Like the church on the left which is in Swellendam, the third oldest town in South Africa and at one time the gateway for the travellers and explorers making their way eastwards to the interior.
The congregation was founded in 1798, but the present church dates back to 1911 when it was rebuilt at a cost of £9,584. Its steeple is said to be a replica of a famous one in Belgium, but I’ve been unable to discover which one, other than that there was nearly a disaster when a helicopter was used to remove or replace it.
Next on my list of South African Ds is one of our favourites — the Addo Dung Beetle Guest Farm. It was our last stop on our tour along the coast before heading back west and was a truly memorable place.
Set in the heart of a working citrus farm, Dung Beetle is off the beaten track (56km to the nearest supermarket) and we were staying in a bush cabin.
The “bush cabin” description applies to the building materials — logs, branches, a traditional thatched roof and other natural materials — but we were far from uncomfortable with all modern facilities.
There was electric lighting and sockets, an outdoor kitchen, complete with a hob, fridge and running water. A spiral of paling led to an outdoor shower, the shower head nestling in a tree, while another spiral brought you to our “loo with a view”.
We stayed at Dung Beetle for two nights, but would have to loved to have made it more. It was a perfect chill-out destination and our hosts, Rod and Magna Van Heerden, could not have been more hospitable.
The last of my South African Ds is the Dias Museum in Mossel Bay, celebrating the explorer, Bartolomeu Dias, who discovered the Cape of Good Hope in 1488 and where he died in 1500.
At the heart of the museum is the Caravel Bartolomeu Dias pictured right. It is a replica of the boat that originally brought him to the Cape and was built in 1988 to celebrate to 500th anniversary of his voyage.
It is a remarkably small craft for a crew of 33 men. This replica was only deemed seaworthy for the crew of 17 who repeated the original voyage from Lisbon to Mossel Bay between November 1987 and February 1988.