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Number 12 : June 2005


Colouring in the world we live in

Driving through a landscape or village is much like watching just more TV – a picture in a frame. It is only once one knows the people who live in the houses, the history of a place, the names and family connections of flowers and birds, that our surrounding pictures come alive and get a soul.

A signboard next to the road then points to real people and their stories. A farmhouse becomes the site of an old Khoekhoen kraal and a stopover for travellers with weary oxen. A dry riverbed next to a highway is the place where a rhinoceros once came to drink at a spring.

Village Life is about the stories of mostly ordinary people, some of whom did extraordinary things. And it is about our place in history and in nature, ultimately the source of our sustenance and of much enjoyment. There are more than enough publications writing about everyday, ever changing news, disasters and scandals. We like to focus on some of the more lasting, positive things in life.

• Welcome to our new readers. This is the first issue of the magazine to be distributed throughout the greater Western Cape and beyond.



3: Spoil yourself at luxurious Grootbos

Special offer for readers of Village Life


4: Rare plants are threatened by Hermanus golf course

Botanical Society fights against fairway


6: A dog in sheep’s clothing

Rambo misses life on the porch


8: Klipgat Cave – home of early man

This archaeological site gave us some of the earliest evidence of the first modern humans. Facilities at the site will now be upgraded thanks to a grant from the national Lotto. Text & photographs by Maré Mouton


15: Stitching together at Mfala

A workers’ cooperative produces vibrant products


16: Veterans chugging along

Old tractors and engines are central to a wider conservation movement


18: Kingfishers

Veteran bird-watcher Nico Myburgh tells us about five of these regally attired species. Read full text


22: In the footsteps of Jan Hartogh

Three centuries ago, unpopular Cape Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel treated the Overberg as his personal bread basket and illegally traded with the indigenous Khoekhoen there for his own account. The last foray on his behalf was undertaken in 1707 by horticulturist Jan Hartogh, who collected no botanical specimens but left a legacy of both indigenous and new place names. Researchers Hercules Wessels and Simon Streicher were able to reconstruct Hartogh’s entire route, and the Editors of Village Life drove more than 850 km with them to record and map the historic journey


28: Feathers, frills and friends

The Red Hat Society spreads its cheer


30: Molly D’Arcy Thompson

A tribute to a woman who in many ways were ahead of her times.

Read full text


Cover story:

34: Klippe Rivier – Grande dame of the Overberg

The chequered history of this historic farm near Swellendam


40: As South African as bobotie!

We prepare, taste and photograph another well-loved recipe


42: The Village Gardener

Tracy Paton’s down-to-earth gardening column features:

42. A fresh look at succulents.

44. A snake to eat your snails

45. The striking strelitzia


46: It’s just bursting with nutrients

Louie Lemmer continues her series on edible seaweeds, sharing recipes for nori


48: A toy story

Two old friends are brought together because of a toy truck built more than 50 years ago. View as PDF

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Pink fynbos flowers.  Christine Wakfer

The expansion of the Hermanus golf course threatens a patch of rare coastal fynbos. Photo: Christine Wakfer

Sheep ram called Rambo, Stanford, Western Cape

Rambo, the rather confused sheep who thinks he's a dog

Klipgat Cave archaelogical site on the southwestern Cape coast near De Kelders

Klipgat Cave on the south western coast was home to early "modern" humans in the Middle Stone Age as long as 70 000 years ago, far earlier than any in Europe

Beads and pendants (late Stne Age) from Klipgat Cave, South Africa

A more recent era at Klipgat cave. Beads and pendants made from shell from the Later Stone Age (1500–2000 years ago)

Vintage, iron-wheeled tractor with cutting machine

Old tractors and other machines wil be on the national show in Villiersdorp in August

Klippe Rivier homestead, Swellendam, a fine example of Cape Dutch architecture

Klippe Rivier, "the finest house in the Overberg", has seen many famous people come and go, including two Boer Presidents

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