Tag Archives: Clarens Fire Association

Clarens News: 18 July 2014: Mandela Day

19th July 2014: Mandela Day.

Nelson Mandela International Day; Mandela Day in Clarens; Clarens Community Organisations : Making Every Day a Mandela Day; The Twitcher; Golfing for Rhinos; Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve:  Printzia laxa; CVC Report Back June 2014; It’s Fire Season Again; Clarens Tourism Forum; This Weekend; Restaurant Specials; Coming Events; Classifieds; An information tool; Making Clarens News work for you


Clarens Community Mandela Day

Nelson Mandela International Day

Nelson Mandela Day


Today is Nelson Mandela International Day – a day which Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations refers to as a call to action.    Each of us can celebrate this day by helping to address real problems in our communities. Together we can give great meaning to our celebration by paving the way for a better future.  For more information on this day, Click here for the article on the South Africa info website.Several organisations and businesses in Clarens are answering the call.

Mandela Day in Clarens

Several Clarens organisations (and at least one business)  are answering the call to celebrate Mandela Day by doing something uplifting for the community.


Phaphama Youth Development

Our nation’s elderly are a precious resource. We need to honour them. To cherish them. To thank them. You can give back to the elderly by joining us on the 19 July 2014 when we do our Mandela Day part by cleaning the centre, donating some goods and spending time with them.

Old Age can be of a nice thing to many but to others it means loneliness, isolation and monotony which can be soul destroying. Being one of the life changers we believe it is up on the youth and the current generation to take care of them elderly and to support them and show them that they are cared for and loved.

Phaphama Youth Development is the way to bring hope to the hopelessness, our cutting edge services bring so much impact on those we touch or work with.

You are not sure of what to do for Mandela day and you are probably thinking what can I do in Clarens on that weekend? If your answer is YES; well Phaphama and FNB Volunteer Team is giving you a chance to be part of this much needed event that is scheduled as follows:

Date: 19 July 2014  Venue: Ratanang Luncheon Club (158 Kgubetswana)  Time: 14:00 – 15:00
Contact Ntsebe Mofokeng @ 078 245 1709 or via email at nmofokeng23@gmail.com

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

The Department of Agriculture & Rural Development held their Mandela Day event  at Ithuseng Disabled Centre at 10h00 this morning. From there we will be heading to Saron Farm to do gardening for 2 Pensioners.

Action: Preparation of soil and planting of vegetables seeds.

Contact: Tsepiso Mosia, Department of Agriculture & Rural Development, Phone: 071 0791332

Unfortunately, Clarens News were not able to attend this event, but Tsepiso has promised to send us some photographs.

Golden Gate Highlands National Park

Golden Gate Highlands National Park are holding an event in Mokobobong (informal settlement) Clarens on 21 July, 2014 at 10h00. They have decided to extend a helping hand to a particularly needy family (identified by Bana Ba Hlokang) in Clarens by building them a shack.   The event starts at 10h00, starting with a welcome and opening address by Clarens Ward  Councilor –   Matshidi Mokoena, which is to be followed by an introduction to the event by the Program Director Mr. T. Mdlalose, and an explanation of the Purpose of the Event  by   Golden Gate Park Manager – Ms. S. Mhlophe.  Therafter there will be a short Speech  by Ms. Innocentia Lekau – Dept of Soc Dev Bethlehem, followed by another short Speech by  Mr. Thomas Thaele  (Tshepong Care Centre).   Everyone will then participate in the building of the shack, after which a family member will propose a vote of thanks.

For further details contact:  Mr T Mdalose Tel: 058 255 0991  Cell: 073 028 2319  Email: thulani.mdlalose@sanparks.org


Saturday is Mandela Day at Bon Appetit (Rosemary Centre, Clarens)

A percentage on all meals and drinks ordered that day will be donated to Cluny Animal Trust.

School Events

The schools are on holiday at the moment, but we are sure that they will be commemorating Mandela once they get back on Monday.   Keep an eye on our facebook page to find out what is happening.


