Klapmuts is a small village situated approximately 15km from Paarl, Kraaifontein and Stellenbosch in the valleys of the Hottentots Holland mountain range. The origins of the name came from Abraham Gabbema, the local bailiff, coining “De Clapmats“; (a style of sailor’s cap with flap), but was later vernacularized to Klapmuts.
Attractions in Klapmuts:
Wine Farms – As the area is almost surrounded by vineyards; it provides numerous opportunities for wine tours and tastings at various wine farms around the village.
The Drakenstein Lion Park was established in 1998 to provide sanctuary for lions in distress and is not involved in any commercial breeding or trading, but offers lifetime care to all its animals. It boasts one of the largest lion populations including the rare white lions.
The park will be expanding to include a Chimp Haven; a purpose built facility to house the animals that were displaced by the closure of the Tygerberg Zoo.
Butterfly World is a 1000m² tropical garden in a green house, located at the cross roads of the Paarl, Stellenbosch and Wellington Wine Routes. The tropical butterflies are bred in farms in Costa Rica, Philippines, Malaysia and China from where the pupae are flown to this garden.
Eagle Encounters was founded in 2001 by Hank and Tracy Chalmers on land donated by Spier. The facility offers rehabilitation, release, conservation, education and eco-tourism programmes for birds that have been injured, poisoned, abused and hand-reared. The Bird of Prey Rehabilitation, Education and Falconry Centre, the only one in the Western Cape, offers interactive tours of a variety of raptors.
Klapmutskop Conservancy was established in 2004 as part of Cape Nature’s Stewardship Programme, the conservancy includes five farms (Delheim, Elsenberg, East Hill Le Bonheur and Warwick). The farms act as curators of the conservancy by protecting and conserving the area through sustainable practices. The conservancy offers various trails and walks.
Klapmutskop is meeting point of three formations – Sandstone, Granite and Conglomerate; which support diverse vegetation including mountain fynbos/afromontane forest, boland granite fynbos and mountain fynbos-boland granite fynbos mosaic.
The culture of Klapmuts is as diverse as its people with many Xhosa and coloured people residing here with the majority of its residents being Afrikaans speaking. With a large Rastafarian influence in the community, travellers can expect some colourful characters and Jamaican-inspired colours on murals and houses.
Arts & Crafts:
Wire work is by far the most popular craft on sale in the Klapmuts area. With experience wire workers coming from the Rastafarian community, there are also other artists who specialise in beading and textile crafts. Most of these crafts are sold at the intersection from the N1 highway and travellers can find a bargain by stopping here to look at the local craftsmens’ wares.