Wuppertal is a most attractive
oasis in a very rugged wilderness, 72km southeast of Clanwilliam and about 250km from Cape
|This picturesque place has been a
Moravian mission station since 1865, although its origins are actually Rhenish. The name
``Wuppertal" derives from the Wupper River in Germany, from where two Rhineland
missionaries, Theobald von Wurmb and Johan Gottlieb Leipoldt (grandfather of renowned
writer C. Louis Leipoldt) arrived in the Cape in 1829 to spread the Word among the
The two missionaries settled among the seven Khoikhoi
families in the valley and concentrated on their spiritual upliftment as well as to
encourage farming. The population swelled shortly after slavery was abolished in 1838 and
many freed slaves arrived from nearby farms.
||The village today consists of an
old thatched Church, a store, and terraces of neat thatched-roofed little cottages and a
meandering street with water flowing in furrows. A great deal of productive activity takes
place which surprises any traveler descending the steep pass into the valley. Excellent
velskoen (known throughout the country) are made and tobacco is dried and worked into
rolls (roltabak). The other main products of the area are dried fruit, dried beans and
At Christmas time there is a festival of carol singing at
the mission and the mountains echo to the voices of the people of Wuppertal.
A place rich in culture, history and hospitality.