Clarens Community Organisations : Making Every Day a Mandela Day

The overarching objective of Nelson Mandela International Day is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good. Ultimately it seeks to empower communities everywhere to “Take Action; Inspire Change; Make Every Day a Mandela Day.”

Clarens is blessed with many organisations and individuals who Make Every Day a Mandela Day.   Have a look at the Community Oganisations page on the website for more information on the work they do – and how you can help to make every day a Mandela Day.


The Twitcher

Clarens Village Life The Twitcher

You’re lying on a river bank, soaking up the sun, king of all you see, and then……………….

The Twitcher sent us this video clip along with some totally irrelevant comments on life in Clarens (which doesn’t have a river or a river bank, or even a sun-bathing spot at the moment so the editor decided you could work out something out for yourselves.)




Golfing for Rhinos

Golfing for Rhinos

Clarens is in for a rare sight early next week.  Heinrich Adriaan du Preez is a South African amateur golfer, and the holder of 28 golf related world records, including 15 Guinness World records, is taking on a new challenge in order to raise funds for The Rhino Orphanage.   From the 19 – 27 July, he is trading in his golf cart for a New Holland T5 Tractor.  He is aiming to play a round of golf in all 9 SA´s provinces in just 9 days – using the New Holland T% Tractor (which has the same top speed as a standard golf cart….35km/h) as his golf cart – and as his mode of travel between the different golf courses.  (He will be  travelling about 2000 km and playing 9 rounds of golf in just 9 days.)   Read more

Rhino Orphanage Rhino Orphanage

The reason behind this epic road trip is to raise funds for the world´s only Rhino Orphanage. This facility looks after baby rhinos who´s mothers have been killed by poachers. To find out more about the rhino orphanage please click here

Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve:  Printzia laxa

Printzia laxa


Article and photography by Damien Coulson

Head ranger:  Clarens Village Nature Reserve


Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “bi-Monthly Plant of Interest”. This week we’re focusing on a member of the Asteraceae (Daisy) family.

Printzia laxa (Giant Daisy Bush in English, and Sephomolo in Sesotho), is a perennial herb which grows to around 2 m tall. This plant grows in moist scrub below Clarens Formation sandstone cliffs and in close proximity to streams. Growth has been recorded at altitudes of up to 2400 m A.S.L from the EC through to Mpum.

The name laxa; is derived from the Latin laxus and refers to the drooping growth-form of this species. P. laxa makes use of an unusual flowering timing (but by no means isolated) in that it is one of few plants in the province to flower in winter. The advantages of this system are that there are fewer other plants with which to compete for pollination services, and could theoretically result in increased reproductive success. The flowers of this species are highly variable and may appear pinker in certain regions.  Read more

CVC Report Back June 2014
Clarens Village Conservancy

Clarens Village Conservancy Report Back June 2014

Read more

It’s Fire Season Again

Given the dry and windy conditions, It looks as though we are going to be particularly vigilant this year.   Please have a look at The Clarens Fire Association page on the website.  Everyone needs to familiarize themselves with the protocols to follow in case of a house or a veld fire and on how best to be prepared in case of fire.

Whilst you’re on the website, please also check out the IMPORTANT NUMBERS page.  Make sure you have them handy – you never know when you may need them.

Clarens Fire Association Newsletter

Clarens Fire Association

Fire Season Activities





Clarens Tourism Forum

The CTF is holding a general meeting at Mont D’Or on 29th July to discuss the way forward for the CTF.  They  have ideas on how they think the CTF should continue as a more professional marketing organisation we would like to present and discuss with all stakeholders.  Anyone and everyone to attend. Clarens Tourism Forum Notice


Friday 18th July:
Amigos:  OB will be playing from 16h30
The Grouse: Denzl and Hensie from 20h00 onwards

Artichoke:  Deon is playing from 12h30  (until the rugby)
Straight after the rugby:  Ric and Victor

Amigos:  OB will be playing from 14h00.  (Then it’s rugby!)




Restaurant Specials

Artichoke:  A great new speciality: LARGE savoury pancakes with chips and salad (or two sweet pancakes)  from 11 to 5 o’ clock daily.

