SERENDIPITY – The beauty of Bushman’s River

CAMPING TRIP: Holiday wagons during Settler times

THE little village of Bushman’s River, aka Boesmansriviermond, is the hidden heart of the jewel.

Kenton and Bushman’s are so close that they are actually only divided by a peninsula. It is a glorious division, with the Kariega River off Kenton and the Boesmans Rivier forming the village of Bushman’s. One cannot help but notice, when describing these two villages, the similarity and beauty that abounds here. The flora and fauna, the quaint old cottages and the absolute beauty of the beaches and reserves that are offered.

Boesmansriviermond was a well-known holiday resort when Alexandria was founded in 1840. A that time it was a camping site on the property of the Department of Forestry.

Some regular campers were eventually allowed to erect temporary structures on the sites they hired. Some of these structures, with

extensions, are still used by the original families.  During the 1930s the farm Berthaville was subdivided to expand the village.

The Bushman’s River is the longest known tidal river in the world. It has a tidal section of approximately 50km. As with many of these exquisite holiday villages along the coast, they had their roots in settler times. Families would pack up for the trek to the coast from their farms.

They brought wagons, cattle, sheep, poultry, staff and masses of food. This would have included, flour, meal, sugar tea, salt, and almost everything they could load onto the wagons, enough possibly for the duration of the holidays. And of course, guns and ammunition for hunting and fishing.

Eventually shacks were built, which gave way to more resilient structures, very few, if any of the original houses remain today.