Considered by many to be the Cape’s best kept secret, Clanwilliam is a magical small-town destination where families can spend quality time together and enjoy a variety of leisure activities. From water skiing and fishing on the dam to hiking, 4x4 adventures, wild flowers, and rock art, there is something for everyone. For a relaxing family getaway, have a look at our beautiful accommodation in Clanwilliam.
Clanwilliam is situated 2 hours from Cape Town, on the banks of the Olifants River at the foot of the rugged Cederberg Mountains. The Cederberg is named after the Clanwilliam Cedar tree, which used to cover the mountain slopes in abundance, but it is now an endangered species. Clanwilliam town started off as a single farm in the 1700s, but has since grown into a much-loved holiday destination - majorly due to the recreational activities that happen on the dam. The dam is the life blood of not only Clanwilliam, but every town, farm, and community from Citrusdal to Springbok. Although the dam is not very deep during the summer months, the water is always clean and fresh, making it ideal for fishing, boating, and water skiing. A sunset booze cruise is one of the best ways to spend a warm summer’s evening in Clanwilliam.
One of the annual highlights is the Clanwilliam Wild Flower Show in August/September. Set against a backdrop of gothic architecture in the historic Clanwilliam church, the Flower Show is designed to allow visitors to explore the different biomes of the region by conveniently collecting all the flowers in one spot. During wild flower season, the mountains and valleys are enveloped in a sea of colour, with hundreds of tourists gathering to see them. While you’re here, why not take a wild flowers drive in a game vehicle. Alternatively you can walk through the beautiful flowers and fynbos to see the rock art and visit the traditional Moravian village (you can even take a donkey cart ride back).
Adventure seekers will enjoy endless horse riding, hiking, mountain biking, quad biking, and 4x4 trails. The mountains also provide some terrific rock climbing and bouldering, while river rafting can be done on the Olifants River. Less adventurous, but equally interesting activities include hunting, a visit to Bill Hollenbach's Observatory near Sanddrift, a guided historical walkabout through town, a rejuvenating visit to a wellness centre, and a peruse through a variety of unique arts and crafts galleries.
With average temperatures reaching around 30°C in summer, is often joked that the town’s second currency is ice, and the man who has it is a rich man indeed. The heat almost forces you into mandatory relaxation, but there is plenty to see and do when you feel the need. If you don’t have the energy to drive, you take any number of guided tours, including Rock Art, Wild Flower, Cederberg Heritage, and Rooibos, Wine, and Potato Farm Tours.
Browse our list of fantastic Clanwilliam accommodation below.