Monday:  Protea Hotel: 17h00 – 19h00:  Soup and Sherry specials (R35) includes assorted breads and and the 1st sherry free.We also have periodic cake specials at R35 for cake and coffee/hot chocolate/cuppachino.Monday – Friday:  The Posthouse breakfast! Sart the day on the right note.  The Posthouse Breakfast ranges from R22 – R30, and includes tea and coffee.


Friends Happy Hour from 20h00 to 21h00.  Live music.

Wednesday:  Brambleberry @ The Ash (Old Cranford):  Burger and Pizza Specials

Thursday:   Golden Age Day at Bon Appetit Bistro: (Rosemary Centre) Every Thursday (except Public Holidays) is now “Golden Age Day” @ Bon Appetit Bistro. If you are in the Golden Age (over 65 years old), come enjoy Breakfast (served all day), a light lunch, tea, coffee or cake and get 10% discount on your bill.  Open from 9.30am till 4.00pm.

Thursday:  Brambleberry:  Happy Hour 17h30 to 18h30 followed by two-course meal special

Friday:  Courtyard: Specials at the Cafe every friday from 12 noon, and at the Restaurant every friday evening from 18h00

Friday:  The Highlander: Happy Hour from 17h30 to 18h30. Need to make a booking?   Click here for a list of Restaurant telephone numbers

SundayProtea Hotel:  First Sunday of every month, carvery at the Protea Hotel. Please book in advance to avoid disappointment. Price R125  (Ph: 058 256 1212)

Coming Events

Visit the Events page to see other coming events

Mountain Breeze Clarens Women's Day event





Remember to check out the Classifieds page on the website…   Brandon is looking for 50 hay bales.   (LOOK On the Classifieds page under STUFF – Wanted)

Should you wish to place an ad please contact editor@clarensnews.co.za



An information tool

The Clarens News website is an information tool.   Our objective being to give you  Everything you need to know about Clarens.   Since we do not have a dedicated info centre inClarens we all need to step into that role and be in a position to give Clarens visitors the information they need in order to keep them coming back. We also need to keep abreast of what’s happening in our community – and it is hoped that by visiting the community pages on the website everyone will be in a better position to lend a helping hand where necessary.  If you have information you would like to add to the website or our facebook page, please feel free to contact us:  email: editor@clarensnews.co.za.  In the meantime, please make use of the website – accommodation owners especially well find it a useful resource to answer questions such as how do we get to Clarens, what should do whilst we’re there, and even…. when is it going to snow?

Making Clarens News Work for you

Clarens News is here for you to enjoy, use, and to promote all things Clarens.  Click here to have a look at our new website: www.clarensnews.co.za.  You may notice that we haven’t got all the listings loaded yet, but in the meantime you can get a good idea of what the website is all about.   email:editor@clarensnews.co.za to discuss how to go about getting your business listed.

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Clarens News: 13 September 2013


The photograph above  features in the 2014 calendar produced by and sold in aid of Cluny Animal Trust.

The photograph was taken from the access road to Sunnyside Guest Farm, between Clarens and Golden Gate, looking back towards the eastern flank of Mount Horeb,  and served as theinspiration for photographer Mary Walker’s article: Valley of Art.  Read more

Calendars can be purchased at The Gallery, Clementines Restaurant and the Old Stone Bottle Store, in Clarens.  Alternatively they can be ordered from Katherine on 0827886287, Jan on 0782462553, Helen on 0582230918 or by email to jansander22@gmail.com .  …


 Golden Gate National Highlands Park

50th birthday

There is to be a birthday celebration at the Meriting picnic site on Friday, 13th September 2013,starting at 10.00am.
For further information please contact:  Gloria Ngobeni on 058 255 0933

For those of you who missed last week’s Clarens News, take a look at Mary Walker’s article on the Golden Gate Highland National Park – in honour of the 50th anniversary.


Last week saw several potentially dangerous fires in the surrounding area – and even one on the Golf Estate. Thank goodness for the Working on Fire team, who respond so quickly and efficiently to keep us safe and ensure minimal loss. Everyone however has their part to play:

Ensure that you have fire suppression equipment available for our staff (water hoses, fire beaters, knapsacks, etc.)

