1. The Shipwreck Museum
Discover a gloomy yet romantic history of the 150 ships that came to their doom along the rocky outlets along the coast of Cape Agulhas. Discover stories of the inception of the ‘women and children first’ protocol to fables of stowaways discovered on wrecked ships playing the piano. A walk through South Africa’s only shipwreck museum will tease your wildest dreams and take you to a time that seems unreal.
The oldest shipwreck occurred in 1673 and since then ships representing a host of different nationalities have washed up on the rocky shore. Since the ships and many of the precious artefacts would be taken with the current to shore, a horse-drawn wagon would be sent from Cape Town to collect the valuables that would subsequently be auctioned. Greed eventually led auctioneers to falsely imitate the lighthouse and lure unknowing seamen to their untimely death for an early auction. One can find these stories as well as the many artefacts that have been preserved – such as portholes, jewellery, coins, figureheads, anchors and canons.
You will feel as if you have embarked on an adventure yourself once you emerge from this museum. It is definitely a highlight of Bredasdorp. Bredasdorp Shipwreck Museum
2. Kapula Candles
“There is not enough darkness in the world to kill the light of one candle”
Kapula Candles are called the warm art of Africa, and for good reason. Light does not only shine from the burning candle but emitted from the vivacious colours, African design and delicate forms of the Kapula Candles. These vibrant candles are hand-made with attentive care by the skilled craftsmanship of the candle artists, most of whom were originally unemployed women from the local community.
Each candle is hand crafted and one can observe the attention to detail and passion that has guided each brush and sponge. Kapula also displays their skill with hand-crafted and -painted ceramics. As you walk through the airy store you can see the various themes grouped together. There is undoubtedly going to be candles and ceramics that can brighten up your home and suit your taste. Whether you are looking for something more elegant for a dinner party, décor for your beach house or simply want to add some bold hues you are bound to find exactly what you’re looking for, and sometimes even find something you didn’t yet know you wanted. Kapula Candles
4. The Churches
The churches play an important role in Bredasdorp. The town actually formed around the Old Dutch Reformed Church ten years after it was built and today it is still a central feature. That and the other twenty to thirty churches that dot the town. Glass-stained windows and stone walls are a common feature in this town. The Dutch Reformed Church is the largest and the other smaller ones offer cosy seminars for the varying denominations.
Although the Dutch Reformed Church was demolished and rebuilt in 1911 the archaic atmosphere can still be felt and seen in the Cape-gothic architecture. The Dutch Reformed Church is not the only church in the small town however. There are anywhere between 20 and 30 churches! An astounding number for such a small town but (besides the main Dutch Reformed Church) each offers an intimate service between their stone walls and stained glass. Each one caters for a different denomination and some have even turned into homes over time. Bredasdorp History
5. Heuningberg Nature Reserve
For any outdoor enthusiasts, adventurous walkers and avid botantists in search of the Bredasdorp Lily, the Heuningberg Nature Reserve is a must-see! The reserve is home to the Heuningberg Mountain, which offers spectacular panoramic views. To the North you can look across the Rûens to the Riviersonderend Mountains; to the South is the coastal town of Struisbaai and to the East lays quaint Arniston and Soetanysberg. The view is not the only thing of exceptional beauty however. There is an astounding beauty right at your feet where the fynbos wildflowers display a kaleidoscope of colours and intricate forms. There are more than 260 different species and 34 of these are endemic. The Bredasdorp Lily is hyper-endemic to the Heuningberg Nature Reserve and sought-after by many keen botanists. One can also find the likes of Orchids, Proteas, Painted Ladies, Everlastings, Ericas and many more. There are rumours of an elusive leopard that roams the grounds but you are more likely to spot the shy grysbok, duiker or klipspringer.
The Reserve was initially proclaimed the Bredasdorp Nature Reserve in 1964. At the time it was 68 hectares in size and it comprised of old quarries. In 1986 the reserve was named Heuningberg Nature Reserve and extended to 800 hectares. Most of the Heuningberg Mountain falls in the reserve and to the South 400 hectares is private property. Eps Joubert, a local school teacher, realised the potential and natural beauty of the reserve and began the hiking trails. Joubert also put a lot of effort into the extraction of alien vegetation and rehabilition of the indigenous vegetation. The garden terraces that were initially designed to restore the land were planted with roses and soon after replaced with indigenous plants. Heuningberg Nature Reserve
6. Farming Community
Michiel van Breda played several roles in Bredasdorp. The town was named after him and he was the first to bring sheep to his farm, which subsequently gave birth to the merino sheep industry. They were imported to the Cape 200 years ago and have since played a major role in the area. Today it is still considered the cradle of the South African wool industry and a great deal of it is exported to Australia. There are approximately 45 stud farmers and it is the most prolific in the country. In honour of this great accomplishment the Merino Ram statue was erected to honour its value to the Overberg.
Sheep farming is not the only farming however, there is grain, ostrich, wheat and fig farms to name a few. Many of the farmers from the surrounding area frequent the Bredasdorp Agri Mart as it is the largest in the Overberg with a great selection of farming equipment. There is also the The Agri Mega Week which is an annual event that brings all farmers and agricultural stockholders together. The entire family can join in the festivities as everyone celebrates the farming community and shares valuable information. Bredasdorp Lifestyle Gallery
7. Quaint Accommodation
From quaint self-catering cottages to charming B&Bs with unique characteristics, the accommodation promises to put the cherry on top of your holiday in Bredasdorp. The places to stay have a ceaseless variety that will make you feel nostalgia and supreme comfort. The added bonus about these homely luxuries is that most places to stay are offered at an affordable rate. You won’t be able to find such heart-warming hospitality and satisfying accommodation for such a price elsewhere.
Perhaps the prolific cosy accommodation is due to the fact that Bredasdorp is at the heart of Cape Agulhas, but whatever the reason you shouldn’t hesitate about taking advantage of it! Accommodation in Bredasdorp