About Dwars River Escape Route

Launched in 2003, the Dwars River Escape Route includes not only some incredible scenery, cultural features, things to do and places of historical significance, but also a mix of entrepreneurs, community projects and little businesses. It was initiated by locals and Open Africa with the idea that the route would become a way for businesses and projects to create an income for themselves by encouraging visitors.

Historically the Dwars River Valley was allocated to Dutch Free burgher settlers in 1687. They were joined by the French Huguenots. Before them, the land had been used for seasonal grazing by the Khoi herders. Some of the settlers also reared stock, planting fruit vegetables and grapes. Over time, this region had one of the highest proportion of slaves in the Cape, brought to an end only in 1834 when they were finally emancipated in the Cape. Thereafter the valley produced mainly fruit.

This background goes some way to explain the route's use of the word 'escape', which marks the freeing of the slaves in South Africa. It also includes those Italian prisoners-of-war who worked on the fruit farms in the area, escaping concentration camps in the process, and Mandela's 'escape' from Groot Drakenstein prison at the lower end of the valley where he was held for the last few years of his sentence.

The Dwars River Escape Route includes the Imbali Live Craft and Art Centre, where Kylemore community crafters produce crafts for sale, a children's feeding scheme, Johnson 'the wire worker', the Anna Foundation, Tokara Olive Shed, Living Stones, Candles for Africa, and a list of wineries, restaurants and small businesses.

Need to Know

WhereThe Dwars River Escape Route lies in the area that stretches from the Dwars River Valley at Helshoogte Pass, just outside the town of Stellenbosch, to the Groot Drakenstein area near Franschhoek in the Cape Winelands.

WhenTravel on your own, any time.

How muchPrices on request.

Telephone+27 (0)21 876-2861

OvernightThe closest town is Stellenbosch, in Western Cape

Disclaimer

Please note, business details can change. While we endeavour to ensure all information provided by the service provider is correct at the time of publication, we do not assume any liability caused by errors or changes, such as price, cost, time, and location. Please check with the provider that the activity/business is still offered as described, before making any travel plans.

Feedback?

Please let us know if anything on this page is outdated or contains inaccuracies. Click here to send us feedback if this is your service/activity.

Find Dwars River Escape Route in these collections

In the vicinity

Hotels & other accommodation options in Stellenbosch

Other things to do in the area

Noteworthy attractions

Accommodation convenient to Dwars River Escape Route

FIND / South Africa Accommodation / Western Cape Accommodation / Cape Town Accommodation / Cape Winelands Accommodation / Stellenbosch Accommodation

Stellenbosch as a destination

Want to stay overnight?

Number of Guests

Property Type

  • Secure your booking
Our Payment Protection Guarantee only applies if your deposit payment is made via SA-Venues.com
Things To Do
  • Stellenbosch

SA-Venues.com has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest, independent online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German.