grows from the Western Cape right through to Zimbabwe.

A little known fact about the derivative word Hibiscus, is that the original Greek ibiskos stems from the name given to the Marsh Mallow plant (now Althaea officinalis and yes, the root sap from the plant was used in ancient Egypt to make a rudimentary form of the popular medicinal confection and was also used to treat coughs an sore throats).

The stems of H. aethiopicus are covered in rough hairs. The leaves are 10-80mm long X 6-40mm wide with blunted apices and 3-5 veins from the base which may or may not have hairs. Leaf stalks measure 5-15mm. The flowers are not easily mistaken and measure approx. 50mm across. The colour is off-white – creamy /faded yellow (colouration is highly variable). The epicalyx (false calyx) bears 7-9 short bracts. Flowering takes place from Nov – Jan.


This species, although not necessarily a garden plant, is known to attract its fair share of butterflies and could therefore be worthwhile cultivating.

First Aid

In light of the plethora of medicinal properties ascribed to many plants of the Hibiscus genus; new studies have confirmed that “H. aethiopicus may contain an endogenous inhibitor of venom-induced haemorrhage” (basically extracts obtained from the plant have been proven to bind and render null the neurotoxic and haemotoxic components of certain cobra venoms and thus prevent death in the unfortunate recipient of the bite). Hope they get that antivenin up and running soon!

Medicinal Uses

Traditional medicines and remedies have been made from this plant. Although the exact uses could not be ascertained at the time of writing, rumour points to use as treatment for coughs, sore throats.

Conservation Status

According to SANBI, H. aethiopicus is classified as of Least Concern.

Damien1-100x100Article and phtography by Damien Coulson

Head ranger: Clarens Village Nature Reserve


Click here to see more plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve



28th March 2014: Equinox


Guinea fowl chicks at The Clarens Country House

Table of Contents:

  • Equinox;
  • Snakes;
  • Victor Victorious: Victor Mokoena;
  • Self Drive from Clarens to Katse;
  • The Twitcher;
  • Community News: Letter to Cattle Owners;
  • Dihlabeng Primary meets Clarens Xtreme;
  • C.V.C. Rangers Receive First Aid Certification;
  • In a Heartbeat – New business in Clarens;
  • Coming Soon – Mexican Restuarant;
  • Coming Events: Passiespele 2014: Bethlehem;
  • Coming Events: 2 May, 2014:Supper Theatre On the Square: The fabulous Cat Simoni starring in Double “O” Bondgirl;
  • Coming Events: 3-4 May 2014:  National MTB in Clarens;
  • It’s super rugby time again;
  • Not on the mailing list?



The Equinox was last Thursday (20th March 2014) so we are now officially in autumn.  (And in the northern hemisphere everyone has started celebrating the beginning of spring.) There are two equinoxes every year : March and September –  a time when the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night is nearly equal.

The Equinox is also when according to legend the Mayan snake god Kukulcan returns to earth to commune with his worshippers and provide blessings before continuing on his was to the underworld.  And at every equinox  people from all over the world visit the Pyramid of Kukalcan (also known as El Castillo) in Mexico, where mathematically brilliant architecture and the sun/shadow patterns at  equinox combine to create an amazing illusion of a giant snake descending the side of the pyramid.

And, as if by some amazing coincidence, the snakes in our area seem to be particularly active at equinox. (See the story below.)  Not that I’m suggesting for one moment that the local Rinkals compares with the great Kukulcan, or that we could turn him into yet another tourist attraction for Clarens.





Snake in ClarensThis is a good time of the year for snake spotting.  They’re particularly active in autumn, because they’re trying to fatten up in preparation for their winter hibernation. Problem is, that they’re very happy to search your house, garage, laundry or store room for food and are quite oblivious to the fact that they’re not welcome.  We had one having a look through our guest house on Monday.  Initial reaction?…….PANIC !  Fortunately, I had my cell phone with me, and Ollie and Detmar from Clarens Xtreme arrived with their snake-catching equipment in a matter of minutes. It took our coffee drinking, snake catching, adrenalin junkies a full total of 45 seconds to catch the snake and stowe it safely away in a bucket. Later on in the day, our non-paying guest was released in the mountains – in a spot where, Ollie assures me, he has a beautiful view of Lesotho.

