History of Infanta

Province: Western Cape
Coordinates: 34°25′S 20°51′E
Area: 20.45 km2
Municipality: Swellendam

The village of Infanta lies at the mouth of the Breede River opposite Witsand which lies on the opposite bank. It remains undeveloped and attractive to nature lovers and fishermen. In 1488 the Portuguese recognized the Breede River mouth as the finest natural anchorage on the entire Southern coast and in 1576 King Sebastien’s navigator Manuel De Mesquita Perestrello called the bay Dom Sebastiao.The most serene King of Portugal.

The sleepy little settlement was founded in 1819 when there was a severe drought. Joseph Barry (Founder of Infanta) transported rice and maize from Cape Town up into the Breede River mouth. Infanta takes its name from Cape Infanta which is several km to the south. The cape was in turn named after Captain João Infante, who commanded one of Bartolomeu Dias’s caravels.

In 1800 the Landdrost Anthonie Faure reported to Governor George Young that the Breede River was navigable for up to six hours inland with safe loading for smaller vessels along each bank.

If you do not use the Malgas pont you would have to drive all the way to Swellendam in order to cross the river and drive down the other side.



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Useful Numbers

  • Police: Swellendam-028 514 8100
  • Municipality Swellendam-028 514 8500
  • Traffic department:028 514 1185
  • Fire: Bredasdorp-028 425 1690
  • Water: 028 514 8552
  • Electricity:028 514 8500
  • Ambulance: 10177
  • Post office;028 514 1220
  • Library: Closest 028 514 8590-RAILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
  • Closest hospital; 028 425 1690
  • Slangrivier Clinic-028 722 2522
  • Pharmacy; Protea Swellendam- 028 514 2083
  • SPCA:028 514 2083                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         [/vc_column_text]

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