The most charming towns and small cities in South Africa

The most charming towns and small cities in South Africa

Recently the online Travelmag published a lovely story about places to visit in South Africa. (https://www.travelmag.com/articles/most-charming-destinations-south-africa/)

South Africa is home to a diverse landscape that comprises everything from pristine beaches, rugged mountains and craggy cliffs, to dense forests, crystal-clear lagoons and lush winelands. Interspersed around this varied topography are a vast number of towns and cities, each boasting their own unique character and cultural identity...”

About Clarens…

Clarens, Free State

“Perched in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains, the small town of Clarens has been dubbed the “Jewel of the Eastern Free State” – and for good reason. As an artistic haven, many creative types come here to gain inspiration from its breathtaking scenery. This is at its starkest in the nearby Golden Gate Highlands National Park, which takes its name from the shades of gold and orange cast by the sun on the sandstone cliffs at certain times of day. There’s no shortage of gift-buying opportunities too, thanks to the town’s myriad arts galleries and craft stores. Additionally, cycling, game driving, trout fishing and birding offer plenty of outdoor recreation options.”

Dreaming of safe, tranquil living?

Are you ready to own a piece of heaven?

The Clarens Mountain Estate Show House is ready and available.

Priced at R1.995 million ex-vat, she is waiting for a loving family, retirees, or young executives to share relaxing weekends away on 320h of safe and tranquil Estate living. This modern home will offer two bedrooms en-suite with open plan living and entertaining. Perfect for a little weekend getaway and investment.

Courant Best of Bloem

Clarens was awarded the Best Weekend Getaway in a 500-km radius by the Best of Bloemfontein Readers’ Choice Awards and last week it was time to pick up the award.

The Atrium of the Hotel School at the Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT) was the backdrop of the glitz and glam that could only be associated with the Best of Bloemfontein gala evening. The theme of the awards, “Bring the Bling”, brought a touch of elegance and class to the ceremony. The evening’s proceedings were further complimented by the fine dining cuisine of the Hotel School and the smooth jazzy sounds of local band Pure Delicate Artistry (PDA).

The big winners of the evening was the LEjit Lekker Restaurant in Preller Walk, who scooped up an amazing six awards, as well as Campus Key Student Living, who became only the second Bloemfontein business to win the Most Innovative Business Award.  Stephen Gooch, FNB Free State Regional Head, said the idea behind the Innovation Award is to recognise and celebrate those local businesses that really embrace innovation in their business. FNB is the main sponsor of the event. – Pieter Delport

Di Jones, Karen vd Merwe and Bridget Bach represented the Clarens Tourism Forum, picking up the award

Dino Park progress

The Dino Park in Golden Gate is an ambitious project initiated by Sanparks to show off the 190 million year old dinosaur nesting sight which belonged to an early pro-sauropod dinosaur of the early Jurassic called Massospondylus.

The design as proposed by Mashabane Rose architects and urban designers. The building is designed to have a minimal impact on the landscape of Golden Gate.

 It will be built on the already disturbed area next to the camping site. The area is filled with fossils of large dinosaurs in the sandstone rock.

The Free State proved to be fossil hunters’ paradise!  Just an hour’s drive from the Rosendal farm, Jonah Choiniere and his team from Johannesburg’s Witwatersrand University has already unearthed fossils belonging to a newly discovered type of dinosaur that roamed the earth 200 million years ago.

Oldest Dinosaur Nesting Site Unearthed

A clutch of dinosaur eggs were discovered in Rooidraai, named after the colour of the rock in the area, in 1976 by the former director of the BPI, Professor James Kitching.

The nests belonged to Massospondylus, a six-metre (20ft) ancestor of long-necked “sauropod” dinosaurs that lived 190m years ago. The newly discovered nesting ground is 100m years older than any found before.

Reconstruction of a Massospondylus nesting site. Courtesy J. Csotonyi

“The eggs, embryos, and nests come from the rocks of a nearly vertical road cut only 25 metres long,” said Prof. Robert Reisz of the the University of Toronto at Mississauga, who led further studies into the discovery. Scientists uncovered clutches of fossilised eggs, many containing embryos. They also found footprints of hatchlings showing that young dinosaurs stayed in the nest long enough to double in size.

“Even though the fossil record of dinosaurs is extensive, we actually have very little fossil information about their reproductive biology, particularly for early dinosaurs,” said Dr David Evans, curator of vertebrate palaeontology at the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada. This amazing series of 190m-year-old nests gives us the first detailed look at dinosaur reproduction early in their evolutionary history, and documents the antiquity of nesting strategies that are only known much later in the dinosaur record.”

The scientists believe many more nests at the site, now buried in rock, remain to be discovered. “Even so, we found ten nests, suggesting that there are a lot more nests in the cliff, still covered by tons of rock. We predict that many more nests will be eroded out in time, as natural weathering processes continue,” Reisz said.

The study was co-authored by Doctors Hans-Dieter Sues (Smithsonian Institute, USA), Eric Roberts (James Cook University, Australia), and Adam Yates (Bernard Price Institute (BPI) for Palaeontological Research at Wits).

It was published in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and the full study can be read on Wits’ website.

 

At least 10 nests were uncovered and each contained up to 34 round eggs in tightly clustered clutches. Their distribution indicates that dinosaurs returned repeatedly to the same spot to lay their eggs.

Sharing Clarens

Promoting Clarens and Lesotho

The Clarens Tourism Forum, and The Clarens Village Conservancy, were amongst many from Clarens who attended the Green Rhino Diplomatic Travel Club’s promotion of the Clarens and Lesotho areas which was held on 23 July.

