South Africa is a country with a warm climate, huge massifs, aquatic regions and an uncommon arrangement of natural wildlife.
It’s not enough to know some of the most beautiful towns in the Rainbow nation. What else do you know about these towns?
Here are some interesting facts on these incredibly beautiful towns right in South Africa.
Did you know that Beaufort West is not just the largest town but also the oldest in the Karoo region of the country? Founded in 1818, it was initially named Beaufort after Henry Somerset who was the father of the then governor of the Cape Colony, Lord Charles Henry Somerset and also the 5th Duke of Beaufort. The town was later renamed Beaufort West in 1869. This was to avoid confusion with Port Beaufort in the Western Cape as well as Fort Beaufort in the Eastern Cape. Also known as the Capital of Karoo, it was accredited as a town with 34,085 residents in 2011.
Did you know that the name Mossel Bay was derived from the domination of the Dutch shipping merchants in the late 16th and the early 17th Centuries? According to a particular account, the explorer Cornelis de Houtman named the place Mosselbaai when he stopped there in 1595. Another account states that the Dutch Admiral Paulus van Caerden named it when he came aground on 8 July 1601. Today, Mossel Bay is best known as the place at which the first Europeans landed on South African soil (Bartolomeu Dias and his crew arrived on 3 February 1488). According to local archaeological deposits, Mossel Bay’s human history can be traced back to over 164,000 years.
This beautiful town was the second of the Transvaal goldfields and was a hub of attraction for a dash of prospectors in 1873. Shortly after some Alluvial panning, there were deeper ore mining here. In the 1970s, the town grew into a tourist spot.
This town was established on account of the growing demand for timber and the wood used in building, transport and furniture. In 1776, the Dutch East India Company established an outpost for the provision of timber. The location is estimated to be near the western end of York Street. The location of the timber post established by the company is where George is today.
Did you know that Betty’s Bay served as a refuge for runaway slaves during colonial times? Also, in 1912, it became a formal whaling terminal that stayed till the 1930s. Tourists can still come to see the remains of the whaling station at Stony Point.
Did you know that this beautiful town was named after Hermanus Pieters, a Dutch teacher who arrived in Cape Town in 1815? During his time, he was hired by Dutch-speaking farmers who resented the fact that English was the only language used in all government schools. Although his settlement was in Caledon, he taught Dutch to farmers in a wide area around that town, including the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Due to his frequent visits to the spring known as “fontein” in present-day Hermanus, the place was named “Hermanus Pieters se Fonteyn”. He died before the village, Hermanuspietersfontein came into existence. About 65 years after his death, the postmaster decided to abbreviate the name to Hermanus.
British-born entrepreneur, George Rex is recognised as the founder of Knysna. Over a thousand people had settled in Knysna by 1880. Knysna’s timber industry became a success when George Parkes arrived from Britain and saw the opportunity to use the hardwoods of the Knysna Forest for export. He then established the Knysna Forest Company, later renamed Geo. Parkes and Sons Ltd., which is still operating to this day.