Clocolan, established in 1906, is a small town in the Free State Province of South Africa. The Basotho called the place Hlohlolwane (Hlohla-o-lwane, “get up and fight”). New inhabitants mispronounced the name and called it Clocolan.
Clocolan is situated along the R26 about 34km from Ficksburg to the northeast and just under 70km from Maseru to the south over the Lesotho border. The name is derived from the Hlohlolwane mountain which stands 1 820km above sea level. Hlohlolwane means “stand-up-and-fight” which refers to an altercation between the Koena tribe and Baphuthini over a maize harvest.
The town was established in 1906 on the farms of Reinzi and Herold. The town grew out of the need for schools, churches and business services for the surrounding farming community. It obtained municipal status on 18 July 1910.
The eastern Free State cherry industry originated in the Clocolan district where the first trees were planted by Henry Pickstone in 1904 on the farm Platkop. Besides cherry orchards, farming in the area predominantly consists of asparagus, wheat, maize, potatoes and cattle. Clocolan has one industrial area, situated in the eastern side of the town close to the railway line.
Tourists attractions in and around Clocolan:
– Deemsters Asparagus Factory to learn about the history of this local crop.
– Nebo and Die Hoek where visitors can view San rock art paintings.
– Tandjiesberg rock shelter has rock paintings and was declared a National Monument on 30 October 1992. It was one of 12 rock art National Monuments in South Africa at the time and is now a Provincial Heritage Site. The rock art painting includes one of an elephant with a small human figure on its trunk.
There are also paintings of animals associated with rainmaking and images of a medicine dance. Archaeological excavations established that Bushmen lived here for at least 1 000 years. It is believed that the mountain above the rock shelter was a place of spiritual significance.
– Lethoteng Weavers – a community project involving the weaving of articles by local craftswomen including jerseys, scarves, carpets and other items from Angola Rabbit, Mohair and wool.
– Fish at the 2 hectare Amohela Ho Spitskop dam and adjacent deep water quarry for rainbow trout, black bass and carp.
– The Vintage Tractor and Engine Fair is an annual fair that has taken place in Clocolan since 1989. The fair started with only 29 tractors and has grown in recent years to 153 . Tractors are paraded through the small farming community. Some of its attractions are a 1902 threshold machine, the Annual National Ploughing Championships and a hand plowing with magnificent Nguni bulls.
– Take a peek at the prestigious Prynnsberg Heritage Home.
– Don’t miss a visit to Highlands Essential Oils, the Angora Rabbit Farm and the Ben Nevis Cherry Wine Farm.
– There are 2 well maintained 4×4 routes with difficulty 3 and 5.
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