Venterstad, Eastern Cape Highlands

Venterstad lies south west of the Oviston Nature Reserve and Tussen-die-Riviere Game Farm to the south of the Gariep Dam wall. It's rarely that someone visiting this part of the Eastern Cape will not have stumbled across the town. Even if it's just to slow to the 60 kilometre per hour speed limit on your way through.

What you may not have discovered is that the town is definitely worth a once over. Firstly, it's the complete antithesis of city living. This is big sky country with the whirr of windmills and the odd Nguni cow the only mar on an horizon devoid of buildings. Try standing on the edge of town and look over towards the Gariep Dam and the Oviston Nature Reserve and you will see: blue skies, with perhaps the odd puffy white cloud, that go on forever, effortless plains spread as far as the eye can see, and distant blue hills; the kind of space to which most of us is unaccustomed.

Secondly, its streets are lined with interesting historical buildings, due to the town's having been around since 1864. Three of the churches - Reformed Church (a national monument), Saint Paul's and the Dutch Reformed Church remain standing. And the Wild Hotel, run by a couple beset by an overwhelming need to escape city life, is a must for lunch (actually any meal will do, the food is said to be exceptional).

To be fair, the town has no bank, or didn't until lately if it now has one, but there is an ATM. And a couple of shops more than adequately meet your needs, and whilst cows have been known to wonder the streets (the surrounding area is predominantly cattle farming, so what can one expect?), the peace and quiet more than make up for it.

Travellers' Reviews

1 Review from travellers. All reviews are verified.

Verified reviewvery good

The countryside of Venterstad actually reminded me of the farmlands in central USA. The rolling hills just go on for mile and after breath-taking mile. We loved the history of Venterstad and wished we had a little longer to explore it better.

Barbara (Florida, USA)

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