South African Hotels

Clanwilliam Tourism Information

Quick Facts: Clanwilliam

  • The small town of Clanwilliam nestles in the Western Cape Province of South Africa in the Cederberg municipality
  • Clanwilliam forms part of the West coast region and is located 60km inland close to Cederberg mountains
  • This region of South Africa is known for rooibos tea and the Clanwilliam Dam
  • The town was first known as Jan Disselsvalleij but was changed to Clanwilliam in 1814 by Sir John Cradock
  • Sir John Cradock named the town after his father-in-law, the Earl of Clanwilliam. Clanwilliam is one of the oldest towns in South Africa
  • A guided walk through the streets of Clanwilliam to view some of the historical buildings can be arranged
  • The original farm house of Jan Disselsvalleij (2 Park Street)
  • The Officers' Residence between 1808 and 1858 (5 Park Street)
  • The Old Gaol Building (Museum)
  • The Flower Church (Old D.R. Church)
  • 1820 Settler's house: situated behind the Criterion in the Main Road
  • Anglican Church
  • Old Dutch Reformed Church
  • Leipoldt's House
  • Cederberg Wilderness Area, Western Cape (South Africa)
  • Bulshoek Dam and the Clanwilliam Dam
  • Clanwilliam Dam
  • Ramskop Nature Garden

Distance to Airport: 260 km

Distance to City: 60 km

Introducing Clanwilliam

The small town of Clanwilliam nestles in the Western Cape Province of South Africa in the Cederberg municipality.   Clanwilliam forms part of the West coast region and is located 60km inland, close to Cederberg mountains.  This region of South Africa is known for rooibos tea and the Clanwilliam Dam.

History of Clanwilliam, Western Cape (South Africa)

Ten years after the arrival of the Settlers in Africa which was in the year 1652, the first visitors arrived in Clanwilliam, but it was not until 1725 that people settled in this area permanently. The town was first known as Jan Disselsvalleij but was changed to Clanwilliam in 1814 by Sir John Cradock who named the town after his father-in-law, the Earl of Clanwilliam. Clanwilliam is one of the oldest towns in South Africa.

Historical buildings in Clanwilliam, Cederberg (South Africa)

The village of Clanwilliam and its district feature several attractive historical buildings, of which seven have been declared Historical Buildings prior to 1980. A guided walk through the streets of Clanwilliam to view some of the historical buildings can be arranged.  These include:

  • The original farm house of Jan Disselsvalleij (2 Park Street)
  • The Officers' Residence between 1808 and 1858 (5 Park Street)
  • The Old Gaol Building (Museum)
  • The Flower Church (Old D.R. Church)
  • 1820 Settler's house: situated behind the Criterion in the Main Road

Anglican Church

The Anglican Church in Clanwilliam dates back to 1867.  It was designed by the well-known architect Sophie Grey. The bell, which is still in use today, was imported from England in 1875.

Old Dutch Reformed Church

The Old Dutch Reformed Church in Clanwilliam was built in 1864 and is commonly known today as the "Flower Church" where the annual wild flower show is held.

Old Gaol Museum

On display at the Old Gaol Museum in Clanwilliam are articles which were in daily use in the home and on the farms during the 19th century .  One can also find displays of local celebrities such as C.L. Leipoldt, Dr. P. le F. Nortier and Tolla v.d. Merwe, and of local industries such as shoe-making, Rooibos and cedar wood.

Leipoldt's House

The Leipoldt's House in Clanwilliam is the location where the well-known poet C.L. Leipoldt grew up and received his early education.

Cederberg Wilderness Area, Western Cape (South Africa)

The Cederberg Wilderness area comprises about 7 100 hectares and nestles to the south-east of Clanwilliam. This remote, pristine wilderness region in South Africa offers breathtaking natural beauty which includes a variety of fynbos and dramatic rock formations.  Walking and hiking is permitted in the area. For the less fit visitors there are more accessible places such as Stadsaal Caves with their famous Bushman-Elephant paintings. There is a range of accommodation facilities with a number of recreation options.

The Cederberg Wilderness area forms part of the Cape Nature Conservation and operates out of Algeria, 30 km from Clanwilliam. The area is know internationally for its walking and hiking trails and is home to a variety of unique plant species such as the Cedar Tree. It is also the only place where leopards are protected.

Clanwilliam Dams, Western Cape (South Africa)

This region of South Africa is home to two different dam which are the Bulshoek Dam and the Clanwilliam Dam.

Bulshoek Dam

The Bulshoek Dam is about 24 km north of Clanwilliam situated along the N7.  This dam in the Western Cape of South Africa is an important resource of water for farmers alongside the Olifants River as well as those from Citrusdal to Lutzville. The water of the Bulshoek Dam is released into a canal system over 83km serving 9 330 ha of listed land. The Dam is a popular holiday resort for visitors from all over.

Clanwilliam Dam

The Clanwilliam Dam is popular for recreational purposes. A resort is situated along the banks of the Clanwilliam dam and is a popular weekend and holiday destination.  Watersports enthusiasts enjoy weekends at the dam, while the local Angling Club arranges regular competitions, of which the Bass Classic in October is probably the most significant. The Clanwilliam Dam is known as the most popular dam in the Western Cape for water-skiing.

The Ramskop Nature Garden and a short walking trail is easily reached from the chalets. The Nature garden is host to a vast number of indigenous species of flowers and is a real sight, particularly in August and September.

Convert multiple currencies