Malgas Pontoon Ferry in Malgas, Western Cape
Take The Back Road!
The Overberg region offers plenty of opportunities for a scenic drive in the country and a road trip between Witsand and Swellendam can offer a quick short trip on the Malgas Pontoon Ferry, something unique to experience with the kids!
In the past, before roads made travel from Cape Town inland easy, Malgas was used as an inland Port for steamboats transporting provisions to the Swellendam area, which means the Breede River played a very important role in distributing these goods to the farms of the Overberg. A steamer, called the Kadie, would sail from right up the Breede River, from where it meets the Indian Ocean near Witsand, as far as the Malgas Port.
Once Malgas lost its importance as a port it was not deemed important enough to warrant the building of a bridge however, the Pont at Malgas lived on. The service, the only way of crossing the Breede River by vehicle on the back roads, began in 1860 and still operates today. The much later vehicle ferry was pulled for years by Oom Moxie Dunn who harnessed himself to the standing cable and literally ‘walked’ the ferry and its load across the river. Today, the Malgas Pont (short for Pontoon) is the last hand-drawn Pont in South Africa and today three or four men will haul the load 120 metres across the water.
Vehicles and pedestrians are manually hauled across the river, with special rates for livestock. This service operates from sun up to sunset and the ferry can comfortably take three vehicles across at a time. So, for a different scenic drive, take the back road!
Things to see and do
- Hand Drawn Ferry/Pont
- Breede River
- Overberg Scenery
R48, per vehicle
Prices subject to change and may be different on arrival – cash only!
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