VREDENDAL – THE BEATING HEART
As the region’s largest town, Vredendal is the go-to place for stocking up whether you’re a visitor on a road-trip or a farmer on remote land. Its economy is based on agriculture and mining of minerals from sand.
As you explore, look out for the produce - grapes, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, pumpkins, watermelons and sweet melons: all made possible by the development of the water-transporting Olifants River Irrigation Scheme.
Vredendal has one of the country’s largest co-operative wine cellars, a modern grape juice concentrate plant, and thriving dried fruit and a food canning industries.
The town was originally known as Bakkeley Plaats, apparently due to an altercation between the Dutch and the Khoi in 1668. Once peace had been declared, the name was changed to Vreedensdaal - valley of peace.
Places of interest include Namaqua Wines - one of the largest wineries in South Africa, and the old Roman Catholic Church.
Vredendal is situated on the banks of Olifants River, some 270km north of Cape Town on the R27.