‘So many stories are written about Wakkerstroom. They feature the same people and they all say the same shit. Sorry, we swear here in Wakkerstroom. We are salt of the earth, real people.’
In the April 2015 issue of Getaway, I discover down-to-earth locals and foul-mouthed amusement in this birders’ paradise and love every minute of it.
‘Sleepy’ is an overused adjective when it comes to describing South Africa’s dorpies. It’s right up there with ‘quaint,’ ‘picturesque,’ and ‘stunning.’ In fact, these words are (ahem, were) banned from Getaway’s pages, but the truth is Wakkerstroom is a small, picturesque, sleepy village.
And that’s just the way the locals like it.
Famed for impeccable birding, Wakkerstroom claims rights to 370 different avian species in the area. But there’s more to the town than beautiful hides, guinea fowl roaming the streets, and cranes feeding in the vlei with the church steeple poking the sky in the background.
Homemade cheese, an old-school bakery, a quirky bistro featuring delectable dishes, and a small alpaca herd all form part of the village and are tended to by salt-of-the-earth locals.
This is no shallow tourist town hell-bent on churning visitor numbers. There are friendly neighbours, low fences, big hearts, soulful characters, and a community that knows everything about everybody. Wakkerstroomers are people who gossip and swear. Real people. And it makes you feel alive.
Follow us on social media for more travel news, inspiration, and guides. You can also tag us to be featured.
ALSO READ: Country escape: things to do in Wakkerstroom