Ensure that your staff are aware that they may not light fires in the open.

Ensure that your guests are aware that there is a ban on all open fires.

Ensure that everyone knows who to contact in case of fire.

Why not print out Important Numbers from the Clarens News website and stick them up on your fridge door – or where everyone can see them.

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)
The SPF does a huge amount of work, keeping our town crime-free. The village is divided into blocks – each with a SAM (Sector Area Manager.)  Residents are more than welcome to contact their SAM to report potential suspicious behavior whereupon the SAM will follow it up with the SAPS.
To see the list of SAMs on duty this month  …

Department of Agricuture: Project on Vegetable Growing

Letter from Tsepiso Mosia

Dear Clarens/Kgubetswana Community

It is a pleasure to inform you that the Senior Agriculture Officials and Hlasela TV Crew are coming to our village tomorrow to inspect and film the households,schools,churches,creches,clinic and projects that have registered and prepared their gardens for planting.

Remember the aim of the project is to teach the people to grow and eat their own vegetables FRESH FROM THE GARDEN  and we will have healthy community.

The good news is that the Clarens Primary School learners have been provided with vegetables seeds packets on 28 August 2013.We ask their parents to help them to prepare the soil so that they can plant the seeds.It is so nice to see that there are people who have vegetables gardens like Mr Daan who lives at 302 Market Street South.

I would like to thank the Clarens Fire Association and WoF Team for the great job that they are doing in making fire breaks and responding quickly to veld fires that occur in our entire valley.This saves our Department and farmers millions of rands by saving Ha from burning.Keep up the good work.Lastly i would like to congradulate Golden Gate National Park on their coming Birthday.

Tsepiso MosiaDepartment of Agriculture & Rural Development
Ph: 710791332E-  email:mosiatsepiso@yahoo.com


Plant of the week: Rhamnus prinoides

Damien Coulson:
Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “Weekly Plant of Interest”. We’ll be looking at a shrubby “bling” species that is easily distinguishable from the majority of the surrounding grassland vegetation.

Rhamnus prinoides or Dogwood (commonly known as Blinkblaar in Afrikaans, or mofifi in Sisotho), is a scrambling shrub of up to 2-6 m in height. Prinoides is derived from the Latin for like the holm-oak (it is possible that both plants share similarities in bark morphology). R. prinoides is generally found growing on forest margins, stream banks and among scrub at altitudes of up to 2150 m A.S.L. This shrub is both widespread, growing from the Western Cape – Ethiopia, and is relatively abundant.  Read more

Golf Club News

The Freshly Pickled Country Gals (a group of 14 fun-loving, adventurous women from different golf clubs in Nottingham Road and other parts of the Natal Midlands were in Clarens this week to improve their golfing skills, and more importantly,  to have some fun. The group certainly brightened up the town with their fun T-shirts, and bright green caps. For most of the group this was their first trip to Clarens, but not their last.  The general consensus was that “ …everybody needs to know what a stunning little town Clarens is “  Apart from playing golf, these Freshly Pickled Country Gals (Sue Till, Paula Beddow, Colleen Anderson, Sandi Bryan, Wendy Slabbert, Alison Hind, Sarah Ellis, Jane Polkinghorne, Linda Smith, Zette Hardie, Missy Hughes, Rosie Symons, Erica Millican, Jane Mullins) did loads of shopping, lunched at the Clarens Brewery, and……generally just had loads of fun. We look forward to welcoming them back to Clarens.

(Information posted to the Golf Estate newsletter by Francois Schoeman)
Phone: 058 256 1385


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

Being back in Clarens is a serious reality check.  For starters, life moves so quickly here that it is almost impossible to distinguish one day from another.  I accept that Saturdays stand out by virtue of the thousands of tourists who gorge themselves at our tables, buy our quaint offerings and drink the Brewery dry, but apart from that, one day sort of blends into another.

I was reminded of this truism by my reading of George Bernard Shaw, the distinguished twentieth-century Irish dramatist and occasional economist.  He once remarked that ‘the secret of being miserable is to have the leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not’.   Well.  Looking about me, I have to say that for a village at the centre of universe, there are a lot of quite depressed-looking people about.  No criticism of course; I have it on good authority that my own lips point southwards more often than seems reasonable.  But the question that arises is why we are not permanently wreathed in smiles?

