One of the best kept secrets at the gateway to the Overberg – and considered by locals to be the “centre of the universe” – a magical landscape of rolling wheat lands, vineyards, magnificent mountains and a glimpse of the sea …..this is the village of Bot River, sitting at the foothills of the Houw Hoek Pass and at entrance to the winding Van der Stel Pass in the Bot River Valley.
It grew in the 1700s in response to the needs of the early travellers who braved the old Caepse Wagenweg and the crossing of the Bot River on the farm Compagnes Drift. This was a stopover and resting place to refresh their horses and oxen and to barter for fresh meat and milk with the Khoisan and local farmers before heading eastwards.
Being off the beaten track still gives Bot River an authentic feel, with the railway line and trains running through the old station, now home to the Shuntin’ Shed pub and restaurant.
The Bot River Hotel, Victorian-built in 1890, overlooks the village square, offering a watering hole and meeting place and also comfortable rooms for the present day traveller.
The people of Bot River reflect the diversity of its surroundings… a multicultural working community… a place of real people.
Venture into the village and meet the locals, linger for a few days, enjoy farm and B&B accommodation, savour the local wines, meander through vineyards on horseback, stride into the fynbos-rich mountains or simply relax and discover the magic of this village and its valley “less visited”.