Heritage

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The Doring River runs through an ancient twisting gorge with rock pools and water-worn boulders. Where Bushmen artefacts and paintings left evidence of their lives thousands of years ago. Here they lived in harmony with the environment and enjoyed the unspoilt surroundings in Peace. These paintings are part of the largest open air art galleries in the world date back to 1500 AD. Geologists think this wide river valley was sculpted by The Great Karoo River millions of years ago, evidenced by some of the vegetation and the diamonds deposited off the West Coast.

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Across from the Boma you can make out the Ou-drif (river crossing) used in colonial times as the “drift” which was crossed on the trek to Clanwilliam. Farmers paused here, leaving a few remnants in the form of old ovens and shards of blue porcelain. Where the Doring River valley had offered water, hunting and fishing grounds to the original inhabitants of this site, it now provided an opportunity for the farmers to wrestle a living. Goats, sheep, wheat and fodder crops were raised in the delicate environment situated between the Swartland wheat lands and the arid Karoo veld.

From about sixty years ago Oudrif was used largely for grazing with few permanent residents until it was revitalised as a unique experience in guest accommodation in 2000.

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