Read more


This weekend – Weather

acuweather 13th September


This weekend – Live Music

Friday 13 September:

Grouse and Claret   The Slashdogs and Violet Somedays 20h30

Friends     Swetty Betty 20h00


Coming Events

Everyone is already hard at work preparing for the Classic Clarens Festival 2013.
This is of course still “work in progress” but we will keep you posted as events unfold










Note from the editor

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Genevieve Blignaut to the Clarens News team. With Genevieve’s many talents we envisage that Clarens News will just keep on growing, and get better and better.

Our website is also taking shape, and from Monday next week the website will have an additional  new page:  ADVENTURES.  We have all been working hard at collecting information on all the adventures on offer in Clarens, and will keep on up-dating this page as we discover even more adventures.  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 if we’ve left anything out – or if you have any suggestions as to how we can make this page even better.   email: editor@clarensnews.com

15th August, 2013: Going fishing

Fishing in Clarens

For those who think there’s no fishing to be had in Clarens, take a look a this photo sent to us by Scott Hunter.  Scott writes:

“Here is the picture of the trout my son (Oliver) and I caught in the town dam. The fish defiantly have a preference towards bigger fly’s fished on Intermediate lines close the the bottom. We got two on Friday afternoon and I got a another nice cockfish on Saturday morning. The fish in this photo was close on 3kg, even though the picture doesn’t quite do it justice. It was a great fight with lots of big jumps and strong fast runs, putting me skills to the test with the light 4lb tippet I was using. The good news is that this fish is still swimming in the dam in a perfect condition.”   Should you want to recatch this beauty you will need to cast a fly in the Townland’s Dam which is managed by the Clarens Fly fishing Club.  Get your fishing permit from ClarensXtreme.

The rivers are closed to fishing at the moment, but  will re open on the 1st September, 2013.

Clarens and the surrounding area has some of the best fly fishing spots in South Africa – but you need to know where to find them.  Contact Greg: 073 428 2478

You’ll also find fishing news on www.facebook.com/ClarensFishing

Letter to the whole Clarens community

Date: 12 August 2013
To the whole Clarens community:
As I’m sure you are all aware by now, there was a break-in this weekend on the Golf course…
I would like to compliment and thank every single person that was involved with the arresting of a house robber this weekend. I cannot remember everyone by name because there are so many.
We have never in our lives seen a community work together like we saw this weekend.  Every single person from caddies, security guards and managers of the golf course to residents, SAPS, Police forum and bystanders were involved.
If it wasn’t for your rapid response and communication with each other the suspect would still be at large and we would be without our belongings.
We feel that the rest of the country can learn from you on how a community should work together to help prevent, fight and abolish crime.We take our hats off to you and salute you in a job well done and for being an example of how our country can be operating.
Thank you for putting my faith back into our country.
Kind Regards
Raoul vd Walt

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

Clarens Fire Association – Working on Fire

From a letter addressed to Rodney Wainwright from Dick Lemmer:

What an amazing experience to see the team of working=on=fire in action during a run-away fire on the farm Kuriake.
With the help of Duncan, local farmers and your team, the fire was put out within a few hours……
The work you and your team are involved with can only be seen as a great asset to the community within the district of Clarens.

As you can see fires are a huge problem in our area, and we are really lucky to have the WoF team based in Clarens.  We do however, all need to play our part. Remember that the ban on open fires is still effective.

