Goedverwacht, situated in a fertile and well-watered valley on the West Coast an hour and a half from Cape Town is characterized by gardens filled with flowers and thatched roofed houses. An aura of peace, tranquility and timelessness surround it.
Inhabitants call themselves ‘Kloovers’, after the Afikaans kloof or ravine and have a long history entwined with the Moravian Missionary Society. However, it’s very early history is far more intriguing. The farm, on which the village originated, belonged to Hendrik Schalk Burger who owned a slave, Maniesa, and two of her children, whom he had bought at a slave market in Cape Town. In his will he bequeathed the farm to Maniesa with instructions that they should sell the farm and divide the proceeds when they no longer wanted to live there. After Maniesa’s last descendent died, the land was sold to the Moravian Mission 1888 for £750. At the time the Moravian Church had a series of successful mission stations all over the region and Goedverwacht soon joined these isolated communities under the influence of the Moravian Church.
Until the 1960’s the residents used to walk over the mountain to Piketberg armed with produce from the valley, which they would then exchange for groceries and clothes. Traditions die hard though, and the community is still very close to the soil with thriving community farms and vegetable gardens as well as a dearth of skilled artisans in the building trade, who ply their trade in the surrounding towns and further afield.
What to do in Goedverwacht
Every June the Snoek and Patat Festival offers traditional dishes, such as braaied snoek and sweet potato; roosterkoek and strong coffee.
The old water mill houses the Mill Museum.
The parsonage as well as the stone church are all National Monuments and well worth a visit.
Also look out for Maniesa’s grave.
For a guided walking tour pop in at the Goedverwacht Visitor Information Centre. Certain times of the year, locally cultivated vegetables are sold at designated locations – enquire at the Information Centre.
Phone: 083 872 7149