The small hamlet of Botrivier lies at the foothills of the Houw Hoek Pass, as one travels east towards Hermanus, and began its life as a staging post.
Its lifeblood, for centuries past, is the Bot River, which threads its way through a fertile valley surrounded by mountains ablaze with wild flowers and rich fynbos, historic wine estates and fields of wheat.
Botrivier’s hardy citizens pride themselves on their communal character, for which they are famed - the discipline and deliberate pleasure of slowing down the clock, and appreciating their daily lives with delightful country calm.
This is best summed up by the name of the wine estate belonging to the (literally!) towering local figure of Niels Verburg and his family, “Luddite”.
“Luddism reflects our belief in winemaking where we choose to practise our craft conscientiously and thereby retain our individuality.
Technology and mechanization will never be a substitute for passion.”
Botrivier’s citizens may not all be “Luddites”, but the philosophy perhaps best describes Bot Rivier’s unique flavour. How many other towns still take delight in an annual Barrel Race through the town’s streets?!
To the north, a dusty road heads off on the Van der Stel Pass in the direction of Villiersdorp and the Theewaterskloof Dam. Contrasting the green orchards and country gardens of the Elgin Valley, Botrivier offers an intoxicating wildness and freedom, as one can experience in the flight of the … eagle against the stark cliff faces.