BAKERS DAM – was built by the South African Railways in 1906 to supply steam locomotives stopping in Willowmore with water. With the advent of diesel locomotives, the Municipality took over the dam to serve as the town’s primary source of water at the time. Today bird watchers spend hours at Bakers Dam where bird life and unspoilt flora abounds. A key to the gate is available at the Baviaans Tourism Office in the main road.
AASVOëLBERG 4×4 – directly translated as “Vulture Mountain”, overlooks Willowmore and is one of the few places in the Karoo where coastal fynbos grows. Aasvoelberg is located on Finchley Farm and offers guests numerous activities such as hiking, mountain climbing, hang gliding, mountain biking and gives the chance to explore the fauna and flora of the mountain. For the adrenaline junkie the mountain lends itself to spectacular para-gliding and adventurous abseiling. There is also a 4×4 and 4×2 trail to the top of the mountain guests can drive or hike to the top of Aasvoëlberg where they will find a rich variety of flora (Proteas and fynbos) as well as magnificent rock formations, fountains, waterfalls and mountain streams. Bird life is abundant and birdwatchers will not be disappointed. They will also enjoy previews of the area.
For those who do not have a suitable vehicle to drive on the farm tracks a Land Rover can be hired for use on the farm.
HISTORICAL GRAVEYARD -The Historical Graveyard is not only part of Willowmore’s early history, but also houses the graves of residents who died due to two notable historic incidents – the Anglo-Boer War (1899 – 1902) and the Great Flu Epidemic of 1918. HISTORICAL BOER GRAVEYARD A must-see in town is the beautifully restored old Boer graveyard with interesting graves dating back to the Anglo-Boer War. From here one can take a short hike to a small gunpowder chamber used during battle to store gunpowder and ammunition.
WONDERBOOM – The WONDERBOOM is a remarkable sight where two trees, namely the Ghwarrie tree (Eudea undulate) and a Shepherd’s Tree (Boscia oleolides, also called a Karoo witgat) grow side by side. What makes this “wonder tree” unique is the fact that the Shepherd’s Tree has three stems coming up out of the ground. Two of the stems have joined together, forming an “eye of a needle” and a third stem has grown through the eye, forming the “thread” creating a “needle and thread” effect. The Ghwarrie tree merely keeps the Shepherd’s Tree company. Situated 12km on theN9 towards Aberdeen.
JEWISH LIFE – At one stage Willowmore had a thriving Jewish Community and so the need for a JEWISH SYNAGOGUE, built in 1908. THe building is no longer in use, but can be viewed from the outside. The JEWISH GRAVEYARD is still beautifully maintained and open to interested visitors.
BLACKSTONES – The Old Blackstone Power Station , which supplied the town with power until 1984, is open to visitors. Willomwore first started generating its electricity in 1938. In the building are six Lister Blackstone diesel generators, the largest of which is still in working condition. If the need arises, these engines are started up to provide parts of Willowmore with electricity. A key to this facility is available at the Baviaans Tourism Office in the main road.
PIERRE FERREIRA – HIKING TRAIL The PIERRE FERRIERA HIKING TRAIL takes you through beautiful virgin Karoo veld, past two old forts and offers panoramic views over the charming village of Willowmore. Hiking this trail early in the morning or by sunset gives a truly unique experience of the Karoo.
THE WILLOW LIMO – Enjoy a relaxing donkey cart tour through the streets of Willowmore with THE WILLOW LIMO, to be found in the main street.
CEMENT ROAD -Construction of the Cement Road between Willomwore and Steytlerville commenced in 1952 and was completed in 1954. At the time of building the road cement was more economical than bitumen, which had to be imported. The road is a single strip with vehicles having to move onto the gravel verge for oncoming traffic. The length of the cement road is 36km. This road is the shortest route from Willowmore to Port Elizabeth.
HISTORICAL BUILDINGS There are many lovely HISTORICAL BUILDINGS in town, quite a few dating back to the 19th century, including the Old Dutch Reformed Rectory, built in 1864, The Old Jail, built in 1896, St Matthew’s Church, completed in 1881, and the beautifully renovated Town Hall, built in 1896, which has an unusual clock tower.
PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE – The iconic “Rooi Bruggie” was erected as a PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE over the Noodsloot River and was used when the river was in flood. The road was a drift/ford at the time. GOLF Willowmore boasts one of the few Karoo GOLF COURSES with 9 grass greens.Tel 044 923 1702
Karoo Angels -There is an angel factory in the Karoo. And from this factory thousands of angels every year fly to other places, other countries, other cultures. This is the story of how it all started.The story begins with a small craft project in a tiny and remote village in the beautiful Baviaans area of the Karoo semi-desert in South Africa. The name of the village is Vondeling, the craft project takes the name Vondeling Optel Craft, and the year is 2006. More than 10 years later the Karoo Angels tell a story about how small feather and wire angels, 100% made by hand, could dazzle and charm thousands of people all around the world, and put a forgotten village and forgotten people back on the map once again.
Baviaanskloof Heritage tours – Baviaanskloof heritage tours commence at The Willow Historical Guesthouse in Willowmore, the western gateway to the kloof and terminate in either Patensie in the rich Gamtoos River valley or at Steytlerville in the Great Karoo. These are the ideal tours for people whose holidays originate in Cape Town or the Western Cape.
As a major bonus, you can drive your car to Willowmore, join one of our Baviaanskloof tours, and find your car waiting for you at your destination so that you can continue your holiday in ease!
Cycling – A cycle through the Karoo is a ride like no other. It’s a chance to experience the Karoo in a new and exciting way. Bring the whole family for a day trip or shorter routes. The sounds of nature, wildlife and farming surround you. There are plenty of adventures on offer for more experienced cyclists and explorers alike. Routes are mostly made up of gravel roads with min vehicle traffic. Put the petal to the metal and experience what the Karoo has to offer.
“This is the second year I have brought friends and family from the U.S. to stay at this charming guest house in December. I came back for the charm and comfort I felt the previous year and I was not disappointed. You will experience bits of Karoo history throughout your visit. And be sure to ride the Willow Limo during your stay”