To Taste a Citrusdal Orange

Private Property South Africa
Anna-Marie Smith

Those fortunate enough to visit this prime agricultural region in the heart of the Cederbarg mountains say if memories are triggered by tastes and smells, an orange from Citrusdal is an absolute winner.

Easily accessible from the West Coast along the N7 motorway between Namibia and Cape Town just 160 km away, is the small rural village of Citrusdal, easily recognised by the long lines of green citrus orchards in the spectacular valley of Olifantsriver.

And so are the hospitable and hard working farming community of this small town, where during summer months they endure top temperatures of close to 30 degrees C, and as a result welcome cooler winter months despite the chill factor just above 5 degrees C. For them, to live near The Baths Natural Hot Water Springs Resort close to town, offers a welcome winter reprieve for joining fellow farmers and friends where warm body and soul. So rejuvenating are The Baths, that William Mann made an entry in his diary in 1840, commenting on this wonderful discovery: "The water looked so tempting that none of us could resist, so our horses were turned to graze, our packs were opened, and we had each of us a glorious dip and a clean shirt."

An idylic setting...

Historic records show that the name Olifants River originated from a member of the Dutch East India Company who in 1660, who while exploring the area discovered a herd of grazing elephants in Olifants River valley. Thereafter the town was established through the Dutch Reformed Church in 1916, who invested in some land that only 10 years later became fully established as a citrus co-operative. Today the region remains true to its predominantly Afrikaans roots, also reflected in the quaint names of small neighbouring towns such as Kalbaskraal, Jakkalsfontein, Doringbaai, Dwarskersbos and Eendekuil.

Citrusdal falls under the West Coast District with municipal neighbours such as Matzikama, Bergriver, Swartland and the coastal town of Saldanha Bay. The town sits central to its equally small neighbours including Clanwilliam near the Cape Nature resort of Algeria, Pieter Toerien’s Evita se Peron in Darling, and the prime surfing spot of Elandsbaai on the West Coast. As a member of the Cedarberg Municipality, this thriving agricultural environment with Mediterranean climate and average rainfall pattern of 43 days per year, is also home to Goede Hoop Citrus which recently celebrated its 85th year of existence in the citrus producing industry.

As a small town surrounded by prime agricultural farmland, average municipal freehold property values of R755 000 in town are similar to that of its nearby coastal neighbours Lamberts Bay and Clanwilliam Open Space. Local amenities available to residents here include a primary and secondary school, as well as a medical clinic and hospital. From a lifestyle perspective, residents can enjoy many festive events, including the Olifantsriver Canoe Race, Citrus Carnival, the Two Mountains and a Valley Mountain Bike challenge, and a variety of four-by-four and quad biking events.

The nearby Bergriver has become a firm favourite for water sport activities, since the length of the river makes it ideal for hosting any number of sculling, rowing, kyaking and paddling events. The farming community along the Bergriver hosts memorable events such as the upcoming 20 km Western Cape Annual Melck Run hosted by Nomads Rowing Club, that ends at one of the local farms and attracts rowers from around the Cape Peninsula.

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