History of Riebeek Kasteel

Province: Western Cape
West Coast
Coordinates: 33°23′7.21″S 18°53′54.65″E
Area:6.9 km2
Municipality: Swartland

Jan Van Riebeek’s fertile valley

Riebeek-Kasteel, together with its sister town Riebeek West is one of the oldest towns in South Africa. This fertile valley has been occupied for millennia, stone-age tools and KhoiSan art found in the mountains around it attest to this fact. In 1661 Jan van Riebeeck sent a group of men on an expedition under the leadership of Pieter Cruythoff. They set off towards Paardeberg and on February 3rd, they ascended a mountain and saw the Valley. They named the mountain, Riebeeck’s Kasteel Berg, in honour of the Commander. Riebeek West was established as a parish of the Dutch Reformed Church in 1858.  The men reported that the area was teeming with rhinos, lions, zebra, and antelope.
In the 19th century, two men who were both to become prime ministers of the country, Jan Smuts and Daniel Malan were born on the outskirts of Riebeek West.
In 1900 the town of Riebeek Kasteel was laid out  around the church and the Royal Hotel which is the oldest hotel in South Africa.

Church town of Riebeek West

The first settlers arrived in the area in the early 18th century. Riebeek West was established as a parish of the Dutch Reformed Church in 1858.
In 2009 Riebeek Kasteel was chosen as one of the three most beautiful towns of the Western Cape by the newspaper “Rapport”. The other two finalists were Stellenbosch and Clanwilliam.
The Riebeek Valley is known for wheat, vineyards, and olive groves.

WEATHER IN RIEBEEK KASTEEL TODAY

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Things to do and see in Riebeek Kasteel

  • Bothmaskloof pass
  • in May the Olive festival is held in Riebeek Kasteel.
  • The Royal Hotel claims to be the oldest in the Western Cape. It has the longest stoep south of the Limpopo.  The hotel was built in the mid-1800s and the date inscribed on the gable is 1862, but the facade we see today was only built in the 1920s. 
  • The Dutch reformed church dates back to 1856. This national monument houses some old kitchen implements, farm equipment, sewing machines, carriages and other things that the Voortrekkers who came to the valley might have used.
  • The Swartland Birding Route Info: Swartland Tourism 022448 1545
  • Many years ago, mail was carried by post cart from Hermon and it was left under this Olienhout tree  The postmaster would blow his horn to let the local farmers know that the post had arrived.
  • The annual Riebeek Valley Mountain Bike Race is usually held in August or September. 082 523 9804
  • Sadly the post office tree is currently obstructed by a Telkom line, however, residents are requesting that the line is moved because of the heritage status of the tree.
  • First Fridays Riebeek Kasteel  17:00-20:00. This is an initiative to promote RK tourism and hospitality. With specials and discounts enjoy what the village has to offer. .073 307 8289

Useful Numbers

  • Police: Riebeek west 022 461 8100
  • Swaartland Municipality 022 487 9400
  • Traffic department: Malmesbury 022 487 9400
  • Fire: Malmesbury 022 487 9479
  • Water:
  • Electricity:
  • Ambulance: 10177
  • Post office; 022 448 1216
  • Library: Riebeek West 022 461 2324
  • Closest hospital; Swaartland Hospital 022 482 1161
  • Clinic: 022 448 1348
  • Pharmacy;
  • SPCA :Swaartland 022 492 2781
  • Local newspaper: Die Courant 022 487 3221
  • Tourism: 022 001 0096
  • Schools: Riebeek Kasteel primary022 448 1228
    Meiring primary 022 448 1393
    Riebeek Vallei speciale skool 022 461 2241
    Riebeek Wes primary 022 461 2330
  • Museum; De Oude Kerk 022 448 1584   
  • Riebeek Valley Radio : 082 560 3634                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   [/vc_column_text]
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