Eendkuil, Swartland

Eendekuil lies in a valley not even half an hour's drive north west of Piketberg, in the northerly reaches of the Swartland (translated directly to mean 'black land' for the rhenosterveld found in the area).

Scenically, the valley is beautiful. Stands of yellow lupin leap into bloom during spring, whilst the Olifants River Mountains and Piketberg surround Eendekuil, giving it views that are worthy of any little wineland town.

As towns go, though, Eendekuil is small. Its major function is as a small rail centre. And, despite its size, it plays a significant role in the citrus industry as the station closest to the farms around Citrusdal (almost due west of Eendekuil - give or take a mountain pass). There is also a bus service between Citrusdal and Eendekuil.

Eendekuil also has its own hotel, originally built in 1900 (and then rebuilt in 1952), a well-known watering hole for Wild Dog Adventure Bikers.

Its name does have something to do with ducks (for those who don't speak Afrikaans, 'eend' is a duck) and refers to the huge numbers of water birds, particularly wild ducks, that use the stretches of the Verlorenvlei and Kruismans rivers that drain the Eendekuil basin.

Bird watching in the valley is of the best in the area.

Once upon a time Eendekuil produced fairly good cheeses at its Zebraskop Co-operative cheese factory. But several cheese factory mergers later, it no longer functions and locals get most of their work on citrus farms in the area.

Eendekuil does have its own annual gymkhana and a bicycle trail. And Winkelshoek wine cellar (producing wine from its farms Schenkfontein and Kliprivier) is worth a stop to sample their brandy, and wines.

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