Elim, Cape Agulhas
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The charming little village known as Elim, dominated by white-washed fishermen’s cottages and fig trees, is one of the few surviving South African mission stations, founded in 1824 as the third Moravian mission station in the Cape, that today lies halfway on the dirt road between Bredasdorp and Gansbaai, a wonderfully conserved little historical town.
Elim is worth a visit for its neat rows of cottages alone. Most of them date back to the 19th century, made of mud-brick, plastered with lime plaster made of sea shells and thatched with restio grass, although there are also more modern renditions with brightly painted walls and corrugated iron roofs.
Elim, which means ‘place of God’, might lie in the middle of a particularly sparsely populated area, but it has recently been firmly placed on the wine map (see: Cape Wine Routes). Four wine producing partners in the Elim ward - Black Oystercatcher, the Berrio, Zoetendal and First Sighting - have joined forces to create the Elim Winegrowers reminiscent of the self-sustaining farming community of Elim that used to supply farm goods to surrounding settlements.
The proximity to two oceans places Elim in an interesting geographical location. A number of interesting climatic factors, such as the cool south west and south easterly winds that restrict upward growth leaving the vine to focus its energy instead on a more concentrated fruit, affect the wines that are being excitedly monitored by the international wine community.
The biggest wooden wheel at any water mill in the country is in Elim, as well as the only monument ever erected to celebrate the emancipation of slaves, and the church, which dominates the village, lie on the axis of the main road. All are worth a visit.
For more info about Elim see our articles on the SA Travel News Blog:
• Elim - A town with twelve fountains and seventy palm trees
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"Very disappointing visit to Elim today. None of the attractions were open or working. Emile was there, thats all. The cottages are cute, but if the Elim ..." - Helge, Cape Town
Visitorials: We Love South Africa
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We’ve asked those in the know to share their favourites things about Elim. Find out where locals go for the best cup of coffee, lunch suggestions and much more. We’re letting you in on all of their secrets ... I Love Elim because ...
Featured Attractions in (or near) Elim
Lying in what is known as the Agulhas Plain at the southernmost tip of Africa is the Agulhas National Park, just 45 kilometres from the popular village of Gansbaai. This might be the meeting place of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, but the Agulhas National park’s focus is on some of the most splendid ... more information
The official wine route of Cape Agulhas transports tourists to a charming part of the country and includes the area of Montagu. Although this is a relatively new wine route, its close proximity to other, better-established routes (such as the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley) is mutually beneficial. This ... more information
Elim is something of a phenomenon as its unique ‘terroir’ has caused much excitement in the wine community worldwide. The cool and strong winds that prevail - south westerly and south easterly - have the effect of providing a very cool ripening season, perfect for Sauvignon Blanc and promising for ... more information
The De Hoop Nature Reserve is approximately 34 000 ha in size and one of the largest natural areas managed by Cape Nature Conservation. It is a favourite destination for hikers, cyclists, bird watchers and during the winter and early summer months, whale watchers. The entire length of the De Hoop coast is ... more information
As its name suggests De Mond Nature Reserve lies at a river mouth – the Heuningnes River - in the curve of a natural bay, almost halfway between the coastal towns of Arniston and Struis Bay. The De Mond estuary has remained relatively undisturbed and unaffected by development, enough ... more information
More commonly known as the Agulhas walking trail, because it takes place within the Agulhas National Park, the Rasperpunt hike begins just west of the famous Agulhas lighhouse - the reason so many visitors come to L'Agulhas in the first place. Actually the Rasperpunt Hiking Trail is a circular trail that ... more information
Regarded as the most majestic and beautiful forest in the Limpopo region, Thathe Vondo is also regarded as sacred by the local Venda people. Folklore tells of many tales, ranging from sitings of sacred white lions, thunder-and-lighting birds which are said to 'fly on the wings of ... more information
The most southern tip of Africa is monopolised by the three towns of L'Agulhas, its neighbour Struisbaai, and on the other side of the bay, Arniston or Waenhuiskrans. Cape Agulhas may not be as beautiful as the Cape Peninsula, nor boast quite the land-based whale watching of Hermanus, Walker Bay or ... more information
Things To Do in Elim
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Visitorial - I ♥ Elim because...
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Elim - A Visitors Perspective
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Elim - a town with twelve fountains and seventy palm trees