Features to look out for are:
(Situated at the heart of the town, you could hardly miss it.) The square gives Clarens it’s village feel, and is used for many village events. The monument at the centre of the square commorates the five burghers who were killed at the Battle of Naauwpoort. (In September 1865 a commando led by Paul Kruger camped overnight at Naaupoort Nek. The commando was on its way to Witzieshoek where they intended to take on the cannibal chieftainess Mantatisi who had been creating havoc in the area. During the night they were attacked by Basotho warriors and 5 boers were killed in the ensuing battle. The monument commerating this battle was originally erected at the battle site in 1895, and then moved to its present position on the Square in 1962.) Also on the square is a plaque commemorating the construction of the tunnel for the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. Click here for more information on the Lesotho Highlands Water Project.
at the entrance to Clarens on the Bethlehem Road: Clarens was incorporated as a town in 1912, and this was also the year that the Titanic sank, a tragedy which caught everyone’s attention – even here in far-off Clarens. A local resident suggested that the prominent rock feature at the entrance to Clarens resembled the bow of a ship, and this outcrop has been known as the Titanic ever since. Titanic is clearly visible from the road, but should you wish to explore Titanic more closely, one of the Clarens Village Nature Reserve trails takes you round the base of mountain and finishes at the top. (Please note that the final leg of this trail is not suitable for inexperienced hikers.) (Trail maps are available from several outlets it town.)
The road that brings you in to Clarens from Bethlehem passes through Naauwpoort Nek and this is where, in September 1865, a battle took place between Paul Kruger’s Commando and the Basotho. (Click here for more information on this battle.)
Naauwpoort /Sias Oosthuizen Road
(the dirt road which runs parallel to the R712, between Maluti Mountain Lodge and Main Street.) This is the road that early travellers passing through the area on their way to or from Bethlehem, the Golden Gate, Fouriesburg or Lesotho used to take. Of interest is the Uitspan stone with the words Een Uitspanning carved into the stone. This is a sort of “Park Here” sign from bygone days for those wanting to unhitch their wagons and make camp for the night. The little river nearby and ample grazing made this an ideal stop-over. Close by is Di Mezza blanket shop, which started out as a general dealer and now specialises in blankets (including the well-known Lesotho blankets). The buildings alongside are amongst the earliest to be built in Clarens and date back to 1928. On the other side of Main Street, are more shops which have been in operation for more than a hundred years – you could say that the Naauwpoort/Sias Oosthuizen road was at one time the focus for trade and industry in Clarens.
Clarens Village Nature Reserve. The Clarens Village Nature Reserve is within easy walking distance of the town square, and there are well-marked trails for hikers to enjoy. Mountain bikers are also welcome, but need a permit to access the trails. Click here for more information on The Clarens Village Nature Reserve hiking trails.
Shopping. Shopping in Clarens is the antithesis of the shopping mall experience, and Clarens is edge to edge with interesting shops – many of them stocking items which are not easily available elsewhere in South Africa. Click here to go to the shopping page.
Wine and Dine, stop for tea or coffee, enjoy a beer or grab a snack at one of the delicatesens. Clarens has many excellent restaurants, coffee houses, tea shops, bars and delis. There is something to suit every palate, whether you’re looking for a fine dining experience or some hearty pub grub, it’s all here in Clarens. Click here
There are also many interesting places to visit within easy access of Clarens.
Click here for self-drive sightseeing routes you can do from Clarens.