Geography and History
The tiny Central Karoo town of Merweville lies in a picturesque area of plains often likened to the desert region of the United States. The similarity is so striking that film makers often choose this sector of the Great Karoo to portray scenes in Nevada and Arizona.
The town was established in 1904 on the farm Vanderbijlskraal, home of Johannes Jacobus Le Seur van der Bijl, who built a church and school for the community. An forward-thinking, entrepreneurial farmer he also opened a shop and acted as justice of the peace and magistrate. During the Anglo-Boer War he was locked in his own jail by Commandant Wynand Malan who made off with the cell key.
Merweville maintains a great deal of old world charm. It is an ideal spot to rest, relax and unwind from the pressures of modern-day city life. Also, the village is easy to reach along good quality gravel roads. There is a 40 km scenic drive from Prince Albert Road and those who prefer can drive along the tar road from Leeu Gamka to Fraserburg. Halfway is a turn off to Merweville, near the spectacular Teekloof Pass.
Those who enjoy the exploring by-ways of the Great Karoo will find two other gravel roads offering splendid views over the plains and of the mountains. One of these leaves the Nl at Koup Station and the other is 15km South of Beaufort West. Both meander through farming areas and allow users to enjoy the magnificence and isolation of the Great Karoo.
This friendly little community, badly hit by the Spanish Flu in 1918, rocketed to the attention of the scientific world attention in 1977 when a meteriorite landed on the farm Waterval.
Merweville has a variety of accommodation options available from Guest Houses, Bed and Breakfasts to Self-catering units.
There are some guest houses in the town where visitors can look after themselves or arrange to enjoy some traditional Karoo fare prepared by the locals. And, there are farms which offer superb eco-tourism experiences.
Come visit a local arts and crafts upliftment project in Voortrekker Street. The art is for sale in Prince Albert, De Rust at the Blicktrommel, in Leeu Gamka at the Nursery, in Oudtshoorn, Fraserburg, Hopetown and Knysna.
There are some splendid 4x4 and hiking trails in the district. Gentle scenic drives are available on various farms in the area, aimed at enjoying the magnificent mountain views and fauna and flora, with the possibility of encountering grey rhebuck, duiker and black eagle. Or, for the more adventurous there is the Baboon Trail obstacle course, with escape routes at the major challenges.
There are many restaurants on offer to suit every visitors budget. There is a great selection of restaurants, coffee shops and pubs to choose from!
Merweville has a thriving business community and provides a wide range of goods and services to its residents as well as surrounding communities.
Most of the Information and images courtesy of Beaufort West Tourism.
|Merweville Tourism Office Information|
|Telephone:||023 415 1488 / 087 700 8210|