Gateway to the Breede Valley

Touwsrivier

The railway town of Touwsrivier

Once the hub of railway activity in the region, is surrounded by impressive mountain ranges and game reserves. 7% of the people of the Breede Valley make Touws River their home.

Discover the magic of the reemerging Karoo town, Touws River. Once know as Montague Roads and before that Daos ab, this little town might have been somewhat forgotten, but is far from gone.

As the first town of the Karoo, coming from the Cape, it is known as the “Gateway to the Karoo” and driving the other direction: “Gateway to the Boland”. This Central Karoo town has one of the richest and most diverse histories and once played a crucial role in the developing railway sector of South Africa, hence still known as a railway town. Touws River has seen the humble bushman trek across its vast undulating planes, witnessed the Griekwas briefly find refuge here and can give testimony to the arrival of man and machine.

It saw the transition of trains going from steam to diesel and then electricity and over the years have accommodated many great and influential iconic figures like John Douglas Logan, founder of Matjiesfontein and Sir Thomas Bain whom helped with the construction of a pipeline to supply the emerging town with water. Traveling through town the history becomes even more apparent when you visit the various monuments including a class 23 locomotive, a language monument dedicated to the Afrikaans language, the Delville Wood monument in memory of local residents that fought in the Great War and even a monument in memory of an astrological event that attracted astrologers from across the globe to come and view the transit of Venus both in 1882 and again in 2004 and 2012. Touws River’s fresh champaign air and starlight nights can bring about remarkable health benefits. The dry air can bring relieve to those battling with asthma and the tranquility will melt away all the stresses modern life impose. Local herbs are abundant and aide in the relieve of various ailments suffered by countless individuals. The veld here is home to, among others, the famous Cancer Bush (Sutherlandia frutesence), Buchu (Agathosma betulina) and Wild Rosemary/”Kapokbos” (Eriocephalus africanus).

Here you can come and enjoy peace and tranquility in an unforgettable setting boasting with awe-inspiring panoramic views and an abundance of wildlife. Whether you want to be spoiled and pampered or prefer something a bit more exhilarating like a safari on horseback, quad bike or be chauffeured among the wildlife by a ranger, Aquila Big Five Private Game reserve will be one of the exquisite establishments that can tend to these needs. The area also offers various other nature reserves, guest houses, B&B’s and awesome activities including hiking trails, mountain bike trails, 4×4 trails, veld schools, bird watching, stargazing, bushman paintings and ancient fossils are strewn along the valley. During the spring months the somewhat dull landscape becomes magically transformed into a rainbow of colors as the wild flowers emerge. Here you can find some rare, weird and wonderful flora like the black spotted chincherinchee, cups and saucers and “katnaels”, often not know to the masses. Various Protea species are also found here in great numbers. Whether passing by on the N1 or driven here by curiosity, stop and discovery the secrets this unique town has to offer and be warmly welcomed by the friendly Karoo community. We sincerely hope to see you soon!!!

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