Clarens was incorporated as a town in 1912, the same year that the ‘unsinkable‘ Titanic was launched. Tragically, the Titanic did sink and the event was a major topic of discussion for many months. During this time, a resident of the newly established Clarens, looking north from the little town towards Naauwpoort Nek, saw the prominent rock feature there and suggested that it looked like the Titanic, which is what it has been called ever since. Titanic Rock stands, sentry-like, to welcome and protect all who visit the village.
Not surprisingly, in view of the beauty of its surroundings, Clarens has become a haven of tranquillity for artists, solitude seekers and nature lovers both from South Africa and abroad. It offers various outdoor pursuits, such as birding, hiking trails, horse riding, 4×4 trails, trout and bass fishing, golf, tennis, squash, bowls and clay pigeon shooting.
Various places of historical or archaeological interest are to be found here, including Surrender Hill, dinosaur fossil sites and bushmen paintings in nearby caves.
The nearby Golden Gate Highlands National Park is home to a number of unusual lichens that occur nowhere else. The park is named for the unusual geography of the area, typified by striated sandstone cliffs, which turn golden in the rays of the setting sun.
The village of Clarens itself has numerous art galleries as well as craft shops, restaurants and coffee shops.
Clarens is a key point on the scenic Highlands route, linking the towns of Harrismith, Bethlehem and Fouriesburg. The gateway to the Lesotho Highlands, the Malutis and the Drakensberg, Clarens is also an important stopover for people travelling to and from Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal to the Cape and vice versa. It is centrally situated, being only three hours from Johannesburg, Pretoria and Bloemfontein and four hours from Durban.
Article Courtesy Of www.clarensnews.co.za/clarens-history