Now it’s more diversified, and you go there for wine, dried fruit and Towerkop cheese, named after one of the most remarkable mountain peaks in southern Africa.
Driving through the district, the jutting outline of Towerkop looms constantly. The double-pinnacle of Towerkop was said to have been created when an angry witch split the peak in two with a blast from her bunker-busting wand. The legend goes that the original shape of Towerkop obstructed her flights through the mountain, so she did a bit of Harry Potter-ish landscaping.
No one could ever climb the west side of Towerkop, until a 19-year-old farmer boy called Gustaf Nefdt made it to the summit in 1885 and left one of his socks under a rock as proof. But his mates did not believe him, so he had to climb up again and fetch said sock.
Ladismith is a great base for travellers wanting to explore the various mountain passes of the Little Karoo.
The nearby Sewe Weeks Pass is a barefoot beauty of a poort. It’s not as artfully built as The Swartberg. It doesn’t have all the fabulous rest stops that Meiringspoort does. But it’s just so mind-bogglingly beautiful it takes your breath away.
These Cape Fold mountains are remarkable. It took more than 120 million years to torture the sandstone into its current series of crazy shapes, folding and fracturing the rock. And then there are the cabbage trees, the wild pelargoniums, stands of noble Aloe ferox and the festive red pompoms of mitre aloe (Aloe comptonii).
Find our newly-released e-Book, 101 Karoo Towns, HERE.