The small, picturesque village of Botrivier lies in the foothills of the Houw Hoek Mountains, en route to Hermanus. The Bot River, after which the hamlet is named, meanders its way through a fertile valley surrounded by mountains covered in fynbos, historical wine farms and fields of wheat.
A place of crossing in the Bot River originally served as a spot for bartering butter with the Khoi-khoi tribes and the river was attributed with the name ‘butter’ from both sides – the Afrikaans word for butter is ‘botter’ and the Khoi-khoi called it ‘Couga’, which means ‘lots of butter’. The name stuck and today this river flows through the town into a large lagoon, which forms a marsh at its mouth.
These wetlands are home to thousands of waterfowl and one of the only remaining herds of wild horses is said roam the area. Botrivier has a tradition of accommodating travellers. The Bot River Hotel was probably built in the 1890s and today serves as a drop-off point for the Baz Bus shuttle – a hop on and off backpacker shuttle that offers travellers of all ages a way to explore South Africa.
A whole generation of South Africans were introduced to the town of Botrivier as the setting for their favourite TV series – ‘Nommer Asseblief’ (number please) and visitors used to insist on seeing the telephone exchange and meeting the characters from the soapie.
Close to Kleinmond and Walker Bay, Botrivier is ideal for travellers who want to escape the throngs during whale watching season, but remain in the vicinity for easy access. Botrivier is a haven for nature lovers, wine tasters and artists, and the sheer tranquillity of the setting means a complete escape from it all.