FYNBOS AND FOSSIL COUNTRY
Surrounded by delicate fynbos and waving green wheat in winter, Hopefield is an historic town on the West Coast. Just 120km from Cape Town and inland from Langebaan, it lies at the heart of the arid Sandveld, with the Zoute River running through it.
As the West Coast’s oldest town, it’s not surprising Hopefield has an old world atmosphere too. Its origins date back to 1851, when farmers donated money to build the majestic whitewashed Dutch Reformed Church – and the century old organ is still played on Sundays.
Hopefield has a year round natural fynbos display, and is also renowned for its vibrant and indigenous spring daisies that appear after winter rains during August and September. Added to the over 500 different species of fynbos that naturally occur here, this area is an Eden for botanists and flora lovers. Fine fynbos honey is also produced here.
Every August, the popular Hopefield Fynbos Show depicts the breathtaking and diverse flora of the region. To see indigenous flora at ground level, hikers can walk the Langrietvlei and Helderwater trails on farms near the town. Fossils excavated from Elandsfontein, near Saldanha Bay, are on display n a small fossil museum at the Visitor Information Centre in the main street.
A replica of the hominid skull Saldanha Man – also called the Saldanha Skull or Elandsfontein Skull – can be seen here too. Further along, the street is an example of an intriguing Hartebeeshuisie, one of the traditional reed houses for which the area is well known.
Fynbos, fossils, honey and traditional homesteads are just the beginning of Hopefield’s unique attractions.