Riviersonderend, Cape Overberg

Riviersonderend, the little village in the Cape Overberg that lays claim to a river without end, lies roughly between Caledon and Swellendam on the N2 about 160 kilometres from Cape Town.

Only an hour inland from the coast, Riviersonderend is marketed by some as part of the Garden Route, and it isnít hard to see why the pretty farming village would want incorporating, even if technically it is hardly en route. This must be more than an indication that something about Riviersonderend is worth the detour. Certainly sightings of blue cranes, in fields in the Riviersonderend area, make a trip here mandatory.

The Riviersonderend Mountains that begin at the village and run east to west to Villiersdorp, separate the Breede River Valley from the Cape Overberg and create a beautiful backdrop to the town, providing some breathtaking hikes, kloofing and fishing opportunities.

The Kleinbergie hiking trail in particular deserves mention whilst the Riviersonderend Canyon Trail and Suicide Gorge Trail provide some incredible kloofing, complete with waterfalls and superb canyon scenery (access is from the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve).

Riviersonderend is a perfect example of rural tranquillity, surrounded by farms and gorgeous mountain and river scenery. The Sonderend River, which begins in the mountains behind the town, is one of the possible sources of the name of the village Ė there is some debate. Names aside, the town is a lovely stopover and an ideal position from which to explore both the Overberg - Napier, Malgas and Bredasdorp - and the Breede River Valley - McGregor, Robertson and Montagu.

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