On the West Coast Way, Wild Route is Vanrhynsdorp. Troe-Troe, which translates to “return-return,” was the ancient name of the farm on which Vanrhynsdorp now stands. The construction of the church marked the birth of the town, as it did for many other South African communities.
In the 1970s, the historic gaol housed a museum; the last inmates were released in the 1930s. The structure had at one point fallen into disrepair, but it has since been meticulously rebuilt. The property now features a café, sells trinkets and succulents, and has antiques that can be looked at or purchased. Different themes are used in each cell. For those who have the guts to try to meet them, ghost rumours abound.
Vanrhynsdorp was also recorded in South African history. Victor Smith, who was flying alone from Cape Town to London on March 10th, 1933, earned the dubious distinction of performing one of the first successful forced landings in South Africa. Near Vanrhynsdorp, he touched down on the Knersvlakte.
The location of Vanrhynsdorp makes it the ideal starting point for a trip to see Namaqualand flowers in bloom. One of the world’s most diversified succulent zones, including miniature succulents, may be found near Vanrhynsdorp. Numerous plant species are in danger of extinction, making it even more remarkable to see them when exploring the veld.
During the flower season, when tourists from all over the world travel to Vanrhynsdorp to witness this exceptional event, vygies march in all colours of orange and purple.
Birders can check off the Namaqua Sandgrouse, various Lark species (Clapper-, Karoo-, and Spike-heeled-), the European Bee-Eater, the Cape Penduline Tit, the Ant-eating Chat, and the Rufous-eared Warbler in the vicinity of the Varsch River (‘varsch’ means fresh), which is located just north of Vanrhynsdorp.
When you’ve finished exploring Vanrhynsdorp, you can move on to the Namaqualand and the Hantam Karoo, but remember that it’s always worthwhile to stop by Piketberg, Citrusdal, Clanwilliam, Wupperthal, Nieuwoudtville, and Garies.