Botrivier is situated off the N2 en route to
Hermanus and Caledon on the eastern slopes of
the Houw Hoek Mountains. The town derives it's name
the Khoi-khoi tribes who pastured their cattle here and called the river the 'Couga', which can be translated as 'rich in fat', or 'lots of butter'.
Early European settlers at the Cape journeyed here to barter for barrels of butter and they adopted the Khoi name for the river, calling it first the
"Botter" (butter), then later the Bot.
The river, which rises south of the Theewaterskloof Dam, flows into a large lagoon, forming a marsh near its mouth, known as the Bot River Lagoon. The
Bot River wetlands are home to thousands of waterfowl and you can catch a glimpse of South Africa's only herd of wild horses that roams a wetland habitat.
This little town is blooming, slowly but surely developing into quite the stopover for many passing travelers and the town's locals. You have the equestrian
centre, where they offer rides, a desert pots manufacturer, deeper into this "dorpie" (small town) on the square, you find the petrol station, the hotel
(filled with old memorabilia of yesteryear and they serve a great Sunday lunch), a few small shops, bottle store, general supermarket and a farmer's trading store.
A couple of wine farms situated in and around this town and well worth a visit have also helped put Botriver on the map. Just before driving over the train line, you
find a turn off to your left to the old shunter's (diverts train on to a side track, especially to clear line for more important traffic) workshop that has been turned
into a restaurant serving wood burnt pizza made from scratch and the best rack of ribs in the Overberg. They also have local wines on their wine list. On the Botriver
Station there is also a little deli shop that sells freshly bakes cakes, tarts and cookies. At present the Van der Stel pass which leads to the Theewaterskloof dam
hosts a variety of working farms - flowers, wine, lavender, olive oil, apples, milk, and horses with mountain lodges and guest farms and cottages to choose from
to stay overnight.
Just outside of Botriver on the road to Hermanus, there is a farm stall restaurant with a great variety of tasty home baked goodies and lovely meals on their menu.
On the N2 close to Botriver a new wine and olive farm will be opening their doors in September with a deli restaurant including facilities for functions and conferences.
So unless you are in a hurry, which is not possible if you think of the process of making "Botter" (butter), lots 'n lots of time in the old days, take the time to visit the
local pub and restaurants, stay over on historical wine farms and enjoy the wines and hospitality of this blooming town and it's surrounds.