Rietbron, Eastern Cape
Did you know?
The mother church of Rietbron has the only springbok-shaped steeple in South Africa.
When people inform you that the Karoo, South Africa’s arid heartland, is flat and featureless, it might reveal 2 things about them:
1. They were fast asleep when someone drove them through the Karoo;
2. They have never actually been to the Karoo.
That’s because in 99 percent of the Karoo, you’re always within sight of a mountain range, an outcrop of conical hills and, in many parts of the Little Karoo, surrounded by craggy peaks.
Except when you drive into the little Eastern Cape village of Rietbron, on the R306 between Beaufort West and Willowmore.
Maybe it’s the heat, the dust, maybe it’s the dancing mirages, but here as you stand in the centre of Rietbron and look all about you, it is indeed ‘flat and featureless’. Rietbron is in a barren part of Die Vlakte (the plains), and its main attribute lies in the hearts of the people who live there. And, of course, the vibrant mohair industry that stretches from here to Willowmore to Jansenville in the east.
The local Dutch Reformed Church has a strong congregation and a lively set of legends to go with it. Here’s the story about the long-winded Dominee Kruger: 'Sunday sermons were recorded, and the recordings were taken around to various aged church members during the week so they could also hear the word.
'One Sunday afternoon Dominee Kruger was curious to hear how his own voice sounded on tape. So, after lunch, he made himself comfortable and switched on the recorder to listen to himself. He woke up as the congregation was singing the closing hymn…'
The village hosts an annual sporting festival in aid of the local primary school that is attended by loyal ‘Rietbronners’ from all over South Africa. And because Rietbron is truly ‘in the middle of nowhere’, it has become a firm favourite with weekenders yearning for an escape to a place where nothing really happens…
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
De Witten Huis
Tel: +27 (0) 44 934 1057
Tel: +27 (0) 44 934 1068
Cell: +27 (0) 76 922 9069
Ons Bekker's Huis: Lizelle Murray
Tel: +27 (0) 44 934 1139
Mobile: +27 (0) 84 811 2004