History of Bot Rivier

Province Western Cape

Coordinates 34°13′33″S “19°12′18″E
Area 1.93 km2
Municipality Theewaterskloof

The indigenous herders that occupied the area along the Bot Rivier were prosperous. They called the river Couga River, meaning Rich in fat, attributable to the butter that could be produced there. The river flows towards an estuary and the inhabitants enjoyed the plentiful water. Bot Rivier is known as the Gateway to The Overberg.
Early settlers came to barter for this butter they named the river Bot from “botter” Afrikaans for butter.
The hamlet that was established here called Compagnes Drift, became an outpost for the Dutch East India Company in the 18th century for the purpose of monitoring the frontier. Farms in the area were owned by the Dutch East India Company and loaned to farmers who would work the land and pay the company a rental.
After the Dutch were defeated a The Battle Of Blouberg Daniel De Kock was awarded a farm at Bot Rivier for loyal service to the Dutch East India Company. He planted not only fruit trees and vines but wheat and vegetables too. He also grew Turmeric which was in demand in the Malay and Indonesian-inspired curry kitchens of the Cape. He also accommodated travelers at night, before they continued into the Overberg. The farm was also an outspan (resting place) on the Old Wagon Track and it continued as such for many years. The Bot River Hotel was likely built during the early 1890s and travelers could also stay there.
The railway line from Cape Town to Caledon arrived in Bot River in 1902 and the first trains in 1912 when produce and passengers could travel to Cape Town.
In Bot Rivier you may catch sight of some feral horses. This is the only herd of wild horses in the country. They are presumed to be descended from horses freed by British cavalry at the end of the Anglo-Boer war. Only three horses survived an attempt in the 1940s to wipe them out for destroying precious grazing. Descendants of these three can be seen today running wild in the Rooisand Nature Reserve.

The postcode for Bot Rivier is 7185


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Things to do and see in Bot Rivier:

  •  The wetlands are home to thousands of waterfowl
  • Van Der Stel pass
  • South Africa’s only herd of wild horses
  • 4-day Green Mountain eco route,
  • There is a Working water mill where wheat is crushed and sold at Beaumont Winery on Companjesdrif
  • The Barrels and Beards harvest celebration is held in April  083 9906319
  • The Bot River Estuary,/ Lagoon, is part of the Bot-Kleinmond Estuarine System. This became a Ramsar site wetland in 2017. It is at the mouth of the Bot River. The lagoon covers almost 13.6 km 2 (5.3 sq mi) between Kleinmond, Hawston, and Fisherhaven.
  • Botriver challenge -MTB – 35km, 15km,-Trail Run-15km 8km – Run/Walk- 21km,10km, 5km- 021 851 2295       


Useful Numbers in Bot Rivier

  • Police: 028 284 9351
  • Municipality; Caledon-028 214 3300
  • Traffic department: Caledon-028 212 2878
  • Fire: Grabouw Fire Station-021 859 5525
  • Water:
  • Electricity: 028 214 3300 – 079 873 4451
  • Prepaid Electricity: 079 873 4451
  • Ambulance: Grabouw Ambulance Services-028 212 9111
  • Post office;028 284 9574
  • Library:
  • Closest hospital/clinic-028 284 9317/9842
  • Pharmacy; Grabouw Pharmacy- 021 859 3383
  • SPCA: Hermanus Animal Welfare Society-028 312 1281
  • Schools:Botrivier Primary-0282849523                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            [/vc_column_text]

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