What to do in case of a snake in your house:

Phone Ollie :  082 56 36 242

Keep an eye on the snake so that you know exactly where it is when Ollie and Detmar arrive to catch it.

Stay calm and ensure that the snake is not disturbed or threatened in any way.  (The snake is probably just as frightened as you are.)

Victor Victorious: Victor Mokoena

Victor Mokoena

by Natalie Dell

Meeting Victor Mokoena is like feeling the sun on your face after a few rainy days. The man has energy to spare and a megawatt smile. He is the Tourism Manager for the Northern Region of SANPARKS (Golden Gate) and the Chairperson of the Clarens Tourism Forum (CTF).

Born in Clarens in 1980, he is a loyal and committed Claranite. He attended the Clarens Combined School from Grade 1 to Grade 12. When I asked him about his first job, he proudly talks about the years that he was a gardener in the village, earning R12 per week. Although he is quick to point out that the money was not what excited him about the job – it was the doorstop sandwiches that he got from his employers that kept his motivation high. Read more

Self Drive from Clarens to Katse

Rose and Rod Smart from Howick in Natal recently visited Katse and sent us an article on their trip.  Anyone planning to self-drive to Katse will find the article full of useful tips and information.

Self-drive from Clarens to Katse Dam

Click here to read the full article

The Twitcher

With Easter on the horizon and the Gods of Winter mustering their wrathful breath for a frosty blow through our little valley, autumn promises to be quite an interesting place to be.
That’s right.  There are only 276 sleeps until Christmas Day, so time to start ironing your old wrapping paper and breaking out the gifts you didn’t want or like from last year.  Try not to give them to the people who gave them to you, however, or there may be a long silence ahead.  Talking of which, what constitutes a shopping day in this Year of Our Lord 2014?
For starters it probably depends where you are.  In New York, for example, 275 days means 275 shopping days.  In Lusaka, by contrast, it probably means 27 shopping days, while in our sunny village it depends WHO you are and what your sleeping habits involve.  Ten short years ago, Clarens slumbered until 09h00 of a morning, most mornings, and certainly didn’t entertain any shopping on a Sunday afternoon, a Monday possibly or a Tuesday certainly.  Read more

Community News: Letter to Cattle Owners

Environmental Education: Dihlabeng Primary meets Clarens Xtreme

Environmental Education is ongoing, and as you can see from the article below the CVC Rangers make sure that it’s fun.

Environmental Education Dihlabeng School meets Clarens XtremeThe sky was a perfect crisp blue and the morning was pleasant – perfect weather for 19 students of Dihlabeng Primary to enjoy a day of play at Clarens Xtreme.

As a result of winning a recycling themed poster competition, 11 students from grade 7 and 8 students from grade 2 got to spend an entire morning enjoying some really cool adventure activities including quad biking, put-put and zip-lining. The students were picked up early that morning by the C.V.C. rangers and several Working on Fire personnel and driven to their destination in (kids) style using the Clarens Working on Fire truck.
Read more

Clarens Village Conservancy Rangers Receive First Aid Certification

Clarens Village Conservancy Rangers get First Aid Certification
Damien Coulson

On Monday the 17th & Tuesday the 18th of this week the C.V.C. rangers took part in 2 days of first aid training. The attendees included the employees of Clarens Xtreme in addition to the rangers, all of whom were very kindly sponsored (at no small expense, may I add) by Ollie Esplin.

The course held at Clarens Xtreme, consisted of 1 full days combined first aid training, levels 1 & 2 followed by a half day combined training and examination. It included a theoretical component as well as hands on practical sessions. Topics covered included C.P.R. and other resuscitation based techniques; treatment of an assortment of wounds, ailments and injuries in emergency situations; survey of hazardous situations and reporting procedure – all drawing from real life scenarios.

