While the homely settlement of Slangriver, may not seem like much at first glance, digging a little deeper will reveal a truly intriguing history as well as a community of colourful characters, making for a truly authentic off-the-beaten-track experience.
The gravel roads linking Slangrivier with Witsand, Vermaaklikheid, Jongensfontein, Stilbaai and Gouritsmond are worth exploring for a multi-day visit of Hessequa.
STAY near Slangrivier
EAT near Slangrivier
PLAY near Slangrivier
SERVICES near Slangrivier
+27 (0)28 713 7892
+27 (0)28 722 2522
Fire & Rescue:
+27 (0)28 713 2222
Don't Miss Out
- Johnique Johannes Nature Park
- Find out about the famous Christmas Choirs
- 4×4 routes en-route to Witsand and Vermaaklikheid
While the homely settlement of Slangrivier may not seem like much at first glance, digging a little deeper will reveal a truly intriguing history as well as a community of colourful characters, making for a truly off-the-beaten-track experience.
The town was officially established in 1838 when Sir George Grey, Governor of the Cape Colony at the time, awarded land to 20 local men and their families as a token of his gratitude for their loyalty during the Cape Frontier Wars. If indigenous legends are anything to go by, however, Slangrivier has a far more fascinating back story. Apparently the first inhabitants were actually survivors of a shipwreck that ran aground somewhere close to what is now Stilbaai. They made their way along the coastline and after a run-in with one of the farmers of the area, finally settled under a large tree in a relatively secluded inland area. The settlement was originally called ‘Askraal’, but became Slangrivier somewhere along the line.
These days Slangrivier’s biggest draw card and most known export is its award-winning Christmas choirs, a cultural phenomenon unique to the Western Cape, with the Southern Cape and Klein Karoo being particularly well represented. Going by names like Newborn Stars and Young Loving Shephards, these gospel choirs boast memberships of between 50 and 100 people – some vocalists and others playing brass instruments. Competition season lasts from January to March and sees an influx of Christmas choirs to the Hessequa region.
The Slangrivier region and surrounding gravel roads are often forming part of mountain biking adventure competitions linking the Hessequa town with the Overberg towns of Malgas and Buffeljagsrivier. The Port Beaufort Road, crossing the R322, is a scenic route, joining the R323 Road in Riversdale. This day route is highly recommended for the adventure seeker, in search for off-the-beaten-track exploring.
The endurance traveller can look forward to tough terrain by exploring by bike, the remote plateaus of the route traversing through Vermaaklikheid and ultimately, connecting with Jongensfontein and Stilbaai along the coast. If you are looking for an additional challenge, continue with the main road that runs though Melkhoutfontein. This route turns to a gravel scenic gravel road, which is truly the road less-travelled, and connects with Gouritsmond.
Travellers looking for softer adventures, can look forward to viewing the architecture of the New Apostolic Church, St. Luke’s Anglican Church and the Christian Assemblies International Church.
The town of Slangrivier is an off-the-beaten-track experience and ideal for the seasoned traveller looking for the road least travelled.