Ladismith - what you need to know


Ladismith (550m) nestles at the foot of the Klein Swartberg mountain range in the Klein Karoo. Situated on Route 62, it is linked by tarred main roads to all major centres, including Cape Town (320km), Oudtshoorn (100km), Montagu (139km), George (160km), Mossel Bay (185km) and Port Elizabeth (420km).

Ladismith  is one of the four towns which falls under the municipal name called Kannaland. Kannaland is divided into Van Wyksdorp (, Ladismith, Zoar/Amalienstein and Calitzdorp(

An impressive mountain peak called Towerkop (2198m) looms above Ladismith. Local legend has it that a witch, flying overhead, struck the peak in anger with her wand because it obstructed her passage over the mountain. Her anger resulted in Towerkop's unique appearance - the peak is split in two.20 may 07 120


Halfway up Elandsberg (2128m) you'll find a famous landmark, sometimes referred to as Ladismith's extra star in the galaxy: Stanley's Light (1500m). Erected in 1963 by Stanley de Wit, an inhabitant of the town, it consisted of a bicycle lamp and dynamo being powered by a waterstream. An indication of the availability of water for the surrounding farms and the town itself was hereby established.

20 may 07 111A wide variety of scenic routes are accessible from Ladismith. If one travels east through the beautiful Hoeko Valley, breathtaking views of orchards in the spring and autumn can be experienced. Turning into Seweweekspoort - a gorge running through the mountain, spectacular rock formations can be seen as the road follows the winding riverbed for 21km through the mountain and emerges in the Great Karoo.Travelling west of Ladismith one can visit the picturesque valleys, with the orchards, vineyards and old farmhouses of Dwarsrivier, Voorbaat and Van Zylsdamme. 

It serves an extensive farming area with ideal climate for the production of apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines, figs, pomegranates, olives and grapes. Approximately 30% of the total apricot export market comes from the district . There are two cheese factories as well as a winery.

Ladismith is unique in the sense that is has its own individual building style. The so-called Ladismith style is a simplified Georgian design and dates from the 1830's. Several other architectural styles, i.e. Neo-Gothic, Georgian, Victorian, Regency, Lithuanian, Edwardian, Cape Revival and Rural (Karoo) style, can also be found.

Approximately 180 species of birds have been spotted.  Vegetation is widely varied and ranges from fynbos in the mountain to karoo broken veld, spekboom and succulent karoo on the koppies and plains.  klapperbos 20The fynbos includes the rare Protea aristata and Protea pruinosa.  Another endemic shrub to the Klein Karoo is the beautiful Nymania capensis or "Klapperbos".klapper 3