This month Mzansi Life profiles the Cape West Coast in the small town of Mamre and 50 minutes from Cape Town.
Originally established in the late 1600’s as a military post, two Moravian missionaries from Germany took over the abandoned buildings and built a church, a school and a watermill.
The original church and parsonage retain their charm and were listed as national monuments in 1967. The watermill has been restored and the church is still used for services and packed to capacity on any given Sunday.
The Cape West Coast has a rich culture and provides numerous captivating attractions – all of which can be discovered on the West Coast Way Culture Route.
In order to properly explore Mamre and all it has to offer a new walking tour has been launched by West Coast Way in conjunction with the Mamre Moravian Church. Called the Heritage Walk, this gentle, family friendly stroll through the village allows visitors to travel back in time 300 years to when the Moravian Missionaries settled in the Cape.
Amongst other things, whilst on the Heritage Walk you will visit the Moravian Church; the Parsonage, which was built in 1697; the Long House, which served as a barracks for the Dutch East Indian Company; and the Mill, which was originally powered by horse power before converting to a water mill in 1938.
Just before Yzerfontein lies the !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre. The centre provides a fascinating insight into the culture, heritage, knowledge and modern-day life of the original inhabitants of the West Coast.
Kids in particular will love a visit to !Khwa ttu, where during a fascinating tour, qualified San guides will demonstrate their skills, share their history and ancient knowledge about tracking animals, identifying edible and medicinal plants and they will also teach you some words in their language.
The surrounding nature reserve contains many species of large animals and antelope, as well as an abundance of other smaller mammals, birdlife and fynbos plants. The old original farmhouse has been restored and now houses a restaurant, which is open for breakfast and lunch daily.