The picturesque town of Williston, located in the heart of the Hardemanskaroo, is rich in community life, culture and history. On 10 July 1768 Johan Abraham Nel of Stellenbosch planted an almond tree near a fountain at the banks of the Sak River to commemorate the birth of his son. This tree developed into an oasis where Johann Heinrich Lutz of the Rhenish Missionary Society founded the missionary station Amandelboom near the Singkoppies in 1845. Under British rule the missionary station was renamed in recognition of the former British Colonial Secretary, Sir Hampden Willis.
The relatively secluded area is characterised by a rich community and cultural life where people of diverse backgrounds are dependent on one another. The seclusion is physically evident in the unique gravestone route and the corbelled houses of the region. The area is also the habitat of the very rare and endangered riverine rabbit.
The relatively low rain fall of the region makes it ideal for extensive disease-free livestock farming, with the dorper, merino and other indigenous breeds as the primary sheep breeds. The natural Karoo bush habitat, including species such as Bushman grass, sheep’s bush, bitou, ganna, wild rosemary and rock lizard bush, provides a unique flavour to meat from this area. The Williston agricultural community takes pride in owning and managing its own co-op with the aim of providing the connoisseur with flavourful, healthy red meat of the highest quality.
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