The Clarens Working on Fire team continue to be on stand by to protect our village and the surrounding area.
They do however, need your help…Read more


Plant of the week:  Buddleja salvifolia


Damien Coulson



Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “Weekly Plant of Interest”. We’ll be looking at a woody species that most of you will have already seen in the reserve and on several of the C.V.C. hiking trails.Buddleja salviifolia or Quilted Sagewood (known as Saliehoud in Afrikaans or Lelothoane in Sisotho), is a small tree of 3 – 8 m tall. It is usually found on forest margins, along rocky stream-banks and near cave sandstone overhangs. ….Read more

 C.V.C. Fun Day at Clarens Primary School

Damien Coulson (Head ranger CVC) sent a full report on the recent fun day at Clarens Primary School.
Two weeks back the C.V.C. introduced 300 students to the concept of recycling through a brief PowerPoint presentation and recycling game. The second (and main) event: the C.V.C. Fun-Day, was held on Thursday August the 8th after a great deal of preparation.
Early on the morning of August 8th Sherri, Damien and the rangers set up a score of games on the playgrounds of Clarens Primary. The games had been developed with care over the past few weeks using mostly recycled materials. Students from both the Foundation (grades 1-3) and Intermediate (grades 4-7) Phases were given an opportunity to try each of the 7 recycling orientated games that had been developed for the day.The students really had a good time and even some of the educators joined in on the fun. The WoF team impressed the rangers with their ability to work with children and Sherri helped ensure that the day ran smoothly.
Later that day the rangers and Sherri (and one interested Working on Fire teammate) took the time to visit each class from grades 1 – 7, to score and judge the recycling posters produced by each of the groups per grade. In the end a winning team from both the Foundation & Intermediate Phase was selected (after some healthy debate) and the winning teams were  announced on Monday the 12th of August during (an early morning) assembly. The winning group from Grade 2 went positively ballistic when their team was announced and the winning group from grade 6, although only slightly more collected were also thrilled when their group was announced. Both groups displayed their winning posters for the entire school to see.

CVC Fun Day 7.jpg.pngThe educators expressed their gratitude to Damien & Sherri and explained that this wasthe first such event that the students had been provided the entire year. The winning teams will be transported to Clarens Xtreme on Thursday the 15th of August using the Working on Fire truck and accompanied by Sherri, the rangers & several WoF teammates. (Mostly) everyone involved in the Fun-Day thoroughly enjoyed the event and it was clear that all the planning had been well worth the joy it invoked. It seems that more such Fun-Days just might be on their way!
To read the full report  and see all the photographs Press here

Tourism Forum News :

Call for assistance at the upcoming Gauteng Getaway Show
==================================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 would like to have 4 people to man the stand, and have 2 so far. You need to stand at the stall and hand out pamphlets and promote Clarens verbally, generally just be friendly and promote the Town as “Clarens The Destination”.Traveling and accommodation costs will be covered by the CTF.The dates and times are:**· **Friday 30 August – 11h00 ? 19h00****

**· **Saturday 31 August – 09h00 ? 19h00****

**· **Sunday 1 September – 09h00 ? 17h00****

Representatives will also be required to check in at the Northgate Dome on Thurs 29 August for a briefing session and to collect badges etc.

Please will anyone that is interested in helping contact any of the following people:

Tammy Hancock – ctf@clarenssa.co.za
Chris Green – marketing@clarenssa.co.za
Chris Pefanis – comms@clarenssa.co.za

Thanking you in anticipation,

Clarens Tourism Forum

Free Workshops for Hospitality Staff

The following 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)

National Certificate: Food and Beverage Services NQF4 – (Focussed on waiters and barmen in the hospitality sector)

For the duration of these programs your staff will be paid R2000 a month / Pro rated dependant on  working hours

For more information please e mail marketing@clarenssa.co.za

The Twitcher

Last week I suggested that Clarens was on something of a roll.  Well, in terms of building anyway.  Imagine my surprise when the long weekend (yes, OK, happy Woman’s Month yet again) inundated the village with more visitors than Easter, apparently confirming the level of interest in the Clarens experience?  Sure, there were well-founded rumours of snow in the high mountains of Lesotho but breaking every sales record in the history of the Clarens Brewery??  Now that’s a measure of success.
Being an exploratory sort of fellow, I ventured out of my darkened study into the Clarens CBD on Saturday night and into a maelstrom of sound and light.  Mrs Twitcher and I shimmied into a well-known hostelry and found ourselves nose to speaker with Rooibard, the band.  No birds to speak of, other than a thicket of young things moving myopically to the beat, but an experience of serious note.  Through a haze of cigarette, smoke the band sashayed their way through three-hours of amazement without doing a single cover.  And were they good!!

