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Visit the remote Moravian mission village of Wupperthal

WRITTEN BY

Kate Bergh

LAST UPDATED

September 15, 2021

The picturesque, though dilapidated mission station of Wupperthal was founded in the early 19th century. Yet it remains quiet and seemingly untouched by the 21st century. Indeed some villagers still travelling by donkey and cart. (Though you do see a fair few satellite dishes hanging from the old white-washed thatched cottages as well.)


Wupperthal Mission still remains the heart of a small subsistence-farming community. It is home to a local industry producing the famous velskoene which are traditional soft leather shoes. These are very comfortable and well worth a purchase.

Wuppethal also has another curious claim to fame. It has kept the old tradition of Rieldances alive. And so successfully that a troupe of rieldancers (see picture below) went to the USA and actually won the World Folk Dance competition a few years ago.


It’s a small village, so the journey TO the village, as much as the destination, is the adventure. Note that it takes approx 60 to 75 minutes (67km) to get to Wupperthal from Clanwilliam or Cederberg Ridge, through the folded mountains of the unique Tanqua-Karoo scenery.

Tips for Combining with Other Sights:

We recommend combining a visit to Wupperthal with the Sevilla rock art trail which is en route (allow 2½ to 3 hours for the walking trail).

Similarly during the flower season (August), you could add on a visit to Wupperthal to a visit to the Biedouw Valley, (as you pass through the Biedouw valley en route to Wupperthal.) It is only another 13km (or 12-15 minutes drive) on from the Bieudouw Valley turnoff.

Wild spring flowers in Biedouw valley, Cederberg mountains

Notes:
Wupperthal is not part of our excursions at Cederberg Ridge. So it can only be visited on a self-drive basis. The first 42km is tar (and takes 35 minutes or so.) The remaining road (26km or 25-30 minutes) is grave. It can be very corrugated (bumpy) in places. We strongly recommend an SUV-type vehicle.

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