The town of Heidelberg is an outdoor enthusiasts ideal destination as it is home to Boosmansbos Wilderness Area, Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve, The Bushbuck Hiking Trail, Heidelberg Bird Route, Grootvadersbosch Conservancy MTB Trails and Skeiding Guest Farm.
Situated on the banks of the Duivenhoks River, between the beautiful Langeberg Mountains and warm Indian Ocean, this quiet hamlet and second oldest town in the Hessequa lies in one of the most scenically preserved regions of the Western Cape. The town was established in 1855, forming around the Dutch Reformed church that drew farmers from as far afield as Swellendam and Riversdale. It was named in honour of the German town of Heidelberg, because of the Heidelberg catechism practiced in the church.
While it may have had a particularly pious beginning, there is a lot of humour and a sprinkling of wholesome mischief to be found among the residents who love a good story and are known to indulge in colourful descriptions of the characters and every day happenings of the area. During your sojourn you will no doubt get to experience ‘platteland’ lifestyle at its best – with slow organic cooking, long chats and leisurely exploration of the quaint art galleries, antique stores, hiking trails, MTB trails and coffee shops.
Heidelberg is also the gateway to Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve – one of South Africa’s most well-preserved indigenous forests and home to an array of mountain biking and hiking trails. The Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve is 250 hectares of indigenous forest along the Langeberg Mountain and was declared a World Heritage Site in 2004. The nature reserve is an excellent bird watching-, hiking-, and camping destination, with the spotting of bushbuck, baboons, yellowwood trees, the emperor butterfly and the rate ghost frog as highlights of your visit. The Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve also offers two day hiking trails ranging between 10km-15km and a selection of highly recommended self-catering cabins and luxury camping spots. Adjacent to the Grootvaderbosch Nature Reserve is the Boosmansbos Wilderness Area, which also holds World Heritage Site status. The Boosmansbos area covers various hiking trail and is a popular stop for birding clubs.
The newly launched Heidelberg Bird Route will take you through a loop of areas covering the town centre and outskirts – with the spotting of bird species which calls Heidelberg their home.
The town also boasts with unique farm stays (Skeiding Guest Farm and Hooikraal Tented Campsite) and bush camping (Nona Rosa Bush Camp and Noukrans Bush Camp) facilities which are all tailored towards nature enthusiast. The Grootvaderbosch Conservancy is a compilation of landowners – in the conservancy you’ll find the Grootvadersbosch Mountain Bike Network which consists of six MTB trails. The Grootvadersbosch Conservancy is also home to guest farms like Strawberry Hill Farm, Fleckvieh Guest Farm and Honeywood Farm. The Brackenhills Private Nature Reserve is located within the greater Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve and offers a selection of romantic getaway options.
Heidelberg is a popular overnight destination for German visitors as it reminds them of home. The town also has a Historical Walking Route which allows visitors to view all the important historical landmarks within the town.
The travel and tourism industry is very diverse and travellers in search of sophisticated venues must visit Star Nation Art Gallery, Newly Defined Antiques, Inspired Creations, Die Skeerhok Farm Stall, Delish Restaurant & Wine Shop, Heidelberg Nursery and Die Rooi Pot Coffee Shop.
Golf is an ever popular sporting code and the Heidelberg Golf Course will not disappoint in terms of neatness and views – the course has beautiful views of the Langeberg Mountains.
The addition of Heidelberg Hotel & Bar, Buck House Elegant Apartment, Akasha Mountain Retreat, Waterkloof Guest House, Fleur Bleue Luxury B&B, Melkboom Guest Farm and Alex’s Overnight Apartments makes Heidelberg a top destination for outdoor enthusiasts and couples travelling along the Garden Route.
Police: +27 (0)28 722 1910
Doctor: +27 (0)28 722 2034
Fire & Rescue: +27 (0)28 713 2222
Not to miss
- Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve & Accommodation Site
- Newly Defined & African Pickers
- Star Nation Art Studio
- Bushbuck Hiking Trail
- Noukrans Bush Camp
- Nona Rosa Bush Camp
- Inspired and SOON Furniture
- Grootvadersbosch Conservancy & MTB / Hiking Trails
- Hooikraal Tented Camps
- Akasha Retreat
- Skeiding Guest Farm
- Heidelberg Bird Route
- Boosmansbos Wilderness Area
- Strawberry Hill Farm
- Die Skeerhok Padstal (Farm Stall)
- Delish Restaurant
- Die Rooi Pot Coffee Shop
- Heidelberg Nursery