Ladismith is located in the Klein Karoo region of the Western Cape. It lies at the foot of the Klein
Swartberg range with some of the finest peaks such as Toringberg ("Towering Mountain") which
soars at 2130m directly above the town.
To the west stands one of the most famous mountains in Southern Africa, the majestic Towerkop
("Bewitched Peak") at 2203m with its split peak that looms above the town. Local legend has it that
an angry witch, flying overhead, struck the peak with her wand, causing it to split. The peak changes
marvellously in appearance and looks bewitchingly different from whatever angle it is viewed.
Ladismith started off as a permanent place for worship. In 1851 a portion of the farm Ylands Vallei
was bought and in 1852 this was laid out in 136 erven and named Ladismith in honour of Lady Juana
Smith, wife of Governor Sir Harry Smith. The spelling was Ladismith, to differentiate it from
Ladysmith in Natal.
The ostrich feather craze converted Ladismith into a boom town, with 50 000 birds breeding on the
Lucerne fields around the town and the farmers paying fortunes for breeding pairs, while their wives
enjoyed the profits by going on mad spending sprees. The feather crash in 1914 brought the district
to bankruptcy and Ladismith farmers remained wary of the big birds for a long time, but the fear
eventually subsided just in time for a new downfall. The new collapse did not have a significant
influence on the district as other industries were well established by then including vineyards,
deciduous fruit and stock farming.
Today, Ladismith is known for its excellent fruit and cheese. It has an ideal climate for the production
of quality apricots, peaches, plums and grapes. There are two cheese factories and a winery as well
as ostrich farms.
The town has a rich architectural heritage and is unique in the sense that it has its own building style
which is a simplified Georgian design. Other styles like Neo-Gothic, Victorian, Regency and Rural
(Karoo) can be found. There are several hiking trails and five of the eight highest mountain peaks in
the Western Cape are situated in the area.
Ladismith has a moderate climate with cold winter nights (excellent for fruit trees) and mild days.
The summers are hot with a lovely cool breeze rising in the evenings. These weather conditions
provide good opportunities for keen gardeners.
65% of South Africa's export apricots originates from Ladismith and plums, peaches and grapes from
the area are exported annually to Europe. General farming though is slowly moving towards the
establishment of game and organic farming as interest from local and abroad increases.
Ladismith offers an opportunity to live an uncomplicated life in a clean environment and the town
offers a wide range of property options. Seeff Ladismith offers unique local area insight and our
team of real estate agents can assist with all your property needs, from sales and rentals and