Goedverwacht, Cape West Coast

The mission village of Goedverwacht lies off the R399 close to Piketberg. Its main road is lined with colourful fruit trees and gardens; a pretty little town with a history to match.

Goedverwacht was originally a farm called Burgershoek, owned by Hendrik Schalk Burger, who was cared for in his later years by his slave, Christiana Maniesa, and her five children. In gratitude he left her the farm. The will, which was very clear, held up in court despite his children's attempt to dispute its contents.

The farm was to remain hers until her death. In the meantime, the Moravian missionaries became interested in the farm and, whilst waiting to buy it, set up a little town just down the road from Goedverwacht in 1845, known as Wittewater.

In 1889 the mission acquired Goedverwacht and built the beautiful church still in evidence today. The village is lined with old-style and modern homes, many of them with thatched or tin roofs.

The town's annual Snoek and Pattat Fees, usually held in June, has helped place them on the map. Started 12 years ago, the festival includes a funfair, games, a classical concert in the stone church, an art exhibition, beer tent and food stalls.

The theme for the event is a throwback to the days when most of the village were subsistence farmers and had to rely on sweet potatoes to get them through winter. They would trade their patats (sweet potato) for snoek with the fishermen of Laaiplek and St Helena Bay.

As a result a major feature of the festival is a plate of braaied snoek, baked sweet potato and roosterbrood (roasted bread on the braai) with home-made jam.

Goedverwacht also offers a couple of hiking routes (Peerboom and Klok se Poort), a flower festival over Easter, a guided tour of the Mill Museum, and a visit to the local vegetable, fruit and flower gardens.

Simply head to the town's local coffee shop, down the end of Main Road, to find out more.

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