Ask a dozen people what they know about Uniondale and you will get twelve different answers …
To us locals Uniondale is the best place ever, and we love getting visitors share it with. We are proud of our Little Karoo agricultural dorpie. Here you will experience the sense of community and belonging that only happens in small towns like ours.
Agriculture is still very much part of the town, which is the central hub for employment, schools, hospitals and other community activities. Local farmers support the school and boarding house, churches and charity organisations. Farming includes sheep, angoras, seed and fruit farming which all employ a lot of people.
High skill, high fitness required for the 12km one way to Avontuur. The climb out of Lyonville to the saddle is brutal. The road surface is loose and steep; Geoff feels that the grader that fixes it up for the Karoo2Coast actually ruins the fun and takes the challenge away. You are officially challenged to ride it without dabbing. Pace yourself.
The gravity fed way down from the saddle is easy to get very wrong. Again fist sized rocks over hardpack with constant water mitigation ridges that want to launch you. Airtime is fun, but oft time they will put you over the side of a 100m drop.
You can either come back the way you came, or take the tar road through the Uniondale Poort back to town.
Real super heroes will extend this ride over to De Vlugt and then come back the same route. The run down to De Vugt will put a grin on the most jaded single track junky, and the climb back up will teach you what your legs are for.
The route goes over private property, so please contact the owners for permission.
Visitors to the area are delighted with the wide open spaces, diversity, stunning scenery, magical flora and incredible geology.
Our historical buildings include seven national monuments.
The best way to experience Uniondale and surroundings is over a few days. Many travellers and holidaymakers use of the town and surrounds as a base for day trips. We are well known for our choice of quality accommodation including guesthouses, farm stays, self-catering cottages and camping sites.
In Uniondale itself you have a choice of places to eat, whether you just feel like a delicious snack, coffee and cake or a full meal.
Our unique Uniondale-style golf course has to be experienced. Tee off with great scenery around you, plus the odd Angora goat or springbok as spectators.
With more than 300km of dirt roads in the area, Uniondale is a destination in itself for mountain biking or cycling, bikes and offroad vehicles. More than 4,000 cyclists ride the 100km Karoo to Coast mountain bike race from Uniondale to Knysna through the Prince Alfred’s Pass.
Whether your thing is just chillin’, or getting out and about, there is so much to see and do in the Uniondale and Haarlem area.
Don’t just take our word for it – come and experience it for yourself.
The Ghost of Uniondale
In stormy weather on Easter weekend of 1968 a young engaged couple had a car accident on the Barandas-Willowmore road around 20 kilometres from the town. The woman, Marie Charlotte Roux, was sleeping in the back seat of their Volkswagen Beetle when her fiancé lost control of the car. The car overturned and she was killed.
The first reported sighting of a ghost matching her description occurred during the Easter weekend of 1976, and since then many other sightings have been reported. All involve a female hitchhiker who is given a lift, then disappears a few kilometers down the road, and some have reported car doors opening and closing, laughter and a chill in the air.
This is a newspaper article from the Daily Breeze newspaper, Torrance, California. Dated Friday, April 11, 1980. The article reads as follows: The motorcycle ghost of the Karoo Desert has struck again. The ghost, said to be a woman who died in a motorcycle accident more than 10 years ago near Uniondale, badly frightened Andre Coetzee, 20, who was breezing along the highway on Good Friday.
|“||I was riding near the Baramdas turnoff (the site of the fatal accident a decade ago) when I felt my hair stand on end inside my crash helmet and someone or something put its arms around my waist from behind. There was something sitting on my bike, the shaken Coetzee said.|
The frightened motorcyclist said he accelerated to 80 mph to get away, but the ghost hit him three times in the helmet to get him to slow down. ‘The blows were vicious,’ he said. When he reached 100 mph, Coetzee said, ‘the apparition disappeared.’
Coetzee drove to a local cafe for help.
|“||He could hardly speak when we asked him what had happened. But gradually it dawned on us that the woman ghost had appeared once more, said Jeanetta Meyer, the cafe owner.|
There have been several reports in recent years of motorcyclists picking up a blonde woman hitchhiker near Uniondale, only to find that she had vanished from the back seat after a few miles.
The Gouritz Cluster Biosphere reserve is South Africa’s 7th biosphere reserve and was approved by UNESCO on 9th June 2015. It is globally unique as it is the only area where three recognized biodiversity hotpots, Fynbos, Succulent Karoo and Subtropical Thicket hotspots converge.
18 of the Gouritz Biosphere’s conservation areas was designated as World Heritage Sites which are recognised as being of Outstanding Universal Value.
The biosphere reserve consists of three zones.
- Core Areas – these areas include land that is legally protected
- Buffer Areas – other mostly natural areas where sustainable utilization of natural products or veld can be accommodated
- Transition Areas – the land where most people live and work.
Focus and priority projects
- Restoration of degraded landscapes while creating employment.
- Smaller projects to support sustainable livelihoods in urban and rural areas
- Promoting enterprises that benefit the environment and simultaneously ensure socio-economic gains
- Enviromental education focussed on schools and the youth
- Collaboration with local and global research initiatives, including archaeological studies along the coastline
- Assessment of innovative ways of financing the restoration of degraded land.
Uniondale is the Eastern Gateway to the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere.
Tel : +27 44 752 1076
Contact: Rico Classen
Email : email@example.com