|QUICK FACTS: DE RUST|
De Rust is a small village located at the foot of the Swartberg Mountain range between Oudtshoorn (35km) and Beaufort West (145km).
De Rust is also known for the meandering Meiringspoort (Meiring's canyon) pass which is the gateway between the Klein Karoo and the Great Karoo through a gorge with a 25 km road crossing the same river 25 times in its span.
De Rust might be small but charming and is famous for its dessert wines and cheeses. The town itself is tranquil and tree-lined boasts excellent examples of late 19th century architecture. In recent years the slow pace of life and clean fresh air has attracted a number of artists, and thhe area is also well known for ostrich farming with a large portion of the population involved in ostrich farming and related businesses.
> Click here to view accommodation establishments in De Rust.
Early in the last century a young man from Worcester, near Cape Town in the Western Cape, Petrus Johannes Meiring (a grandson of Pastor Arnoldus Meiring who arrived from Lingen in Germany in 1743) rode into the Karoo's Elephants River Valley looking for a route through the Swartberg Mountain range. He never stopped exploring and eventually discovered the route through it, following the Karoo’s Great River which flows through the gorge, which in later years became the famous Meiringspoort.
Long before the village was established, De Rust had already been a place to 'outspan' and rest before tackling the challenging route through the gorge. De Rust was established in 1900 on a portion of Meiring's farm.
The area is malaria-free, safe with a very low crime rate and boasting a fantastic climate - beautiful sunny winter days with cool nights, while summers are perfect - hot and sunny.
During holiday seasons thousands of tourists (local and international) pass through the town, known for its Karoo hospitality and singular character, and admire the spectacular geological rock formations of Meiringspoort.
Meiringspoort not only has an incredible botanical diversity – the plant species are so rich in this area that it would rival similar sized areas in the world and there are some very rare examples of pelargoniums (geraniums) - but it also has hundreds of birds, safe hiking trails and an array of animals from tiny field mice to the Cape mountain leopard.
A visit to De Rust would be incomplete if it didn’t include a stop at Tolbos Trading where Ilse Pringle takes ordinary sheets of glass and turns them into enchanting bits and pieces.
As a perfect base for an activity-filled holiday De Rust offers a range of adrenalin-filled options: from mountain climbing and mountain biking in the Kamanassie, to exploring the splendor of Meiringspoort, Seweweekspoort, or the Swartberg Pass between Gamkaskloof (also known as “Die Hel / The Hell”) and Prince Albert.
Take time to visit an ostrich farm and the famous Cango Caves in Oudtshoorn. Spoil your taste buds with some of the country’s finest cuisine, before taking a wine-route excursion, or go hunting for fossils on the endless plains of the Great Karoo, soaking up the unique beauty of the mountains as you do.
The Meiringspoort half-marathon held in October each year also attracts people from all over the country to take part in the event.
For more information, visit the De Rust Tourism Information website at http://www.derust.org.za/