Why you have to visit Vanwyksdorp


I visited Vanwyksdorp for the first time a while ago. If I do not write this article now, I will go and live there and never bother again.

What an amazing time spent, it stimulated all physical senses, faith, direction, hope and love. A great big thank you to all the awesome people from Vanwyksdorp.

Tucked away in the Klein Karoo just of the R62 this gem can only be reached by sand road taking you back in time.

There are more than ten reasons for everyone to visit. The rest you discover only after your visit and they will be on a personal level making you want to come back to Vanwyksdorp.

1. Routes and Mountain Passes

I started in George and passed Mosselbay on the N2, turned on to the R327 to Herbertsdale, from here it was grondpad all the way to Vanwyksdorp. Afterwards I decided to return on the R327 and and R62 via Ladismith, Calitzdorp and Oudtshoorn, I was tempted to drive the Rooibergpas, that will be for my next visit.

You can approach Vanwyksdorp from all angles, via the Rooibergpas from Calitzdorp, via Riversdal or Barydale should you drive from Cape town, and from Mosselbay via the Cloete Pass.

Once in Vanwyksdorp your approach could have a multi angled response determined by you, feel free to explore all the routes.

Crossing the Gourits River

2. History

Visible when you take a walking tour of the town, Vanwyksdorp’s existence was formed by specific era and circumstances.

All of this is made accessible by the author Andre Britz of the book “Vanwyksdorp – Notule van ‘n Nostalgiese Reis deur Tyd” which is available. It will open your eyes to Vanwyksdorp, it will give you a deep understanding of the circumstances and you will comprehend a deep belonging.

The book is available from all the major outlets in town situated in coffee shops and malls easy noticeable when you take a walk and photograph the Victorian style house, the ruins, the sheep, and mountains. Just come and relive and experience our history.


Historical Dutch Reformed Church

3. Projects and community

The Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR) is a voluntary citizens’ initiative dedicated to the conservation of its region’s biodiversity, tied to the socio-economic development for the wellbeing of its peoples.

Vanwyksdorp serves as the headquarters for members of the GCBR to manage projects like the Work for Carbon and the Vanwyksdorp Development Institute.

Visit Spekkies nursery where many indigenous plants are nursed for the Work for Carbon’s projects to plant them in the vast mountainous area covered by the GCBR. Very impressive are the amount of Spekboom plants ready to go back to nature, creating employment and safe our nature.

Visit the website for information about several other projects happening in the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve.


Spekkies Nursery

4. Accommodation

To see as much as possible, you must stay over in Vanwyksdorp, visit the website for more information. There are several places you can stay at, for the wildlife and safari lover the Rooiberg Lodge is a perfect fit.

Historically the area is of great significance especially at the Watermill farm where you will be taken back nostalgically. They have amazing self-catering cottages with awesome views, the historical water mill, and many walking trails.


Watermill Farm

5. Carrot cake at Spekboom Restaurant

The recipe of the carrot cake is a well-kept secret. Everyone wants to know how it tastes, and how it is made, it has been written about and known from afar. Certainly, worth it to visit the Spekboom restaurant amongst other things, did I mention the curry?

Besides that, the hosts are wonderful and will inform you of everything you will need to know about Vanwyksdorp. You could also stock up here on the local products and meet other people.


Spekboom Restaurant

6. Vanwyksdorp Mall

This one is a must to visit when in Vanwyksdorp, you will find everything needed under one roof. Clothing, hardware, home made products, imported shoes and general groceries. It is also a restaurant, bar and has the best coffee in Vanwyksdorp.


Vanwyksdorp Mall

7. Architecture

Like in so many towns dating from this area you will find a mixture of Cape Dutch and Victorian architecture. Take a walk-through town and be amazed by the beautiful old buildings and houses.


Victorian House

8. Rooiberg Nature Reserve

Nature and wildlife abound in this beautiful nature reserve. Stay over for a few nights, go on a game drive or a nature hike. The beautiful well-appointed rooms and facilities with a restaurant and swimming pool is the ideal destination for a break away.

Adjacent to the reserve the Mont Rouge olive estate produces the finest olive oil and olive products.


Rooiberg Lodge

9. Activities

For the nature and wildlife enthusiast this is paradise. Mountain bike and walking trails to choose from are available in the area. You could even explore certain areas on horseback.


Historic Watermill

10. Nostalgia

Just the mere ambiance of the town and historic buildings will take you down memory lane. Best of all are the abundance of local produce. Find homemade jams, pickles, rusks, and handmade items.

For more information please visit the official tourism website: http://vanwyksdorptourism.com/

Find what you need in Vanwyksdorp and the surrounding area: https://southerncape.online/directory/region/vanwyksdorp/

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