Okay, audio-anarchy pretty much sums it up, but what can you say about a group which plays (?), in addition to three guitars and clump of drums, a whistle, a violin, a squash-box, a scratchy thingie and a didgeridoo.  The latter did serious damage to my sternum and moved my gonads to a different plane of, dare I say it, enlightenment.  All in all an experience that our visitors will not forget in a hurry – and the whole thing fired by Tequila!

Which brings me neatly to the drop in temperature and the onset of winter.  Rumour has it that the Clarens Coat Shop has bribed Mother Nature to revert to type and bring in the clouds.  Whatever, the plunge in degrees Celsius has knackered the local bird population, who are now sheltering in the Old Stone Bottle Store’s technicolour dustbins.  So, if you are in need of a Yellow-Billed Hawk or two, a few Drongoes or a brace of Pigeons, you know where to look.  Don’t dip your hand in however; there are baboon droppings in the vicinity and signs of a Merecat, so do your bird-shopping with care.

Speaking personally, I have started waxing my skis, filling the brandy barrel on my St Bernard’s collar and checking the candles.  Don’t know about you, but I have no intention of being snowed-in, much as I love this idyllic little village.  Happy snow.

Editorial Comment: Bouquets for Clarens Town Management

The Clarens News recently reported the apparent ‘boom’ in house construction and business site development, and this week – quite unrelated – the Twitcher reports the delicious musical anarchy of Rooibart at the Street Café.  All rather good news, but given the proclivity of this publication (in the broadest sense) to focus on positive developments in our cosy village, we thought it appropriate to dish out an armful of bouquets to our new Town Manager and horticulturist, Peter Reed.

Anyone who drives our streets will have noticed a revolution in the cleaning, pruning, fertilising, clearing, planting and general maintenance of what ranks as the Free State’s premier tourist attraction.  Months and years of neglect have been turned-around in the last couple of months and the planting of trees at the twin entrances of Clarens signal a welcome change.  The square – arguably the village’s greatest asset – has been tidied and fertilised, trees have been pruned and, perhaps most notably, the Municipal Offices are having a horticultural makeover and general rejuvenation.  Even our road frontage is losing the infestation of invasive trees and the ‘rubbish tip’ below the road bridge into the village is looking positively delightful.  What’s more, his enthusiasm has ignited the spirit of community in all sorts of locals.

At risk of stating the obvious, Rosendal’s loss is a big win for Clarens.  Well done Peter.  From all of us.

Coming Events

Always something happening in Clarens.  It’s sometmes difficult to keep track.  Have a look at the Events page on our website.


Looking for a house to rent, a job, or wanting to sell something? You might find it in our Classifieds section.
The new Clarens News website is beginning to come together. We don’t have all the bells and whistles yet, but you are welcome to place an ad in the classifieds section.




sunset MG_0069

With the overnight drop in temperature we’ve all begun dreaming of snow again. Perhaps the shepherd’s in Lesotho are right and we are going to get some heavy snow within the next week or two. We had a look at the acuweather report, and whilst they are predicting daytime temperatures between 12 and 15 (and night time lows between 1 and -2C), as well as the occasional shower over the weekend, there is no prediction of snow in Clarens. There was however a good snowfall at Afriski at lunchtime today, and they are expecting a further 20cm of snow tonight.  Both Afriski and the Lesotho Border officials are strongly advising that no sedan cars attempt the road to Afriski until further notice.


Happy Women’s Day

We would like to wish all our readers a happy Women’s Day.  (Even those of you  who are not women – have a happy day!)
Golden Gate sent the following Happy Women’s Day notice:
Celebrate Golden Gate’s 50th Birthday and get 50% off during July to September 2013!  The great outdoors is waiting to be experienced with activities such as walking trails, canoeing, abseiling, horse riding, 4×4 trails as well as the Basotho Cultural Village tour. Relax in complete comfort in popular stop-overs such as the Golden Gate Hotel and Chalets as well as Glen Reenen Rest Camp and the Highlands Mountain Retreat. To extend the cultural experience of this great area the Basotho Cultural Village will provide a perspective and experiences unlike anywhere else and should not be missed.

