History of Zoutpan Struishuis Guest Farm on the Cape Garden Route

postFor over two thousand years, the Mossel Bay region was inhabited by the Gouriqua, an indigenous Khoi khoi tribe, and earlier by the San people who were mainly hunter-gatherers.

In 1488 Bartolomeu Dias became the first seafarer from Europe to sail into Mossel Bay. This was not only the sole source of fresh water on a long and hazardous journey for Dias and other early explorers, but also the first port where they could communicate by means of letters left in the now historical Post Office Tree.

The arrival of Barolomeu Dias was witnessed by the Khoi-San. It would be almost a decade later before friendly bartering for cattle would begin between these hunters-gatherers and herders and Vasco da Gama - the beginning of an harmonious lifestyle that has now spanned centuries.

The area owes its origin and growth to the seafaring trade. After the famous Dutch navigator Paulus van Caerdon, whose crew consumed huge amounts of tasty molluscs after landing here in 1601 called the area Mossel Bay, ships would call in here regularly. Even as settlers moved into the territory and farming became a viable way of life, trade revolved around the exporting of local products.

In 1739 the first cattle farmers crossed the Gouritz river. The resident Khoi immediately became involved with the farmers and by 1770, most of them were working for the farmers. The original family members who settled here, chose the site of Zoutpan because of its close proximity to the market at Mossel Bay and because of the crystal clear freshwater springs on the farm. In 1837 the farmland was measured and marked. The family were still cattle-farmers and also collected and sold the salt and rich minerals scraped from the saltpans after which the farm is named.

gravesBerties' Grandfather, Adriaan Lodiwikus van Wijk was born at Zoutpan in 1844 and died in 1913. He was married to Magrieta Susanna Saayman who was also born in the district in 1840. Both are buried on the farm.

At the moment the farm is focused on sheep, cattle, dairy and the sewing and harvesting of wheat and canola.

Thamnochortus insignis the endemic thatch reed has, for the past three centuries been cut on Zoutpan with a sickle and used to cover local houses in the area. The first indication that this thatch reed was also used for commercial purposes was when it became known that reed from the district was used to reroof Groot Contantia, the mansion originally built by Governor Simon van der Stel after the fire in 1920.


Tel: +27.829266740
Email: bookings@zoutpan.com

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GPS Co-ordinates:
S 34°12' 010"
E 21°28' 14.8"

Big 5 on the Garden Route

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