Places of Interest in Van Wyksdorp

Take a walk about town and you will see more than you bargained for. The town has a myriad cultural gems in the form of old Karoo architecture and gardens. There are several places of worship but the most prominent is a beautiful church – NG Kerk Van Wyksdorp. Housed in one of this church’s annexes is Spekkies – a Spekboom project.

Furthermore, other interesting places include the Saamwerk project, a cement brick-making project and apricot drying project, which employs people from the local community; Oasis Community Centre, which houses the municipal library, a creche and after-care centre, and a vegetable garden and several small projects so that the unemployed, the elderly; and many others can learn valuable skills.

The Van Wyksdorp Development Institute (VDI) is a not-for-profit company aimed at socio-economic upliftment. In May 2018, pre-construction site clearing began. The VDI will establish facilities and build in phases as they raise funds. Phase one is the building of a biodiversity exhibition centre to promote tourism.

SPEKKIES

The Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR) has produced a biosphere-supporting product that will be used to augment restoration and community upliftment efforts run by the GCBR. This product is none other than our most beloved Portulacaria afra, better known as spekboom.

Spekboom has been identified as an exceptionally efficient carbon sequestrator (for a semi-arid plant species), and is being promoted throughout ecological and scientific communities as a climate change mitigating species.

NG KERK

The construction of the church building was started in November 1906 and completed in February 1908. The church can seat 700 people, although the community today is much smaller. The organ was donated by the NG Church in Riversdale and was transported to Van Wyksdorp by ox wagon.

The church holds fund-raising bazaars twice a year, and every 5 years there is a festival, when many people who have had a previous connection to the church or Van Wyksdorp, flock to town for a long weekend of fun, entertainment, and fund-raising.

VAN WYKSDORP DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE

The Van Wyksdorp Development Institute (VDI) is a not-for-profit company aimed at the socio-economic upliftment of poor rural communities, primarily in Van Wyksdorp and the surrounding Klein Karoo.

The means to achieve the Vision and Mission is the establishment of a learning campus that provides the environment and opportunity to learn skills and incubate entrepreneurial activities in the community.

BLUE SKY ORGANICS

Blue Sky Organics is the trade name for Buffelshoek farm, a certified organic farm outside Vanwyksdorp in the Klein Karoo.

A glowing and verdant example of working with nature and allowing the already existent incredible and intelligent natural eco-systems to heal. Van Wyksdorp is an excellent example of landowners living and farming sustainably.

THE HISTORY OF VAN WYKSDORP

The town was founded in 1838, on the farm Buffelsfontein, which was owned by Gerrit van Wyk. Today the population of the village is about 800, of which a few direct descendants of Van Wyk can still be found. Throughout history, the inhabitants of the town have been dependant on the farming of fruit, sheep, cattle, and ostriches, enjoying the constant water output of water in winter and summer, thanks to the mountain spring known as “The Eye”.

Once, during the years of the ostrich boom, it was the center of education in the Little Karoo. The school, built-in 1912, had at one time, well over 200 pupils, who came in from all the surrounding towns. The railway links which were made to Ladismith and Riversdale caused these towns to grow, whilst Van Wyksdorp slowly shrunk to its present state.

Places to Visit in Van Wyksdorp

Situated in the ‘main street of Van Wyksdorp, The Mall is within walking distance of the local superettes and other small businesses in the area.
They also have a covered patio for our shoppers to enjoy even the rainy days and an enclosed play area with swings and a sandpit for the kids.
The Mall sells almost anything you can think of including hardware, clothing, outdoor apparel and shoes, stationery, toys and gifts, and more.

Eating out in Van Wyksdorp can be a Karoo boeretroos gastro-experience and an opportunity to take some of the Klein Karoo with you.
Come and show your support to the local artists, writers, organic farmers, and the Jobs4Carbon project.
The Spekboom Resaurant also acts as an informational hub to local & international tourists, informing them of all that is to see in Van Wyksdorp.

Pop in and visit “Stuff” where you will find all kinds of wonderful Stuff from deli products
that you would normally not find in small towns to delicious eats and treats, real Coffee roasted locally, and interesting gifts.
Be sure to visit the local Community Market every Saturday!

The Buffelfontein Art Cafe is well known for its community art and the support of local artists. The gallery features some real ‘big names’,
such as Retha Buitendach, Anny Madoks, Lize Beekman, Johan Coetzee, and Antoinette Ohlenschlager, just to name a few.

The Lodge is situated in the heart of the Little Karoo, nestled in the foothills of the Rooiberg Mountains, covered in fynbos and Karoo succulents.
Enjoy a nice getaway on the deck overlooking a watering hole. Wine & dine in our thatched restaurant, or under the twinkling Karoo night sky.
We strive to provide our guests with the opportunity to meet new and old friends, exchange stories, and enjoy the spectacular mountain views.

The majestic Mont Rouge Olive farm is situated in the Little Karoo’s Van Wyksdorp. At 200 hectares, it is one of the three largest olive producers in South Africa with a production capability of 2000 tons per annum.
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Places to visit near Van Wyksdorp:

Using Van Wyksdorp as a base, day trips can be made to the following towns, all within a two hour drive: