At the foot of the Cederberg Mountain range, two and a half hours’ drive north of Cape Town on the N7 you’ll find the town of Clanwilliam.
Clanwilliam is one of the ten oldest towns in South Africa, rich in history and culture; it is renowned for being the only place in the world where Rooibos grows naturally, and famous for its veldskoene (leather shoes).
The annual Wild Flower show in August and September is a must-see. The Clanwilliam Living Landscape Project, a local empowerment programme, offers a rock art trails where trained guides facilitate an exploration of the Bushmen paintings.
Oh, of course, the dams ;)
Clanwilliam dam is a spectacular body of water, popular for recreational purposes of all kinds, with a capacity of 121,800,000 cubic metres. It is a concrete gravity dam on the Olifants River. It was established in 1935, and the wall was raised to its current height of 43 metres in 1964. The main purpose of the dam is to provide irrigation water to the Bulshoek dam which supplies the agricultural region downstream.
The feasibility of raising the dam wall by another 15 metres has been approved and work has already started on this project.
The local Angling Club arranges regular fishing competitions, of which the Bass Classic in October is probably the most well-known.
Bulshoek dam, 24km north of Clanwilliam, is an important resource of water for farmers alongside the Olifants River, as far as Lutzville; the water is released into a canal system over 83km serving 9330 ha of listed land. The dam is a popular holiday and boating resort for visitors to the area.
For information on Clanwilliam, please visit the website www.clanwilliam.info