There is quite an endearing duality to the quaint Western Cape village of Darling and its seaside-sister Yzerfontein, only a stone’s throw to the west … You see, even though both fall under the Swartland local municipality, both of these villages stand astraddle-astride with one foot in the sea and the other in Renosterbos sand. The Swartland (stretching from Malmesbury in the south, across the Riebeek Valley to Piketberg in the north, and from Yzerfontein / Darling in the west to the Oliphants Mountain at Porterville in the east) was named after the original predominant Renosterveld vegetation, which turned black during summer.
Darling is situated just over an hour’s drive from Cape Town. Well known as the home of Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout’s Evita se Perron, it is popular for the combination of a small cabaret theatre and restaurant that forms a signature landmark, run by resident and satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys. This vibrant village is a boisterous blend of old and new, art, culture, heritage, nature, hiking and cycling. It is a thriving agricultural centre serving the surrounding farms, and a popular tourist attraction for those in search of a laid-back getaway or day trip. Since 1917, the Darling Wildflower Society holds the annual Darling Wildflower show, which attracts visitors from all around the globe. The Darling Wind Farm is situated between Darling and the coastal town of Yzerfontein, and is operational with plans for expansion.
Locals enjoy the most necessary amenities. The first private school to open its doors in the Swartland area, Darling College, is situated close to the entrance of the town on the Malmesbury side. The wide diversity of vegetation in the Darling area offers birders a large variety, from larks and pipits to lesser flamingos and great white pelicans. Besides an attractive and well-maintained 9-hole golf course, the Darling Club also has bowls, netball, tennis, gymkhana and cricket facilities – the perfect venue for corporate and social events.
Festivals include: Rocking the Daisies Music Festival, Taste of Darling Lifestyle Festival, Darling Winter Beer Festival. The Darling Music Experience organises small concerts in a rural setting with chamber music, popular choir works and Jazz, bringing together community ensembles and soloists with well-known national and international musicians. The Darling Wine and Art Experience offers the sampling of award-winning wines, fine cheeses and olives, country cuisine, and an arts and crafts market (a charitable organisation addressing poverty by establishing grassroots projects).