Malgas

Malgas is a settlement on the right (southwest) bank of the Breede River in the Overberg region of the Western Cape. It is situated 25 kilometres north-west of the Breede River mouth at Witsand, and 30 kilometres south-east of Swellendam. The name "Malgas" is probably an adaptation of the Portuguese mangas de velludo, "velvet sleeves", referring to the Cape gannet with its black-tipped wings. It is well known for the "pont", a man-hauled pontoon cable ferry across the Breede River, which is the last of its type in South Africa..

Joseph Barry pioneered trade along the river with a steamer called the Kadie which used to transport wool, skins and bitter aloe sap to Cape Town and then return with supplies for the farmers. This steamer operated until 1865 when it was shipwrecked along the rocks and trade took a downward turn.

Today the area is a popular destination for visitors looking to experience a world removed from modern conveniences. With a hotel, a trading store and several seasonal restaurants, Malgas is a popular destination for those looking to unwind.


The area is a nature lover’s paradise, particularly for fishing and bird watching, as the estuary of the Breede River sustains an abundance of fish, including Cob, Spotted Grunter and Garrick, and attracts fish eagles, ospreys, fish owls and kingfishers. Couple this with the serene beauty of the surrounding mountainous and fynbos-rich backdrop and Malgas lives up to its reputation as a peaceful weekend escape.