The Charm of a Missionary Village
The missionary village of Wupperthal lies deep in the Cederberg Mountain, approximately 70 km from its closest neighbour Clanwilliam.
The village consists of quaint white thatched cottages, built in a row along the mountain slope, depicting the Cape Dutch Style architecture. The cottages overlook the Tra-Tra River and are surrounding by lush greenery. Church Square is close by which is home to the Mission Church, consecrated in 1835, the school and hostel, a general deal, Leipoldt’s House with an information office, the post office, a tea room and a tiny Museum. The lack of modern facilities, apart from a satellite dish, accounts for the charm of this small rural village.
The valley, where a collection of fruit and vegetables are grown, also offers some wonderful trails for both hiking and 4x4 vehicles and has the most beautiful views back of the village. The town is also famous for its’ handmade “veldskoene” (soft leather shoes) which are typically worn by farmers in South Africa. It was one of the first missionaries who helped establish the village that by trade was a shoemaker who originally set up the shoe factory.
Wupperthal and Cederberg area have a few B&B’s and self-catering units available as well as camping and caravanning facilities nearby.
Wupperthal receives approximately 256 mm of rain annually with the majority of its rainfall occurring during the winter months.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 13˚C and 29˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 4˚C and 17˚C.
The name Wupperthal derives from the Wupper River in Germany.
Two Rhineland missionaries, Theobald von Wurmb and Gottlieb Leipoldt (Grandfather of renowned writer Loius Leipoldt), arrived in the Cape in 1829 to preach to the indigenous people and settled here among the seven Khoikhoi families in the valley. The population grew after slavery was abolished in 1838 as many slaves arrived from nearby farms. By 1865, the mission station was considered a village in its own right, although still remains a Moravian Mission Station today.
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