Nestled at the foot of the northern end of the Cederberg Mountains, Clanwilliam is a small town with loads to do just on its outskirts. Heading north, the Pakhuis Pass leads to an area of immense physical beauty, with spectacularly rugged rock formations, gurgling streams, tumbling waterfalls and some of the best and most easily accessible rock art in the country.

Clanwilliam, between the West Coast and the Cederberg, is right in the middle of the flower belt so it’s a place of pilgrimage for locals and tourists alike in spring.

The Clanwilliam Flower Festival is held every August, and the small but pretty Ramskop Wildflower Garden showcases the enormous range and sheer volume of the flowering plants found in the area. In the nearby mountains there are fabulous hikes and a great horse trail, both of which offer lovely scenery, rock art, pretty flowers and wonderful streams in which to play. The nearby Doring River offers great white water rafting in winter – if it feels like it. We blame global warming, George W. Bush, non-alliance with the Kyoto accord, damming by upstream farmers, the Illuminati, the Catholic Church, Muslim fundamentalists and pure bad luck, but this once dependable river has not been regularly runnable over the last few years. So it’s a bit of a gamble, but it’s worth doing a trip if you happen to be around when the river’s playing ball.

Clanwilliam is situated on the banks of the Olifants River and the sizeable Clanwilliam Dam, which is a favourite waterskiing, fishing and general water sports venue. The surrounding hills are covered in rooibos tea plantations and orange groves, which waft the sweet perfume of their blossoms over the valley in spring.

The rooibos tea factory, which is a great place to tour, offers a range of rooibos products for sale. As well as the obvious tea in various guises, there is a liqueur and a range of cosmetics that takes advantage of the anti-oxidising health benefits of this multi-purpose indigenous crop.

Clanwilliam Fun Rating

from 33 customer reviews
4 out of 5 stars!

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Town
Clanwilliam Town very disappointing. There on a Sunday and literally one restaurant open. Not as quaint as it should be for a town that is 200 years old.
Moira Gazet
South Africa


Very hot
Clanwilliam isn't much as a town. There is a good Super Spar + Top's Spar for shopping.Nearby are the fantastic Ceder Mountains where is also acc. and a lot of hiking opportunities.The pakhuis pass is worth the drive and don't forget the SAN-rock paintings at the Sevilla trail (Travelers Rest, over the Pakhuis pass) and at Stadsaal.There are some wineries and the Rooibos tea factory.
Michel Stroobants
Belgium


Beautiful landscape and events
Clanwilliam is lovely - I think the town is a bit worn down, and the community at large seems very poor. But the region is gorgeous, and worth an extended stay. There are organised walks to San paintings, a museum, lots of cafes, a fantastic wold flower show annually, the dam, and of course, an amazing UCT initiated arts project that culminates each year in a lantern festival and performance (September).
Veronica Baxter
South Africa


Beautiful part of the country
Although Clanwilliam is a very small time and there is not really too much to do there it is very pretty and the surrounding countryside is truly magnificent.
Kate Wilson
South Africa


Great stopover or Destination
Clanwilliam is a great base for visiting the Cederberg. In town, you can find some great coffee shops and even buy a couple of pairs of leather shoes, your style & colour! Accommodation is varied but self-catering option worked for us. You can make a braai and watch the sunset over the mountains with a glass wine from the Cederberg Winery.. Awesome :-)
Helen Slowey
South Africa


Clanwilliam, heart of the Cederberg
Hearts have appealing seasons, are fascinating, unique and central to realizing what the body experiences. Clanwilliam is a good example. About two and a half hours to the north of Cape Town, up the N7, the town itself is historical, being the tenth oldest town in South Africa. The old buildings, white and often thatched, including the old gaol, the flower church and various residences are testimony to the town's movement through different eras. Clanwilliam's context is agricultural, water-related and pre-historical. In terms of agriculture, Clanwilliam is the home of rooibos, the only area...
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Walter Harry Willies
South Africa


Well worth a visit
A good place to stop for a few days.Plenty to see and do in the town and in the surrounding area. A visit to a rooibos farm is a must, and Lambert's Bay isn't far. There are good restaurants available for such a small town, and Nancy's Tearoom is a never to be forgotten experience! For those interested, there are water sports on the nearby Clanwilliam Dam. It's an easy drive from Cape Town.
Lesley Smith
England


Jewel of the West Coast
Clanwilliam is a wonderful destination and with the right information there is lots to do in the area. There is the added attraction of being surrounded by the magnificent Cederberg. I cannot wait to go back and do some hiking.
Alan Jones
South Africa


Flowers
Blomme is pragtig in en om Clanwilliam gedurende Augustus en September. 'n Definitiewe moet vir besoekers wat blomme gaan kyk.Flowers are beautiful in and around Clanwilliam during August and September. A definite must for visitors going to view them.
Ronell Lubbe
South Africa


Flower festival
Clanwilliam is best known for the Clanwilliam Flower Festival. The best time for flowers is generally August and September. The town is located near the Cederberg Mountain Range, boasting amazing hiking trails and camping areas.
Kyle Hepple
South Africa


Pretty hot little town
Apart from being good looking and forming the gateway to the Cederberg Conservancy, Clanwilliam is interesting too. The town is home to Strassbergers Veldskoene factory and the quaint museum has a room devoted to Louis Leipoldt. In August the town puts on their popular spring wildflower show. During summer the temperatures soar – head for the Clanwilliam Dam to cool off.
Samantha Black
South Africa


Country living
A delightful small town with quaint Main Street and friendly people.
Eleanor Patterson
South Africa


Clanwilliam
The flower show in the old church was mind blowing! I am sure if it had been at Chelsea it would have won every award possible. Always knew the Cape floral Kingdom was huge but the variety there was fantastic! The quilt show was great too. What a lovely community of committed people.
Anthony Morgan
South Africa


First visit to Clanwilliam
Never visit the town on Friday afternoon and Saturday. My 13 year old daughter had a fright that she will never forget. She refused to get out of the car. The rowdiness and drunkenness of the people was shocking. Sunday she was surprised by the peacefulness of the town. For such a 'beautiful" town, it was shocking and alarming to witness the condition of "Hoofstraat" - referring to the road surface.
keith arendse
South Africa


Rooibos country
Loved the Rooibos factory and quaint town. Would like to see it during the flower season.
Mike Larsen
South Africa


A true gem
We will be back!
Burger Edwards
England


The perfect getaway
It is such a hidden gem. We loved that it wasn't over commercialised. It offers exactly what you need for a break-away.
Debra Meyer
South Africa


Great town
Great little town close to the flowers. Flowers in the Church lovely, beautiful, peaceful dam. Great food at Reinholds restaurant
Pat Wright
South Africa


Enjoyable
A fascinating town in the middle of flower country. Reinholds restaurant is well worth a visit.
Steve Eden
South Africa


dead town in the middle of nowhere
town not to go for
will lathouwers
France