Western Cape DestinationsHeidelberg, Cape Overberg
Set on the banks of the Duiwenhoks River, with the soaring Langeberg peaks forming a dramatic backdrop, Heidelberg is a nature lover’s paradise and offers a peaceful and scenic atmosphere, particularly as the area remains largely unexplored and unexploited. The Duiwenhoks River meanders its way from the town down to the coast, via the remote little hamlet of Vermaaklikheid, where it then merges with the Indian Ocean. The Duiwenhoks Estuary is one of the last remaining unspoiled estuaries in the country and a conservancy preserves its unique character.
The town of Heidelberg dates back to 1855 and was named after the German city of the same name, built similarly on the banks of a river. The area was initially part of the greater Riversdale district until the Riversdale church council bought a portion of the farm Doornboom on which to lay out the town they called Heidelberg.
Heidelberg’s beauty is largely attributable to her locale - set between mountains and the sea with the source of the Duibenhoks River lying in the mountains close to the town. The area fuels every eco-tourist’s delight, providing birding, well-preserved examples of fynbos, forests and streams, where one can spend uninterrupted time communing with nature.
San Sebastian Bay, at Witsand, is one of the best whale watching points in South Africa and Malgas, only a short distance away, is worth a visit to see one of the only remaining ponts in South Africa still in operation.
Hiking in Heidelberg includes the Bosbok hiking trail, a circular route that starts in the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve, about 22 km from Heidelberg with over 250 ha of forest, parts of it indigenous.