Vredendal in the Olifants River Valley
Vredendal; Afrikaans for Peaceful Valley, is a modern town that thrives on the banks of the Olifants River. The town marks the boundary between the Mediterranean climate of the southern part of the West Coast and the dry, arid north.
The Olifants River is the large artery that drives the economy of the town and the region and makes this a small paradise for those who want to get away from the city, yet have access to all the modern amenities; the best of both worlds in technology and the warmth of small-town hospitality and living …
Vredendal is surrounded by diverse farming made possible by the intricate irrigation scheme from the Olifants River. This has turned this region into a fertile green valley that supports agriculture and viticulture. The valley is surrounded by the majestic Gifberg, Maskam and Koebee peaks, creating a climate that is hot and dry in summer that makes this ideal wine producing countryside. The wines produced here have a reputation for excellence and form part of the Olifants River wine route. The petite boutique cellars and the vineyards of Westcorp and Lutzville should be on every wine-lover’s to do list.
Vredendal is seen as the ideal base from where to explore Namaqualand, the Cederberg range and the surrounding West Coast. The Matzikama Eco-Park boasts some of the most diverse succulent plant species in the world and brings visitors from all over. Nature lovers come to the Eco-Park in large numbers to visit the community and botanical gardens, bird hides and aviary.
Visitors are fascinated with the contrasts of rugged mountains, the sandy plains and the green oasis that Vredendal forms. The whole region is known worldwide for the yearly spectacle when the arid and bland looking countryside metamorphoses into an unending carpet of spring flowers.
The people of Vredendal are true-blue West Coast dwellers with the warmth and spontaneity that is so much part of this region. Modern and traditional co-exist and on a normal Saturday morning you will see the farm tractors arrive with the long passenger trailers bringing the farm laborers into town to do their weekly shopping that is accompanied by shouting greetings as friends meet and greet.
In the months leading up to October the whole region gears up for the annual Rittelfees (Jitterbug festival) that brings the eight main towns of the area together in a family festival for four days of music, arts and crafts that is attended by some of the country’s celebrities.
Vredendal offers something for everyone; local and visitor alike. Panoramic views of the lush vineyards with good wine tasting, canoeing down the Olifants River and fantastic hiking, 4×4 and quad-biking trails.
For those who want to simply relax and soak up the sun while sampling all the delicious regional foods there is stylish accommodation aplenty with the Melkboomdrift Lodge tops for chic and stylish accommodation with all possible trimmings plus excellent conference facilities for seminars. So next time you’re feeling spontaneous simply point your car northwards on the R27 and experience this all firsthand.