- Western Cape
Where Time Slows Down
A dusty gravel road will lead visitors to this sleepy little town set along the west bank of the Breede River, one of the largest rivers in the country. It is a great stopover spot for exploring the beautiful Overberg Region where visitors, particularly nature lovers, can relax and enjoy activities such as fishing and bird watching, as the estuary of the Breede River sustains an abundance of fish, including Cob, Spotted Grunter and Garrick, and attracts fish eagles, ospreys, fish owls and kingfishers.
Today this historical town is best known for being the only place in South Africa, where a major river, the Breede, is crossed by the last surviving hand-driven river pont in operation in the country. The nostalgic pontoon ferry at Malgas works on demand. It is the quickest connection to the northern banks of the river and further on to Witsand at the Breede River mouth. “On the south side is a hotel that also has let time slip by. It is a simple family hotel, has no spa, needs no hotspot and coffee is served like, coffee.”
Malgas has a quaint hotel, a few self-catering establishments as well as a Guest Farm. Malgas truly does live up to its reputation as a peaceful weekend escape.
Things to do and see
- Malgas Pontoon Ferry
- De Hoop Vlei Trail
- Fish Eagle Boat Cruise
- Bird Watching & Fishing
- Sulina Faerie Sanctuary, Swellendam
- Swellendam Golf Course
Malgas receives approximately 536 mm of rain annually with rainfall occurring throughout the year.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 16˚C and 29˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 7˚C and 21˚C.
There are daily flights into Cape Town International Airport, to the West and approximately 230 km’s away and into George Airport, to the East and approximately 201 km’s away via the N2. Car hire facilities are available at the Airport.
Malgas was founded in 1819 by the English merchant Joseph Barry. At this time, the Overberg region was suffering from a severe drought and Barry managed to transport rice and maize on his ship "Duke of Gloucester" from Cape Town up in to the Breede River mouth, from where the goods were carried by ox-wagons into the hardly accessible Overberg region.
The small town became a busy port over the next few years, but at the turn of the 20th century the development of the railways and roads through the Overberg deprived the port of its purpose.
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