Posts Tagged ‘Berg River’

Velddrif.

I initially found it a bit confusing trying to work out where Velddrif started and ended as there are no boundary boards or markers. You cross the bridge over the Berg River, about 170km’s from Cape Town and you are in Velddrif, turn left and follow the road, east to west,  and within the next 2 km’s you get to Port Owen and Laaiplek. The central feature of all three places is the Berg River.

A graphic representation of the area.
A graphic representation of the area.

Just to try and give you an idea of where the 3 places are situated.
Just to try and give you an idea of where the 3 places are situated.

Velddrif has been a popular holiday destination for many years and, as with Dwarskersbos 12kms  up the R27,  also originally belonged to the Smit family who farmed cattle in the area. However it was not cattle farming that put Velddrif on the map but the harvest from the sea that has always drawn people to the area. The first large fish factory was opened in 1944 and to this day tons of pilchards, snoek and harders are harvested from the cold Atlantic Ocean.

The Berg River from the eastern side of Velddrif.
The Berg River from the eastern side of Velddrif.

"Bokkom Lane"
“Bokkom” country.

You can’t spend time in the area without trying the local delicacy called bokkoms. It is here that large schools of harders are netted and hung out to dry in the sun and turned into fish biltong (jerky).

A fresh harder before being hung up to dry.
A fresh harder before being hung up to dry.
Bokkoms drying in the sun.
Bokkoms drying in the sun.
Spotted this Pelican waiting to feed on some of the throw aways.
Spotted this Pelican close inshore waiting to feed on some of the throw aways.

The birding at Velddrif is outstanding with over 180 bird species having been recorded there. I wanted to go on the birding boat trip which is normally R80.00 for an hour and a half  but, because I was the only customer, it was just too expensive as I would have had to pay R200.00.

The studio of Marina Clunie right at the rivers edge.
The studio of Marina Clunie right on the rivers edge. She is one of many local artists.

Wish I could paint.
Wish I could paint.
Velddrif also has salt pans and a processing factory right on the river.
Velddrif also has salt pans and a processing factory right on the river.

Cerebos salt processing plant.
Cerebos salt processing plant.

Tours to the salt factory are available on Thursdays and are by appointment only.

Moving westwards through Velddrif this is a shot taken from the bridge.
Moving westwards through Velddrif toward the sea this is a shot taken from the bridge.
There are some great restaurants and if you enjoy fish this is the place for you.
There are some great restaurants and if you enjoy fish this is the place for you.

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A good place to buy some bokkoms if you want to give them a try.
The river front craft market.
The river front Pelican Harbour.

A number of tourism related businesses operate from Pelican Harbour creating an interesting stop for those exploring the attractions of Velddrif.

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Artful Things. The wall mural on the left was a collaboration between 4 of the local artists.

Overall I enjoyed exploring Velddrif and found the people  friendly and helpful. I was originally going to include Laaiplek and Port Owen in this post but there was more than enough for Velddrif to stand on its own.