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Botrivier may appear as a sleepy village but scratch a little under the surface and you will find a host of inspiring characters, amazing old farms, unique winemakers and a celebrated hotel whose proprietor is a veritable fountain of information.
Centuries ago, the Khoi-Khoi (meaning men of men) were pastoralists who found the grazing and plentiful water along the Bot River an ideal stop for their cattle. Pioneering Dutch cattle traders later ventured into the area and the first farm was granted to a citizen in 1708. Today, the farms are a mix of cattle, fruit, onion and wine farms and the old railway line can still be seen winding its way through the Houwhoek Mountains to reach the apple farms in adjoining valleys.
Botrivier is a short distance from many attractions such as the Hermanus Whale Route, a casino and spectacular golf courses, but the town has its own wine route filled with hidden gems where you are greeted with a wave by pedestrians and farmers are always willing to stop and chat. And of course, there’s the hotel proprietor to meet.
Top 6 reasons to visit Botrivier
1. Stop for a cold beer and pub grub at the Botrivier Hotel and catch up on the comings and goings of the village. The interesting memorabilia in the hotel (some with fascinating stories) will keep you endlessly entertained.
2. Visit one of the oldest farms in the area, Compagnes Drift, where the Beaumont Winery is located. Enjoy a superb wine tasting, sample the fresh almonds and check out the fascinating old water mill, beautifully restored and able to produce stone-ground flour.
3. The horse riding trails on offer at Klein Paradys Equestrian Centre range from 30 minutes to a full day and to suit any level of rider. The half and full day rides include a meal and the trails are routed through the beautiful Overberg region.
4. For those seeking an excellent meal to accompany a good bottle of wine, Botrivier has some of the top wineries in the Western Cape, specifically Wildekrans where the chefs scour the fields to determine their dishes of the day, Benguela Cove where fine dishes are presented in a magnificent setting overlooking the Bot River, and Gabrielskloof that offers relaxed meals or to take home from their stocked deli.
5. Travel the van der Stel Pass to experience the beauty of the region and to meet the locals en route. There is an animal training facility on the pass that welcomes visitors while a stop-off at the Goedvertrou wine farm to shoot the breeze with the charismatic lady owner over tea served in fine china is definitely worthwhile.
6. Drive to Hermanus town nearby to watch the whales in the bay during the mating season. If out of season, the town is still worth visiting for the lively restaurant scene, an African-themed market and marimba bands playing outside the cafés.
Botrivier is 75km away from Cape Town International Airport. Car rental agencies are based at the airport and in Stellenbosch to hire a vehicle or simply book a rental online. A few shuttle service companies nearby offer trips to Hermanus, Cape Town, the Cape Town airport and surrounding areas.
Did you know?
The Bot River was used as a landing site for military flying boats during WW2.
At certain times of the year, the Bot River estuary is home to over 30000 red-knobbed coots, an aquatic bird that feeds on plant matter. The presence of coots normally indicates a clean and healthy river system.