The Breede River
Breede River in the Western Cape
© South African Tourism
The Breede River promises a wealth of new experiences for first-time travellers: wine-tasting along the world's longest wine route (the Cape Route 62 with over 50 wine cellars), cherry picking, picture-perfect fruit orchards and historical towns with quaint museums.
Did you know?
There’s a manually operated pont, dating back to 1860, that ferries goods across the Breede River at Malgas.
The Breede River rises in the mountains of South Africa's Western Cape Province and flows through a valley of the same name on its way to the Indian Ocean.
Apart from the beauty of the river and the indigenous fynbos vegetation, the surrounding Du Toit's Kloof mountains provide a scenic backdrop to the valley, while the mountain pass itself offers spectacular vistas across the region.
Wine lovers will delight in the 50 wine estates and brandy route hidden in South Africa's Breede River valley, in quaint fruit-producing towns like Robertson, McGregor, Ashton, Bonnievale, Tulbagh and Montagu. The longest wine route in the world, Route 62 is found here, in a region famous for its hanepoot and muscadel dessert wines.
There are many activities to entertain the traveller in this scenic haven. The fishing here is superb, with sizeable kob, grunter and garrick favoured by anglers.
For the nature enthusiast there are more than 200 bird species that have made their homes near the river, including seabirds where it meets the ocean.
Those with energy to spare might like to try water sports such as river rafting. Campsites offer inexpensive yet comfortable accommodation to complement your river adventure.
About 42km from where the Breede River meets the sea you'll come upon the De Hoop Marine Reserve World Heritage Site. This unique marine reserve extends 3km out to sea. Take a snorkelling kit and fins for a diving experience second to none in large pools filled with amazing sea creatures.
Take a slow drive through the De Hoop Reserve and look out for bontebok, Cape mountain zebra, baboon, ostrich, eland, grey rhebuck, duiker and steenbok.
Despite common belief, South Africa's southernmost point is not Cape Point, but lies at Cape Aghulas, meeting place of the mighty Indian and Atlantic Oceans. A visit to Cape Aghulas reveals a historical plaque marking the spot.
This part of the South African coast is the breeding ground of the southern right whale, which makes sightings of whales and calves a certainty between June and November.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
How to get here
The Breede River lies 168 km from Cape Town and can be reached in less than 2 hours by car.
Around the area
Ashton, where much of the fruit grown in valley is processed, mineral springs near Montagu, the Old English Fort, which perches above above the road to Montagu, Long Street with its 14 national monuments, Joubert House and the Montagu Museum, for insights into the history of Montagu, the historical town of Tulbagh, the Oude Drostdy Museum, the Elro Furniture Factory and Showroom furniture factory, and Kies en Keur Home Industry, where local arts and crafts are displayed. Ceres Fruit Growers, where you need to book your tour in advance, and the Togryers Museum are also worth visiting.
Tours to do
There are fruit tours, when you can pick raspberries, cherryies and blackberryies in spring. There are also hiking rails, guided horse trails, 4x4 routes, canoe adventures and biking trails.
An hour’s trip to the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve in the Langeberg Mountains, 30 minutes to the historical town of Swellendam or to Heidelberg.
A steamboat named the SS Kadie was wrecked while entering the Breede River mouth. Remnants of the wreck can be seen near the Infanta River mouth.
The small estuary towns of Witsand and Infanta are ideal whale watching spots.
De Hoop offers a number of mountain bike trails and several walking trails to view rare plants and birds.
The De Hoop walking trails – 6km to 15 km – may be mountainous or flat, along the seashore, depending on your fitness level.
The Cape Vulture Colony in De Hoop boasts 24 breeding pairs.
Four by four tours enable the traveller to discover the delights of the Whalecoast Trail.
By walking or through self-drive. Tours are also available.
Where to stay
Accommodation is plentiful in Robertson and Worcester, ranging from guest houses to B&Bs, lodges and hotels.
What to eat
There are many fine restaurants to be found in the valley.
This year’s events include Wacky Wine Weekend (June), the Robertson Show (August), Hartklop Songs Festival (September), Robertson Wine on the River Festival (October)
Buy some of the country's top wines, maps, postcards, local books, arts and crafts.