One of the West Coast's oldest towns, Hopefield is in the heart of the wheat- and sheep-farming Sandveld region, about 120km north of Cape Town. The town, dating back to 1853, is bisected by the Zoute River and situated between Malmesbury and Vredenburg on the R45.
The tranquil area with its big skies and sprawling veld is famous for its 500 different species of fynbos, and for its spring daisies that appear soon after the winter rains in June.
Hikers who book in advance can also see indigenous flora on trails on farms such as Langrietvlei and Helderwater, both of which lie 22km outside the main town.
Fine fynbos honey is produced in the town and visitors can buy a choice of locally made honey products.
A Hopefield landmark is the impressive, whitewashed Dutch Reformed Church built in 1879 – its antique organ, installed in 1911, is still used during church services.
Visitors to the town can also see an example of a hartbeeshuisie (traditional house with walls made of reeds and clay), and two historic Cape Dutch homesteads in the area, Coenradenburg and Langrietvlei*, have been declared provincial heritage sites. *Langrietvlei is open to the public, but a viewing must to be booked in advance.
Hopefield is located on the banks of the Zouterivier and is rich in bird life. Visitors who enjoy hiking are advised to book a guest farm on the Berg River for hiking trails.Guest farms and cottages outside town offering accommodation on the river’s banks.
Things to see
On the last weekend of August every year, from Thursday to Sunday, a large variety of species from the renosterveld, sandveld, rietveld and wetland areas of the Hopefield district are displayed at the Hopefield Fynbos Show. Visitors can also enjoy refreshments and traditional produce from various stalls.
Fossils excavated in the area are on display at the museum at the Visitor Information Centre. A replica of the famous 500 000-year-old hominid skull known as Saldanha Man – a human ancestor – found in 1953 on Elandsfontein farm 13km from town can also be seen here, as well as a range of period items, including furniture, a piano, garments, linen and crockery.
Things to do
- Enjoy the birdlife on the banks of the Zouterivier
- Go for a hike in the veld surrounded by indigenous fynbos (in the summer months)
- Sample the local honey