This weekend :  So much happening

Saturday  –  10th August 2013 On the square  

NG Kerk Flea Market  & the Cluny Potjiekos competition.  The NG Kerk organizers assure us that there are going to be pancakes, boerewors, skilpagjies, as well as interesting stalls. (Should you require further information please contact Lizette: 083 375 9900) The Potjiekos competition will also be taking place, so I don’t think anyone will need supper on Saturday.
And don’t forget The Clarens Craft Market outside the Bibliophile.




Live Music

Street Cafe:  (8 pm onwards):  Denzel & Hensie (Rooibaard Lite)
Friends: (8.30pm onwards): Sweaty Betty
Artichoke (11.30am – 3pm) Denzel & Hensie
Street Cafe (8 pm onwards): Sweaty Betty
Friends: (8.30pm onwards): Van Smith
Grouse & Claret: (8 pm onwards): Denzel & Hensie (Rooibard Lite)
Artichoke (11.30am – 3pm ) Denzel & Hensie
Street Cafe: (8 pm onwards): Rooibaard
Friends: (8.30pm onwards): Van Smith
Grouse & Claret: (8pm onwards): Violet Somedays

Stop in at one of the pubs in Clarens to enjoy the atmosphere. It’s almost like being at the game.

ABSA Currie Cup Rugby!!!!

Friday, 9 August 2013
Sharks v Griquas  Growthpoint KINGS PARK, Durban

Saturday, 10 August 2013

15:00Golden LionsvFree State Cheetahs Ellis Park, Johannesburg

17:05Western ProvincevBlue Bulls Newlands, Cape Town


Local News: Clarens Fire Association

Remember that the ban on open fires is still effective.

The Clarens Working on Fire team continue to be on stand by to protect our village and the surrounding area.
They do however, need your help. Click here For more on the Clarens Fire Association


Local News: Free Workshops for Hospitality Staff

The following 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)

National Certificate: Food and Beverage Services NQF4 – (Focussed on waiters and barmen in the hospitality sector)

For the duration of these programs your staff will be paid R2000 a month / Pro rated dependant on  working hours

For more information please e mail marketing@clarenssa.co.za


Plant of the week: Aloe Maculata

Common Soap aloe, Bontalwyne


Damien Coulson

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “Weekly Plant of Interest”. This week we are looking at a succulent from a well known genus with a few cool medicinal uses.
Aloe maculata or the Common Soap Aloe (known as Bontalwyne in Afrikaans or lekhala in Sisotho) is a small aloe of up to 1 m in height. A. maculata is commonly found growing on north-facing rocky slopes in grasslands & open savannah, at altitudes of up to 2000 m A.S.L. This succulent is widespread throughout S.A. and has even been observed along the coast in the Western Cape’s Garden Route (Pers. Obs.). Its wide distribution range indicates that it can tolerate a variety of soil types and moisture regimes……..Read more

The Twitcher

As might be expected, your faithful correspondent was resplendent in a deer-stalker hat and heavily camouflaged track suit, pursuing several species of rare and exotic birds this week.  In the interests of detailed reporting, I clutched an enormous pair of ex-naval binoculars (Battle of Jutland, 1916) and had a notebook in my sweating left hand.  But as I loped from shrub to dead fruit tree in pursuit of my feathered quarry, it became increasingly obvious that I was also moving from building site to building site.
Could this be Clarens, I asked myself, or had I wandered over a provincial border into another century?  Having checked my bearings and consulted several passers-by, it became clear that I was in Clarens, now liberally dotted with houses rising from the virgin veld. What?
I doubled back and began counting these new dwellings and stopped at 10, since primary school math had not prepared me for life in the fast lane.  Sure enough, there are at least 10 new homes in construction in our fair village, and I suspect many more on the drawing boards or locked in municipal process.  Somewhat disbelieving, given the odds against persuading ESKOM to part with any of their electricity, I stumbled into the nearest estate agency and learnt that they had been doing about two deals a month since January…….Read more



 Coming Events

Always something happening in Clarens.  See the Events page on our website.