Price range, per nightmin R max R
The commercial centre for a large section of the west coast in the Western Province, Vredenburg services the farming industry and is a major supplier of limestone and phosphates. This active town lies roughly 12km inland of the Atlantic coast and has a large mall that attracts residents from surrounding towns.
Vredenburg was first established as a church parish in 1875 and was originally called Twisfontein, the word Twis meaning quarrel or controversy in Afrikaans, due to the ongoing arguments over water rights. Once the issue was settled and after laying out a township, the named was changed in 1883 to Vredenburg, the word Vrede meaning peace.
The town is on the wildflower route when colourful flowers magically appear in the fields after spring rains and in winter, the fields are an emerald green, broken only by large granite rocks that appear to have been dropped from the sky. Vredenburg is a convenient base from which to enjoy the quaint seaside villages nearby.
Top 6 reasons to visit Vredenburg
1. Visitors are invited on Mondays to a round of 9-hole golf at the Vredenburg Golf Club where regulars claim the greens are the best in the Cape region. The course is a combination of parklands and links type courses.
2. The Weskus Mall has 80 stores for shoppers to indulge in their passion for fashion. The centre has 4 anchor tenants and a few established restaurants to enjoy a meal.
3. Take along your camera and a cooler bag for photos of colourful fishing boats, fishermen cottages and unusual treasures collected from the sea at Paternoster, an old fishing village and nowadays a popular weekend stayover. Purchase fish direct off the boats and arrange to have the fish cleaned and prepared on the beach.
4. Challenge the family to a go-kart race in the carpark outside the Weskus Mall. For a small fee, you can complete 7 laps on the circuit.
5. Travel to the West Coast Fossil Park to see the diverse array of 5 million year-old fossils discovered in a river bend. Finds include bones of African bears, short-necked giraffes, giant pigs and a sabre toothed feline. Sections of the park have been left untouched to display the vast number of animals that were swept down a river and came to rest in the river bed.
6. While at the West Coast Fossil Park, attempt the 3-10km cycle trails that meander through typical flora while the children are entertained at the play park on the premises. The park has an onsite restaurant for light meals.
Vredenburg has its own airstrip, called the Saldanha/Vredenburg airfield, a short distance out of town and for chartered flights. The nearest international airport is Cape Town International Airport, 140km away. There are many rental agencies in Cape Town city centre, Cape Town International airport and Saldanha to hire a vehicle, or you could order a rental online. Several shuttle service companies operate out of Cape Town, however, you would need a hired vehicle to best enjoy your visit to Vredenburg.
Did you know?
From a method known as Isotope Analysis, researchers at the West Coast Fossil Park are able to accurately determine the diet of ancient animals using the cells drawn from their fossilised teeth and bones.
Around 550 million years ago, molten lava intruded the earth’s sediments to form a hard granite layer called Vredenburg Granite. Much of the granite can be seen throughout the region, as far north as St Helena Bay.