Read more

In a Heartbeat – New business in Clarens

If you haven’t hear of In-A-Heartbeat yet, they are a new operation  opening up at The Base in Sias Oosthuizen Street, Clarens.  They describe themselves as an Info and Travel Bureau as well as Event Managers.  Mary Walker visited them a few days ago and got the low down.
Santa, previously of Dihlabeng Municpality in Bethlehem, is set to manage the concern under the direction of Werner, owner of The Base.   She told us that she has a background in communications, PR, marketing and tourism, and she believes that In-A-Heartbeat will enhance the tourism potential of Clarens and the surrounds, and will compliment and strengthen the town’s service to our visiting public.
The goal of In-A-Heartbeat is multi-layerd and will be rolled out in phases over a period of time.   Their immediate objective is to attract tourism accommodation product owners to register with them.   They are offering an accommodation booking service at a basic commission rate of 10%, and will negotiate full maintenance packages with interested parties in addition to this.
Following this they will phase in the other legs of the operation, which include team building and adventure biking packages, event planning and function catering among other things. Their commitment is also to fill a gap in the provision of tourism information, and they plan to provide this as part of their undertaking.
In-A-Heartbeat are planning to introduce the new enterprise by means of a launch in the near future. Clarens News will keep you up to date on developments.
Contact: Santa Bronkhorst – Manager: Events and Development
Office: 058 256 1699/082 727 1452  Email: santa@in-a-heartbeat.co.za

Coming Soon – Mexican Restuarant

Yet again we have something exciting to look forward to in Clarens. We are about to have our own Mexican restaurant opening here in our wonderful village of Clarens. The Mexican cuisine is considered a favourite by many people and it is always a good thing to allow our inhabitants and tourists of Clarens with another choice in dining. Preparations are in order as the venue is set to be where The Street Café was before.

Cecilia Morten, the owner of Restaurant Vito’s in Clarens explained that she is delighted to embark on a new challenge in starting this restaurant. She said that she will be joined by three other partners in this venture and they are all extremely excited. The name of the restaurant is Amigos as it is a well identifiable word or saying in the Mexican language meaning people. Opening a restaurant or business is a good decision because it strengthens our community by providing more job opportunities and this is but one of the reasons why we decided to start this restaurant she added. The Amigos restaurant is planning to open its’ doors during the month of April of this year if everything goes to plan. Should the owners experience any difficulties it might take a bit longer.

We here at Clarens News wish Cecilia and her business partners everything of the best and we cannot wait to try out their Taco’s amongst the many food options that the restaurant will offer.

Article and information by: Julio Ontong

Coming Events: Passiespele 2014: Bethlehem


Coming Events: 2 May, 2014:
Supper Theatre On the Square: The fabulous Cat Simoni starring in Double “O” Bondgirl

Phone Carol at Gosto’s for further details: 082 416 3687

Coming Events
3-4 May 2014:  National MTB in Clarens

Click here For further information

It’s super rugby time again

Watch all the action at one of our local Clarens pubs (and if you want to watch it on a big screen go to Artichoke).  The atmosphere is great –   almost like being at the game!

Click here to see the April 2014 fixtures

Not on the mailing list?

Click here to sign up 

27th September, 2013: Let’s Braai

Clarens News; Exotic vegetation in Clarens

Exotic Vegetation

Our photograph this week shows a cluster of cosmos flowering blithely against the backdrop of a high ridge on the Rooiberg range.  In the late summer months these resilient flowers enrich our roadsides with their shades of pink, red, mauve and white, their distribution extending from the midlands, through the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal, the Drakensberg foothills, the Eastern Free State and many parts of the highveld.  The story of their introduction to South Africa is well documented.   Cosmos, closely related to the sunflower, is listed as an alien plant species in South Africa.  Once exotic plants become ‘naturalised’ and able to propagate and establish themselves in natural surroundings, their impact or potential impact should be assessed and, where necessary, management procedures put in place.  Read more

Calendars can be purchased at Clarens Gallery (House of Woven Art), Clementines Restaurant , the Village Grocer and the Old Stone Bottle Store.  Alternatively they can be ordered from Katherine on 0827886287, Jan on 0782462553, Helen on 0582230918 or by email to jansander22@gmail.com .  ….More on the Cluny Animal Trust

Let’s Braai
Community Braai Challenge – 29th September 2013

Please submit your entry forms as soon as possible. (Certainly no later than noon on Saturday)

 Appeal for Braai Challenge Prizes


Thank you to the following establishments for their generous support in Prize sponsorships for the event:
Clarens Brewery, Homing Instinct, Highland Roastery, Clarens Yoga Centre, Horeb Butchery, Clarens Destinations, Garment Gallery, Posthouse Restaurant, Brambleberry, ClarensXtreme

Plant of the week: Moraea stricta

Damien Coulson:

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “Plant of the week”. We’ll be looking at a plant at the far end of the spectrum as opposed to last week’s plant of the week – this time around we’ll be looking at a small bulbous wildflower that has only been observed in 2 localities over the last month.

