Planning your trip

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Book in advance

When you are planning your trip along the Rooibos Heritage Route, be mindful that most people living along the route are mainly farmers - thus it is important to book in advance. 

Safety first

Also enquire about the conditions of the road -especially in winter - as roads can be very slippery and dangerous after heavy rainfall events. 

All roads along the Rooibos Heritage Route require a vehicle with high clearance and an experienced driver on gravel roads.

Get oriented

You can download these maps for your journey:

Attractions in Wupperthal

1 Community Hall

2 Mission Stores

3 Lekkerbek Restaurant

4 Church

5 Kloofhuis Guesthouse

6 Information office

7 Rectory

8 New Tea Court

9 School

10 Shoe Factory

11 Boarding house

12 Red Cedar Cosmetics

13 Residential area

14 Palmhuis Guesthouse

15 Meulhuis Guesthouse

16 Postoffice

The white numbers indicate the approximate distances in km. 

Hantam National Botanical Garden

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Two kilometres outside Nieuwoudtville you will see the sign for the turnoff to the Hantam National Botanical Garden, situated on the farm Glen Lyon. The former owner Neil McGregor was an innovative farmer who introduced pastures for Merino sheep to replace wheat production. He came to appreciate the amazing floral diversity of the area, and started using the land in ways that enhanced the spring flower displays.  In 1960 Neil started offering flower tours on the farm. In 1991 the BBC Natural History Unit filmed footage for the documentary, 'The Private Life of Plants' on the property.  In January 1994 Sir David Attenborough returned with the BBC Natural History Unit to photograph the area during the dry season. The Director of Kew Gardens, Sir Ghillean Prance visited the farm on several occasions.

In 2007 Glen Lyon was sold to SANBI, the South African National Biodiversity Institute and has since been proclaimed as the Hantam National Botanical Garden. The garden is unique, and is the only National Botanical Garden that it is not actively cultivated. Instead it is managed in ways designed to conserve and enhance the biodiversity on the property.

The Garden encompasses a large area of vegetation that is unique to the Nieuwoudtville area, with a stunning array of flowering plants. Many of these plants are geophytes, which are plants with specialised root organs such as bulbs, enlarged roots or tubers, which can store plant food. This enables them to flower and reproduce at different times of the season, and to survive droughts. The iconic March Lilly, Brunsvigia bosmaniae, flowers in the autumn if there has been sufficient late summer rain, sending up magnificent heads of pink lilies.  The plants use the winter season to store up energy. They lose their large flat leaves in September and slumber quietly in the soil for six months before flowering. Strategies like this mean that you will probably see plants flowering in every season of the year. Different species use different pollinators to fertilise their flowers, and their flowering is timed to coincide with the life cycle of their specific pollinators. If you would like to know more, the visitors’ centre at the Garden is worth a visit. Visitors are able to take guided tours in the spring flower season, or to walk or cycle through the property on their own.

Operational Hours

All year: Mon-Fri:07h30-16h30

 except Aug-Oct  (flower season): Mon-Sun: 08h00 to 17h00

  Entrance fees

  • Free except for flower season
  • Aug-Oct
  • Adults: R18
  • SA students (with card): R14
  • Senior Citizens: R10
  • Children: R10
  • BOTSOC members: Free

 (Please contact Hantam Botanical Gardens for updated rates)

Contact Details

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Nieuwoudtville Waterfall

Just outside Nieuwoudtville you can visit the waterfall gorge: in winter after good rains in can be in full flood (photo) and in summer it dries up completely - leaving a deep pool at the bottom of the gorge to support local wildlife in the dry summer months. 

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Nieuwoudtville Flower Reserve 

The Nieuwoudtville Flower Reserve is 3km east of the town and boasts a wide variety of bulbs. The Reserve offers visitors the chance to drive up close to the flowers or take the short hiking trail between the rock “koppies” where more bulbs are hidden.

Operational Hours

·      All year: Mon-Fri: 07h30-16h30

Entrance fees

 The reserve is free of charge.

Contact Details

Telephone: 027 218 1336

Explore stunning vistas

Take some time out to explore stunning vistas along the route - and enjoy the peaceful beauty of this vast landscape.

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Rock Art 

Along the route you can visit some amazing rock art. You can book guided tours via the Nieuwoudtville and Wupperthal information office

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Explore the history of Wupperthal and experience life in one of the outstations of Wuppertal. 

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Wupperthal Mission Store

Get supplies in the Wupperthal Mission Store. The only shop in Wupperthal and the last one before you reach Nieuwoudtville. 

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Make your own soap at Red Cedar

Create your own cosmetics using organic rooibos extract. 

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Crossing the Doring River

As you travel along the route you will cross the Doring River - here after some good rains.

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Visit the Wupperthal Shoe factory

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Enjoy moving though the landscape

This route is not a place to rush through - take your time and engage…

© Indigo development & change  2015