Humble Karoo beginnings that turned into a fruitful family empire
Prince Albert is well known for its stunning natural beauty, the famous Swartberg pass and the fascinating 150-year-old heritage of this small town. The landscape around Prince Albert tells a million stories of the people that lived here, their humble beginnings and the treasures they uncovered. And as history will show, treasures can be very fruitful indeed.
Weltevrede Fig Farm - Prince Albert
Only about 10 minutes’ drive from The Swartberg Hotel lies one of the Great Karoo’s best-kept secrets – a hidden gem at the bottom of the Swartberg pass: Weltevrede Fig Farm. From humble beginnings as a fruit drying farm started by the family’s grandma, to selling figs to one of the best food retailers in South Africa, Woolworths – Weltevrede Fig Farm has come a long way and their story is captivating.
Over 50 years ago, ouma Sienie saw the potential of this desert landscape when she started using the dry Karoo air to make all kinds of dried fruits and later figs with a special recipe she created. The dried produce became very popular and the Koorts family saw an opportunity to take their fruit drying business to the next level. That next season a couple of fig trees were planted and very soon Weltevrede Fig Farm became one of the first fig farms in South Africa.
Today Weltevrede Fig Farm has over a thousand fig trees – the oldest one being more than a hundred years old. The thriving family business has evolved into many different directions – all run by members of the Koorts family, while the day-to-day operations are managed by Liezl and Jaco de Klerk.
About the Figs
Weltevrede Fig Farm mainly farms Adam Figs – a large purple fig that can be dried or eaten fresh – and Cape Brown Figs that are used for making preserves and other fig products. These delicious products can be found in stores in Prince Albert and at select delis across the country – but we think that the best way to experience them is by paying the farm a visit.
During fig season Weltevrede Fig Farm is open for visitors to come and enjoy the fig products and see how they are made. You can browse the many products, learn about the history of the farm and see how figs are dried and preserved. The farm is open for visitors from Monday to Friday, between 10h00 and 12h00, and 14h30 to16h00. On Saturdays they’re only open from 10h00 to 12h00 and on Sundays they are closed. To find out more about Weltevrede Fig Farm, visit their website or Facebook page.
Weltevrede Fig Farm is one of the most special attractions in the Prince Albert area and our guests love making the short 7,5 km trip to go the farm. It’s a great way to taste some of the area’s finest fresh produce – straight from the source. Many of our guests also visit the farm as part of a day trip to or from the Swartberg pass. Dried figs make for a great road trip snack!
Stay over at The Swartberg Hotel
If you want to experience this hidden treasure and other wonders of the Great Karoo, why not stay over at the Swartberg Hotel? Come stay in our 150-year-old hotel, reimagined with modern touches to be a place of luxury and relaxation. Our large rooms are decorated in old-world charm, and enhanced with modern finishes, to give you the best of two worlds: our history and your modern lifestyle. All rooms have free Wi-Fi and DSTV. Our humble hotel has undergone some recent renovations and now offers a fabulous spa and a quirky gin bar, The Green Prince. Come and join us for a gin tasting experience – you might even encounter some fresh Weltevrede Fig Farm figs too.
We’re always trying to find new and exciting ways to upgrade our guests' experience of the Karoo. If you’d like to find out more about the treasures of the Great Karoo and how you can get close to them, give us a call at +27 (0) 23 5411 332. We’d be happy to arrange day trips for you – including visits to our friends at Weltevrede Fig Farm. Click here to see our rooms and rates. Also, take a look at our Specials Page to see how you can save on accommodation at The Swartberg Hotel.