Moraea stricta (commonly known as Bloutulp in Afrikaans), is a small plant of between 15 & 25 cm in height and is widespread throughout Africa. Stricta refers to the straight or upright appearance of the flower. M. stricta grows in grasslands in close proximity to rocky outcrops and slopes at altitudes of up to 2400 m A.S.LM. stricta is interesting in that the leaves are usually absent during the flowering stage (Sept – Nov).   Read more


Illegal Activites in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Muti 3 Muti-e1395756328512 muti-2-e1395756550763

Over the past two weeks the C.V.C. rangers have noted an increase in the number of ripped-open bags being dumped along the Spruit. This week

Please submit your entry forms as soon as possible. (Certainly no later than noon on Saturday)alone, 6 full bags of household refuse have been cleaned-up and removed from the trail.

One instance of illegal muti-digging was observed in the Clarens Nature Reserve. An individual dragging 2 very heavy sacks behind him was asked to open them for an inspection – both were full of medicinal plants (bulbs, tubers, corms, roots, etc.), some of which were protected and vulnerable plant species. The rangers also asked the individual to produce a permit, which he did, however the permit seemed suspect. Some while later down at the station, the police found the permit to be fraudulent and on questioning, the statement of the culprit was as one of the rangers so eloquently put it, “kind-of like a Jackie Chan karate movie – completely fong-kong and full of loops!”.

All jokes aside, the rangers are working hard to keep the environment that we all love and enjoy in as pristine a condition as possible, but even they cannot be everywhere at once. This week the rangers got lucky and apprehended a culprit red-handed, however the eyes of the community need to be kept vigilant to similar activities. Thanks to those of you who have assisted the C.V.C. with information at times, and to the rest – stay sharp

In connection with illegal or suspect environmental activities the C.V.C. can be contacted at:
Head Ranger:Damien Coulson – 076 833 8910;
C.V.C. Chairman:  Rodney Wainwright  –   083 680 7770.

A Black South Easter Blows into town

Black South Easter blew into town unexpectedly this week, and blew all of us who saw them away. Band members Nkoza Sitsholwana (vocals), Jim Curve (base), Dan Boshoff (guitar) and Jerry Mbowa perfromed for us at Street Cafe, Artichoke and Friends.  We loved it – and fortunately Black South Easter love us too.  They plan to re-vist Clarens again soon.  (Look out for their new album: Black South Easter In Waves)

Environmental Education: 88 students at St Fort

On Tuesday the 17th of September the C.V.C. rangers attended an environmental education event at St. Fort farm on invitation from Clarens Xtreme  with  a total of 88 grade 6 students from Jordania Primary – a local school based in Bethlehem. The students were out on a 4 day leadership camp where they would learn about teamwork and the basic problem solving skills necessary to become the next group of prefects. The experiences of those 4 days would help the students to develop these attributes and ultimately play a role in prefect selection in early 2014.   Read more

This weekend – Live Music

Friday 27 September 2013
Grouse & Claret:  7.30pm  onwards:  Ric and company
Street Cafe:  8.30 pm onwards:  Grumpie Old Men

Saturday 28 September 2013
Street Cafe:  12h00-15h00:  Deon, the Soutie from Toti
Artichoke:  after the rugby:  Jana and Mia

 This weekend – Rugby fixtures

This weekend – Other things to do

Farmer’s Market outside the Bibliophile. 10h00 – 14h00.

Dinner Dance at Courtyard Cafe.  R150pp  Includes 3 course meal. Phone 082 6501503 to book

Community Braai Challenge on the square.  14h00 – 18h00.


Coming Events : Classic Clarens Festival












Coming Events : Bibliophile Bookfest 2013

Writers dinner, Film Premiere, authors, supper theatre – and lots more.

To see the program 


MORE Coming Events :

Visit the Clarens News website to find out about all the other events coming to Clarens.


Looking for a house to rent, a job, or wanting to sell something? You might find it in our Classifieds section.

Should you wish to place an advertisement in this section please email: editor@clarensnews.com
(Classified advertisements are free.)


