Price range, per nightmin R max R
*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
Anyone travelling the dirt roads on the southern Cape coastline between Cape Agulhas and Witsand will need to cross the Breede River and the only way possible is via the pont at Malgas. This is no ordinary pont, it’s a wooden ferry drawn by two men. A thick cable runs the width of the river and using a series of chains, the two men walk the length of the pont, drawing it forward and across the river. It’s the last man-drawn pont in the country and is capable of transporting two cars at a time. The men are at their stations for 8 hours a day and there is a small cost to cross the river.
The pont was first introduced in 1860 at a time when a trading company shipped goods inland via the Breede River. Once the company closed, the town of Malgas was sadly left without industry and only the pont remained. Nowadays there is a hotel, lodge, houseboats on the river, a trading store in Malgas and a pont that was ‘upgraded’ in the 1950s. The area is gorgeously scenic for a restful stop. While there, enjoy a picnic on the banks of the river while watching the pont men at work, or walk further up the river to find a fishing spot.
The Malgas Pont is associated with a retired farmer named Moxie Dunn who was asked to oversee the pont. He took to transporting people, animals and vehicles over the river himself and performed the task for a further 30 years, never missing a day!
Be sure to check with your host that the pont is open, it is occasionally closed to maintain the cable and pont itself. A detour via the N2 highway could cost you an extra 2 hours of driving!
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