In earlier times, the impressive mass of the Piketberg served as a stronghold for the San. Then, in the 18th century the Europeans came and, as Europeans tended to do at the time, drove the indigenous people away (who, in the ensuing panic, left their rock paintings behind). A certain Mr Versfeld came along a little later, built a spectacular pass up the mountain and modestly named it after himself. Versveld Pass is famous for its three-loop design that enabled ox wagons to ascend it. The view from the summit is impressive and the plateau above is an unexpected page from Tolkien: a dense collage of orchard, valley, crumbling cottages and rugged mountainscape. Back at the foot of the mountain, the town of Piketberg is not a bad little place, but not really offering sufficient lure to make a full meal of it. Heading back up the mountain to one of several nice self-catering spots would be the better option in our humble view.
Things To Do
- If you are not already staying at the top of the Piketberg, a drive up Versveld Pass is a most pleasant way to pass time. There are several spots where you can pull over and survey your kingdom all the way to the Groot Winterhoek mountains. While you are at it, stop off at the historic watermill on the farm Dezehoek, lying at the base of the Pass.
- Other man-built artefacts that may have rainy-day appeal are Dunn’s Castle, the Cannon – an artillery piece fired during the 18th century to warn farmers of approaching danger – the Piketberg Museum and the 1882 Dutch Reformed Church.
- Piketberg has a handful of simple eateries. While none are the stuff gourmet legends are made of, they offer a pleasant and relaxed stop-off.
Where You'll Also Find Us
Arniston (Waenhuiskrans) • Barrydale • Baviaanskloof • Betty's Bay • Bonnievale • Bredasdorp • Caledon • Calitzdorp • Cape Agulhas & Struisbaai • Cape Peninsula & Surrounds • Cape St Francis & St Francis Bay • Ceres • Citrusdal • Clanwilliam & Cederberg • Colesberg • Darling • De Rust • Elands Bay • Gansbaai • George • Grabouw & Elgin Valley • Greyton • Hermanus • Hogsback • Jozi and Surrounds • Knysna • Ladismith • Malgas • Matjiesfontein • McGregor • Montagu • Mossel Bay • Napier • Oudtshoorn • Paarl • Plettenberg Bay • Port Elizabeth • Porterville • Pringle Bay, Betty's Bay and Kleinmond • Riebeek West & Riebeek-Kasteel • Robertson • Rustenburg • St Helena Bay • Stanford • Stilbaai • Sutherland • Swellendam • Tulbagh • Velddrif • Vermaaklikheid • Wellington • Wilderness • Worcester & Hex Valley • Yzerfontein