Note from the editor

The best laid plans of mice and men.  We promised you an Adventure page on the website last week…..sorry.  We are still struggling with the web design aspect of the news.  (Probably because the editor would much rather be doing something else!)

ADVENTURES.  We have all been working hard at collecting information on all the adventures on offer in Clarens. Our aim is to build a website which reflects Clarens and everything it has to offer, but,  we need your help to achieve this. Please let us know what adventures you have to offer to our Clarens visitors:  email: editor@clarensnews.com



22nd August 2013: Painting with light

Contents”  Clarens Spring Fair, CVC Notice, SPF Appeal, Department of Agriculture Vegetable growing project; Blood donations; Plant of the week Felicia filifolia ; CVC Fun Day at Clarens Xtreme, Tourism Forum News; News from The Clarens Golf Estate, The Twitcher, This Weekend, Coming Events.

Painting with light

Clarens News Exotic vegetation in Clarens

The first Clarens Spring Art fair starts on the 28th August, and it seems that mother nature will be displaying her wide palette of ever-changing colours specially for the occasion. There is a promise of spring in the air: there are touches of green in the lawn and some the fruit trees growing in Clarens are already putting on a spring show of blossom.


Important Meeting

Notice from the CVC

All residents, business owners and ratepayers are encouraged to attend an important meeting to update and involve the community in some very important developments in the Clarens area.  These issues affect every resident in the Clarens area.

We will be sharing how we have utilised your taxes and contributions during the last year to contribute to improving our community.  We will also be discussing some future plans for the following year which will require your participation.  These initiatives require your involvement to be able to be sustained and we urge that your minimum contribution is to at least attend the meeting and provide your input.
Venue: Clarens Methodist Church Hall
When: Wednesday 11 September 2013 at 16:30


SPF Appeal

Keeping our town crime free is everyone’s responsibility and  all crime should be reported to the police station.

– Charge office  –  058 256 6001 and 058 256 6002
– Officer on duty –  082 466 8904
– Station Commander  –  Capt Mohale – 082 419 7094

In an effort to co-ordinate crime statistics  The Sector Police Forum  also ask that anyone who has not received a case number for crimes reported to the police to please contact the Sector Police Forum.

Johann Lehman on 083 447 9925

Click here to find out more about the SPF

Department of Agricuture: Project on Vegetable growing

The Mentor of the Agricultural Project of vegetables Mr Thabo Olivier is coming to Clarens on 28 August 2013 to meet the community,schools, business people and church leaders about the importance of growing your own vegetables in your own backyard garden. He will also demonstrate on how to grow vegetables using recyclable materials even in a small space.

Times are as follows:

Business: 10H30 am @ municipal Office
Schools: 08H00 am @ different schools/30 min each.
Community: 16H00 pm @ Kgubetswana Hall

Tsepiso Mosia
Department Of Agriculture FS
Phone:  0710791332   E-mail:mosiatsepiso@yahoo.com


Your blood saves lives

Plant of the week: Felicia filifolia


Damien Coulson


Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “Weekly Plant of Interest”. We’ll be looking at a semi-cryptic herbaceous species that may, with a sharp eye be observed on several of the Clarens hiking trails when out of season. In season however spotting is much, much easier.

Felicia filifolia or the Fine-leaved Felicia (commonly known as Draaibos or Wilde Aster in Afrikaans, or sehhalahala-se-seholo in Sisotho), is a small shrublet of between 80 cm and 1 metre when fully grown. Felicia is reputedly named after Herr Felix, a German official who died in 1846 (the genus name could also be derived from the Latin word felix meaning cheerful). The species name filifolia means leaves like fern fronds (referring to the fineness of the foliage).  Read more


CVC Fun Day at ClarensXtreme

Thursday 15th August 2013 saw thirteen students (winners of the Environment Day poster competition at Clarens Primary)  enjoy a fun day at Clarens Xtreme, where they were to treated to quad biking, zip-lining and Put-put. Ollie Esplin was kind enough to sponsor the Put-put and zip-lining for all the students, whilst the Clarens Village Conservancy sponsored quad-biking.  Although all of the students seemed to enjoy the quad-biking, one young student could not help but smile broadly for the entire duration of her ride…  Read more

Tourism Forum News

As announced last week, the Clarens Tourism Forum will be representing Clarens at the upcoming N3 Gateway’s Gauteng Getaway Show at the Northgate Dome at the end of the month, and is looking for assistance from anyone who is willing to help. The show is expected to attract around 23 000 visitors, and it is a great marketing opportunity.

