Velddrif (150km from Cape Town) owes its name to a farming family called Smit, who drove their sheep through the ‘drift in the veld’ across the Berg River in search of better grazing. Fishing is the town’s backbone as you will no doubt gather by the odour that moves in from Laaiplek when a north-westerly breeze is up and blowing. A Velddrif tourism brochure we came across proudly points out that the town has no parking meters, traffic lights, cinemas or shopping malls. What is more, it has “never had a hijacking”. If you don’t think this is reason enough for a visit, then the Berg River and its estuary might change your mind. The birdlife is prolific, with more than 100 species including flamingo and pelican favourites. In summer, Velddrif is a farmer's coastal haven; the rest of the year, the town attracts more of the doddering camera- and binocular-carrying species.
Things To Do
- The Berg River is by far Velddrif’s main hub of activity, offering excellent birdwatching, boating in various guises, and fishing. If you’re itching to twitch, there is a bird hide to the right of the bridge as you come into town on the R27.
- Stock up on bokkoms at the local fish factories. For the uninitiated, bokkom is a dried salt fish – the marine equivalent of biltong, you could say. In the calmer backwaters near the bridge you might still see fishermen in small boats landing mullet and mackerel, which are dried later into bokkom.
- Port Owen Marina feels a bit like Table View, but touts as a luxury resort, with canoeing, yachting and fishing filling the idle hours of the privileged.
- Rocherpan Nature Reserve is on the coast about 12km north of Velddrif, offering walking, fishing and picnic spots.
With a ringside view of the Laaiplek slipway and the comings and goings of the local fishing boats, you can't get closer to the action than the River House. In fact, any closer to the mouth of the Ber...
Where You'll Also Find Us
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