Vredendal, Olifants River Valley

As its name intended, the little town of Vredendal, which borders on the southern tip of the Namaqualand region, is named after a peace settlement that brought harmony between two sparring parties.

Part of the original Vreedensdal farm, which dates back to 1748, the now modern town lies on the banks of the Olifants River and has become something of a hub for the Matzikama region, known for its contrasting sandy plains, rugged mountains and some of the most diverse examples of succulent plant species in the world.

Renowned for its intricate irrigation scheme, the Olifants River allows for extensive agriculture and viticulture in the area. The valley is thus green and fertile and lies surrounded by the majestic Gifberg, Maskam and Koebee peaks, creating a peaceful haven and magic setting for getting away from it all.

Vredendal is not only an ideal base from which to explore the Namaqualand, the Cape West Coast region and the Cederberg Mountains, but it is also on the Olifants River wine route, which includes the large vineyards of Westcorp and Lutzville, a number of petite boutique cellars producing some up and coming wines and typical ‘Weskus’ (west coast) hospitality. This area has been recognised as one of the country’s ideal regions for wine production.

The Matzikama Eco-Park offers nature lovers some fantastic hiking trails, bird hides, botanical and community gardens, a bird aviary and an eco-centre overlooking the Gifberg Mountain. And the annual ‘Rittelfees’, which happens at the end of October, brings together eight towns from the district for music, arts and crafts and some of the country’s celebrities.

Vredendal is possibly best known for its wild flowers in spring when the mountains metamorphose into a tapestry of exquisite colour - a tribute to the Matzikama’s rich diversity of succulent plant species and a joy to behold.

Additional Reading

If you are planing a visit to Vredendal you will find our article on a recent visit to Vredendal useful: "The Olifants River Valley - A stay in Vredendal".

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