We are now calling for CTF members to bring your marketing material (pamphlets, business cards etc) to be distributed at the the stand.

Please drop off with Fran at Clarens Destinations next to the Post Office before Wednesday 28 August 2013.

Thanking you in anticipation,
Clarens Tourism Forum

Free Workshops for Hospitality Staff

The following FREE Funded Training is being offered to the Clarens Community Businesses
for the upliftment of their staff and for Interns and upskilling unemployed people around the area.
National Certificate:
Accommodation Services NQF2 – (Focussed on housekeepers in the hospitality sector)For more info on this qualification, please refer to the page on this site:http://www.africanglobalacademy.co.za/

National Certificate:
Food and Beverage Services NQF4 – (Focussed on waiters and barmen in the hospitality sector)
For more info on this qualification, please refer to the page on this site:http://www.africanglobalacademy.co.za/

For the duration of these programs your staff will be paid R2000 a month /
Pro rated dependant on working hours
For more information please email marketing@clarenssa.co.za

SA Tourism:  The Power of One

The Power of One


South African Tourism’s road show  The Power of One will be visiting the Free State on the 26th and 27th August, 2013.

No further details are available at present


News from The Clarens Golf Estate

Bethlehem Voortrekker High School made some history on Monday, all three their teams walked away as Eastern Free-State Champions. January 2013 Voortrekker and Clarens Golf Estate started a Golf Development Program to develop more junior golf being played at school level in specifically the Eastern Free-State. This relationship has started to bear fruit as Voortrekker is now crowned champions in all three divisions.

The teams competed against various schools in the region, culminating in the final being hosted at The Clarens Golf Estate on 19 August. The three divisions were played out between Witteberg and Voortrekker for third division. Between Ladybrand, Witteberg and Voortrekker for second division and the first devision was contested between Voortrekker, Ficksburg and Witteberg. After an entertaining round of golf, Voortrekker left the 18th green as champions in all three divisions.
With this new relationship between Voortrekker and The Clarens Golf Estate still in its early stages, much can be expected in the future from these young champions.

Forthcoming Golf days at The Clarens Golf Estate

 September 28-30             National Junior Club Championships

October 11                          Jordania Primary Golf Day
October 19th                       CTF Golf Day
October 24th                       BMW Golf Day
October 26th                       CFA Golf Day
December 7th                     Clarens Open


The Twitcher

Okay, okay.  So there was no snow last week and the Big Blue overhead suggests that it may be somewhere ahead.  Maybe next year.  Simple proof that your correspondent is far from fool-proof, albeit well-intentioned.

Nothing to report on the ornithological front either, unless you count the positively fecund activities of the doves which soil my gutters.  Cute in its own way, this reproductive activity coincides with the greening of the Willows and the proliferation of buds on every tree I seem to have.  Must mean spring is imminent, which makes a mockery of my predictions of snow.  Or does it?  15,000 shepherds in Lesotho can’t all be wrong.

So to the forthcoming Spring Art Festival in our sleepy village, an event that may over time grow to be a serious date on the national calendar.  For now, the village’s artists are wrestling with venues, programmes and openings, all calculated to fill Clarens with art buyers, critics and aspirant artists.  So, fingers crossed, we look forward to a surge in our weekend visitors, sustained through the week and into the following weekend.  May they buy freely and with thick wads of folding stuff (which used to be known as ‘stiff notes of corruption’ until our Government made this description somewhat ironic).

However, all this emphasis on visitors raises the question of local interest and participation: Notwithstanding the valiant efforts of our Clarens Art Guild, now showing in the Protea Hotel, when did you last see a local in any gallery in the village – unless they were buying wine, of course.  This is a serious question.  We have over 20 well-signposted galleries and studios in Clarens, but I’ll wager that few locals could name more than three, and probably haven’t crossed their thresholds since the old King died.

