Did you know?
Darling used to be called Groenekloof and dates back to 1682, when pioneer explorer Oloff Bergh headed north from Cape Town up the sandy West Coast.
In spring every field around the small town of Darling, along the West Coast, blooms a tapestry of flowers. Tourists come from near and far to experience the beauty and to enjoy small town hospitality. Darling forms part of the West Coast flower region and is part of the Cape Floristic Region. It boasts more than 1 200 species of flowering plants, 80 of which are endemic to the West Coast. The Darling Wildflower Show is held every third weekend in September at the Darling Club.
Darling was named after Charles Henry Darling, who came to the Cape as Lieutenant-Governor in 1851. While it is also known for its salt and dairy produce (notably butter), wine from the region is becoming increasingly popular.
There are lots of little bric-a-brac shops, art galleries and coffee shops. A must-do is a visit to Evita se Perron, a theatre owned by Uys, aka Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout. The Darling Museum plays homage to the town’s butter-making and creamery history, and gives an insight into life on farms and in the town in the 19th century.
The history of the area, however, stretches many centuries back when the San roamed the land. The San’s heritage has been preserved at the !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre. San guides will take you on a three-hour tour, demonstrating their skills and sharing their oral history and knowledge of medicinal herbs.
With plenty of guest houses and B&Bs, the town is an ideal getaway from the hurly-burly of large cities, but close enough to Cape Town to make the trip in an hour.