From Swellendam, a dusty gravel road leads to the mouth of the Breede River. 50 kilometres before Cape Infanta, a bumpy road turns off to Malgas. The sleepy little village at the river 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 oxwaggons into the hardly accessible Overberg region.
Malgas became a busy port over the following years. Wool, animal hides and dried aloe sap in particular were traded here. At the beginning of the 20th century, the development of the railways and roads through the Overberg deprived the port of its purpose.
Malgas is nowadays a holiday place of exceptional beauty and peacefulness. The southern bank of the river is lined with idyllic holiday homes, each with its own jetty and motorboat. The people you meet here are mainly Capetonians seeking weekend relaxation and - last but not least - good fishing.
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. Accommodation and more tourist information you will find on the blue INFO page. Photo top: Peacefully the Breede River moves - seamed by rolling hills covered with aloes - towards the Indian Ocean. Left: The tiny Dutch-Reformed church at Malgas.