Apart from promoting these areas, R35 180 were raised for the Tshwane Place of Safety. Many businesses from Clarens offered prizes to be auctioned off during a Soup & Sherry evening at the Court Classique Suite Hotel & Orange Restaurant in Pretoria. 

Prizes sponsored by the folk from Clarens which were auctioned included:

Butterfly Villa

Total value of the prize R7 500

3 night stay family of 4 Sunday to Thursday at Butterfly Villa: A cheese tasting at Baris Cheese Monger: A Meal voucher at Clementine‘s Restaurant R500: A R500 gift voucher to choose a special blanket at Blankets for Africa: A R250 voucher for Clarens brewery: Choice of Put Put or Zip lining for a family of 4 @ Clarens Xtreme

Ashbrook

Total value of the prize R6 800

2 night stay family of 4 Monday to Thursday at Ashbrook: A cheese tasting at Baris Cheese Monger: A Meal voucher at Post House Restaurant R500: A gift voucher at Anja and Friends Lifestyle gallery: Choice of Put Put or Zip lining for a family of 4 @ Clarens Xtreme: A  private game drive at Lions Rock for a family of 4

Cottage Pie

Total value of the prize R6 050

At Cottage Pie, 2 night stay in the Family Unit;  family of 4, Monday to Thursday: A meal voucher at Artist’s Café Family Restaurant R300: A cheese tasting at Baris Cheese Monger: A R500 gift voucher to choose a special blanket at Blankets for Africa: A R250 voucher for Clarens brewery: Choice of Put Put or Zip lining for a family of 4 @ Clarens Xtreme

Rosewood Corner

Total value of the prize R3 500

At Rosewood Corner, a 3 night stay for a couple Sunday to Thursday: A cheese tasting at Baris Cheese Monger; A Meal voucher R300 at Rotherhan German Restaurant: A Meal voucher R200 at Time and Again Bistro and Cocktail Bar: Choice of Put Put or Zip lining for a couple @ Clarens Xtreme

Granaat

Total value of the prize R3 800

At Granaat, a 2 night stay for a couple Monday to Thursday: A meal voucher at Artist’s Café Family Restaurant R200: A cheese tasting at Baris Cheese Monger: A Meal voucher R300 at Rotherham German Beer House: Choice of Put Put or Zip lining for a couple @ Clarens Xtreme

164 Church Street

Total value of the prize R2 500

At 164 Church Street, Accommodation Voucher R1500: A cheese tasting at Baris Cheese Monger: A Meal voucher at Rotherhan German Restaurant R300: A Meal voucher R200 at Time and Again Bistro and Cocktail Bar: Choice of Put Put or Zip lining for a couple @ Clarens Xtreme

Gypsy Wagons Clarens

At Gypsy Wagons 2 night stay for a couple – Includes a complementary bottle of bubbly on ice and valued at R2750

Blyde River Canyon Lodge, Mpumalanga

2 nights for 2 including breakfast

Entabeni Private Game Lodge

1 night for 2 with all meals and 2 game drives

Finfoot Lakeside Reserve

1 night for 2 with dinner and breakfast

 

The Clarens Village Conservancy was represented by Bastiaan Verhoek.

Owners of Clarens Xtreme, Ollie and Lizanne Esplin

Art Guild, Clarens

Malealea Lodge represented by Michael Deutschman

Bibliophile, a quaint bookshop with a huge range of titles and jazz and world music CDs.

Noah’s Cheesea boutique cheesery situated just outside the village, represented by Marietjie.

Di Jones (Butterfly Beds), Michael Deutschman (Malealea Lodge in Lesotho), and Penni Korb (Rosewood Corner)

The Art Guild was represented by Fiona Yatt

Gypsy Wagons represented by Sandra

Debra Stewart, Bibliophile, and Bastiaan, CVC, manning their stations

The Tshwane Place of Safety is looking for a sponsor for another tandem pram. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Karen van der Merwe, Cottage Pie, turning her attention to the babies for a moment

TPoSA is a registered Section 21 Organisation as well as a Non-Profit organisation since 2003.

Tshwane Place of Safety is also BEE accredited.

Being a Welfare Organisation, they are totally dependant on donations and sponsorships from individuals, churches, businesses or companies.

NON PROFIT COMPANY NR. 2003/021662/08 • 031-809-NPO • PBO NR. 930005142

TPoSA Office

09:00 – 15:00
Tel: +27 0(12) 333 8417 | Fax: +27 0(12) 333 9108
Email: tposa@placeofsafety.org.za
Address: 1155 Newman Lane, Queenswood, 0083, South Africa

Clarens Tourism Forum goes to Indaba in Durban.

Clarens Tourism Forum goes to Indaba in Durban.

The Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre Complex is an events center complex located in the city centre of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

 

The Durban ICC has won the coveted title as “Africa’s Leading Meetings and Conference Centre” 15 times in 16 years of participating at the World Travel Awards.

As patrons of tourism, it is in our best interest to ensure that we market and showcase the tourism experiences of Clarens and its members in the Eastern Free State, South Africa.

Our dedicated team will represent the Clarens Tourism Forum at the Tourism Indaba hosted in Durban from Thursday, 02 to Saturday, 04 May. Indaba’s goal is to create a platform that allows the world to do business with Africa and business is happening. We are invited to join the Free State Tourism stand….to participate in the world renowned exhibition…

Kindly deliver your marketing material in the form of brochures, pamphlets and/or business cards at our drop off point (Clarens Xtreme) for collection by 29 April. Mark your package for the attention of Melisna Grobler or Heather Grundy.

We look forward to the show!

Please drop your brochures & business cards at Clarens Extreme for collection by 29-April-2019.

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