From dinosaurs to the Basotho nation, and to relics of the Anglo-Boer war, Clarens is steeped in history and culture, enough so that any history buff will be kept busy on a visit to Clarens.
The place to start this adventure is at Clarens Eddies B&B or Self Catering, so that you have the most comfortable and affordable accommodation in Clarens.
Although affordable, Clarens Eddies boasts and maintains a standard of accommodation and excellence that has been acknowledged by two of the most well-known booking sites TripAdvisor and Booking.com, which means you can look forward to the best of everything while you find your way through the rich history of Clarens.
Just a couple of kilometres outside Clarens you’ll be given your first history lesson. The Titanic rock is a majestic outcrop carved out of sandstone reminiscent of a ship, which is exactly why a local gave it its name in 1912, which was the same year that the Titanic ship sank.
But before the Titanic rock was given its name, the dinosaurs made this valley their home. Between 1994 and 2015, James Kitching, Adam Yates and Jonah Choinere discovered the bones of dinosaurs going back to when before they became extinct 60 million years ago.
If you love dinosaur remains, you’ll find a treasure trove to investigate, and you’ll also have an experienced palaeontologist helping to familiarise you with the different remains.
Next up were the Bushmen families that used the many overhanging rocks as shelter and in the process leaving a history of the people in the rock art that is prolific in the Golden Gate National Park.
These Bushman groups left their history behind once the first European settlers and the Basotho people moved into the area.
Colonialism took hold in the 1830’s by the European settlers, while the Voortrekkers also made this area a main route from North to South and East to West.
This area then became a valley of conflict over a period of 10 years, from 1858 and 1868, during which the Basotho and the Free State battled for supremacy, all of which was sparked by the murders of ‘burghers’ at the hands of the Basotho. A monument to honour these murdered burghers is to be found in the Clarens Village Square.
Another 10 km’s out of Clarens you’ll find Surrender Hill, so named for the surrender by the Free State Boer commanders to the British in 1900.
You’ll find all the history you can take in at the Clarens Anglo-Boer War Museum situated in the Clarens Village Square.
All of this history is either within walking distance or nearby using a vehicle after you book into Clarens Eddies B&B or Self Catering, which makes it the ideal spot to lay your head after long days of exploring the history behind this 100 year old village.
Soak in the views of the Maluti Mountains and the Rooiberg Mountains from your home away from home in comfort and you’ll know that Clarens rightfully deserves to be called The Jewel of the Free State, despite its bloody history!