With the town celebrating its 200th birthday, the kind people of Clanwilliam are preparing for a bicentennial festival to make the history books. The homey little town is situated 230km out of Cape Town on the N7, just inland of the legendary South African West Coast.
The bicentenary festival will be held in conjunction with the annual Cederberg Arts Festival that originated in 1997 as a local get-together named after the Clanwilliam-born culture icon, Louis Leipoldt.
This year’s special celebration will be running form the 1st to the 4th of May with stage acts, art, music, food and culture straight from the good old South African heart.
Make the most of the drive
Since driving from Cape Town to Clanwilliam will take you a good two and a half hours, staying for a few days to experience everything the town has to offer makes perfect sense. Be sure to explore the picturesque landscape bursting with iconic Western Cape fauna and flora. Keep an eye out for ancient rock art and opportunities for horse riding, river rafting and some of the best mountain biking South Africa has to offer.
While you’re exploring the area, venture in to the Biedouw valley for some real rural charm. Wuppertal, a nearby rustic settlement, is a favourite stop along the way due to its unbelievably authentic scenery, and a legendary shoe factory producing the original type of ‘vellies’ made famous by singer and playwright, David Kramer.
Be sure to indulge in local produce
The local farming industry delivers a mouth-watering array of citrus fruits, vegetable and proper Karoo meat dishes to whet the appetite. Enjoy the taste of local produce at the festival or by visiting some of the town’s lovely eateries. Alternatively, having picked up some of the local food and drink, settle down on the bank of the iconic Clanwilliam Dam for a peaceful picnic before heading back to the city.
Clanwilliam is probably best known for producing top grade Rooibos tea, but this area is also the home of Cederberg and Swatland wines. There is always a special experience awaiting wine lovers who enjoy their favourite cultivars at the very cellar it was produced. Luckily these days it is possible to buy anything from pinotage to sauvignon blanc online, regardless of region, so we can all taste the region’s best while we patiently wait for May.