Witsand

Many ships have sunk at Witsand in the last 400 years.

History of Witsand

Province: Western Cape
Garden route
Coordinates: 34.395°S 20.841°E
Area: 2.71 km2
Municipality­ ; Hessequa

Early settlers

The small coastal town of Witsand was originally called St Sebastians Bay by Navigator Manuel De Mesquita Perestrello. Portuguese explorers landed there in the 16th century and they saw that the area had a promising natural anchorage. It is a town at the mouth of the Breede River. However, many ships have sunk at Witsand in the last 400 years.

Whale watching

The area has great fishing opportunities and it is considered as the South African coast Whale nursery. In the 17th century, Captain Benjamin Moodie established the Port Beaufort Trading Company, which opened the bay up to trade. Early in the 20th Century settlers built accommodations at the Breede River mouth. The village was established on the farm Westfield.

Witsand is famous for a particular building style that was used due to a lack of building materials. It is an unusual truss-type construction known as”Kapstylhuisie. There are no side walls and the trusses reach the ground with a recessed door. The style is reminiscent of Ancient European dwellings. This is the only building style allowed in the area

The postcode for Witsand is 7349

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Useful Numbers in Witsand

  • Police: 10111
  • Municipality; 028 713 7868
  • 24-hour Emergency Number–084 014 1828
  • Traffic department: 028 713 7817
  • Fire: 084 014 1828
  • Water: 028 713 7868
  • Electricity: 028 713 7868
  • Ambulance: 10177- 028 713 4554
  • Post office; Agency at the Sands supermarket- 028 537 1800
  • Library: VONDELING MINI LIBRARY- 072 513 6605
  • Closest hospital;Swellendam Hospital-028 514 1141
  • SPCA: Garden Route SPCA-044 693 0824
  • Tourism; 028 537 1717 /028 537 1010/ 082 922 9905 wact@telkomsa.net 
  • Hessequa Tourism: 028 713 7829
  • NSRI (Witsand): 082 990 5957

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