So come-on Clarens, you have filled the Phatt Chef and 278 on Main pretty much every Monday and Wednesday night since Simon and Sue initiated their contribution to social intercourse in the village.  What about taking a trip to see what your local artists have been doing?  You don’t even have to buy (although that’s a nice prospect) but give your creative juices a stir with a little ramble amongst the galleries.  There are probably about 3000 paintings, drawings and sculptures on show, together with artists plying their craft to the delicious background rumbling of old jazz, so there has got to be something of interest – even if it is only a glass of wine.  Read more
See you there.
The Twitcher


This weekend

Smile! You could be on TV

Mooiloop!  The team from this South Africa lifestyle travel series produced by Blue Marble Entertainment are in Clarens this weekend.  Presenters Valiant Swart and Denvor Phokaners are visit ing lesser known (?) towns and villages across South Africa,  introducing Mooiloop viewers to the stories and the people who call these places home.  The Mooiloop series is broadcast weekly on SABC on Wednesdays at 19h30.

Live Music

Friday 23 August 2013
Friends:  8.30 pm onwards:  Slipstream
Grouse & Claret: Denzel & Hensie

Saturday 24 August 2013
Artichoke: 11.30am – 3.00pm: Denzel & Hensie
Artichoke: 6.00pm onwards:  Denzel & Hensie
Friends: 8.30pm onwards:  Slipstream


Springboks vs Argentina 24 August 2013

Springbok Squad, Replacements and Team


1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks); 2 Adriaan Strauss (Cheetahs);3 Jannie du Plessis (Sharks); 4 Eben Etzebeth (Western Province); 5 Juandre Kruger (Racing Metro); 6 Francois Louw (Bath);7 Willem Alberts (Sharks);8 Duane Vermeulen(Western Province); 9 Ruan Pienaar (Ulster); 10 Morne Steyn (Blue Bulls); 11 Bjorn Basson (Blue Bulls); 12 Jean de Villiers (Western Province); 13 JJ Engelbrecht (Blue Bulls); 14 Bryan Habana (Western Province);15 Willie le Roux (Griquas)

Replacements /PosPlayerTeam

16 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks); 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp (Toulouse); 18 Coenie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs);19 Flip van der Merwe (Blue Bulls); 20 Siya Kolisi (Western Province); 21 Jano Vermaak (Toulouse);22 Pat Lambie (Sharks);23 Jan SerfonteinBlue  Bulls)


Currie Cup Rugby 2013 Fixtures 

23 Aug Free State Cheetahs vs Sharks Bloemfontein 19:10
24 Aug Griquas vs Western Province Kimberley 15:00
24 Aug Blue Bulls vs Golden Lions Pretoria 17:05
30 Aug Golden Lions vs Western Province Johannesburg 19:10
31 Aug Free State Cheetahs vs Griquas Bloemfontein 15:00
31 Aug Sharks vs Blue Bulls Durban 17:05
7 Sep Griquas vs Golden Lions Kimberley 15:00
7 Sep Blue Bulls vs Free State Cheetahs Pretoria 17:05
7 Sep Western Province vs Sharks Cape Town 19:10
13 Sep Free State Cheetahs vs Golden Lions Bloemfontein 19:10
14 Sep Griquas vs Sharks Kimberley 15:00
14 Sep Blue Bulls vs Western Province Pretoria 17:05
20 Sep Western Province vs Griquas Cape Town 19:10
21 Sep Sharks vs Free State Cheetahs Durban 15:00
21 Sep Golden Lions vs Blue Bulls Johannesburg 17:05
27 Sep Free State Cheetahs vs Western Province Bloemfontein 17:05
27 Sep Golden Lions vs Sharks Johannesburg 19:10
28 Sep Griquas vs Blue Bulls Kimberley 14:00
4 Oct Blue Bulls vs Sharks Pretoria 19:10
5 Oct Griquas vs Free State Cheetahs Kimberley 14:00
5 Oct Western Province vs Golden Lions Cape Town 14:00
12 Oct Golden Lions vs Griquas Johannesburg 15:00
12 Oct Free State Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls Bloemfontein 17:05
12 Oct Sharks vs Western Province Durban 19:10
19 Oct Team 1 vs Team 4 TBC 14:30
19 Oct Team 2 vs Team 3 TBC 17:00
26 Oct TBC vs TBC TBC 17:00

Coming Events

Always something happening in Clarens.  It’s sometmes difficult to keep track.  Check the Events page on this website.


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Note from the editor

We regret that there will be no Clarens News next week.  The staff will be on holiday.