The Nuwejaars Wetland Special Management Area not only offers visitors to the area access to
the more famous wildlife - like the buffalo. But tourists are also introduced to smaller fauna and
flora species - many facing extinction. For botanists, it's the opportunity to see Protea Pudens
(found almost solely in the Special Management Area) and the rare Erica Regia (Elim Heath). For
bird watchers, those small sunbirds and sugar birds that live among the fynbos plants. And for
game viewers, the once nearly-extinct bontebok, 'quagga' forming part of the Quagga Project,
and smaller buck like the 'grysbok'. Some of our tourism activities are still being developed.
Others are already in operation, like our buffalo tour.
Within the Special Management Area, tourists will also be able to visit the Elim wine ward - the
newest wine ward in South Africa. Situated close to the small town of Elim, four sets of vineyards
and wine cellars now produce top quality grapes. These are Black Oystercatcher Wines,
Strandveld Wines and The Berrio
The Nuwejaars Wetland SMA is rehabilitating its
key areas and cultural features.More
Our tourism venture will include training for
operators and entrepreneurs. More
Production and food security is enhanced through
sustainable use of land. More
Sustainably-utilised products will prove a key
economic driver for communities here. More
By developing the SMA's infrastructure, we can
unlock the area's sustainable capital. More
Enhancing the wellbeing of all who live here is an
imperative for the SMA. More
What makes these wines special - and increasingly popular? Wine connoisseurs put it down to the fruity
flavours of the grapes. That's thanks to their setting within the Agulhas Plain, where the cool sea breeze
and distinctive soil types create smaller berries at lower yields.
Just down the road from the four vineyards, and still within the Special Management Area, you'll find the
small, quaint town of Elim - which is a member of the SMA. Elim is already a well-known tourism
destination. The town (Elim means 'Place of God') was founded in 1824 by German missionaries. Elim is still
only inhabited by members of the Moravian Church today. The beautiful historic church is found in the
heart of the town. As such, the beautiful historic church is found in the heart of the town. Elim also has the
only monument in South Africa to commemorate the freeing of the slaves in 1834. And it boasts one of the
last working water mills in the Western Cape Province.
Less well-known, perhaps, is the beautiful 'Geelkop', a mountainous area that belongs to Elim. 'Geelkop',
meaning yellow hill, is home to the rare dwarf Elim fynbos, which contains many threatened species.This
small nature reserve also offers beautiful views of the Special Management Area and surrounding areas.
Accommodation and restaurants are available to visitors within the Special Management Area. In Elim
itself, tourists can stay over at the Elim Guesthouse, and eat out at The Water Mill Restaurant - where
Jane serves up her famous pickled fish and milktart. Within the Elim wine ward, accommodation is
available at the Strandveld Cottages, Draaihoek Guesthouse and Black Oystercatcher Cottages, while
the Black Oystercatcher Restaurant and Venue offers fresh food straight out of the garden. The Agulhas
Guest Farm offers overnight accommodation and full conference facilities, while tourists can also stay over
at Jubilee Hill, a guesthouse situated close to the Soetendalsvlei.
Within the broader Agulhas Plain, there are also a host of activities for the tourist. Must-see trips include
an outing to the Agulhas Lighthouse, to the southerly most tip of Africa, to the quant fisherman's town of
Waenhuiskrans (Arniston), to the Waenhuiskrans cave, to the Shipwreck Museum in Bredasdorp, and to
the many beaches and harbours in the area.