The Breede River about 5km inland from its mouth.
|Name origin: Dutch for "wide" or "broad".|
|Region||Western Cape Province|
|Source||North of the Swartberg|
|- location||Indian Ocean|
The Breede River (Afrikaans: Breederivier), also known as Breë River, is a river in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Travelling inland north from Cape Town, the river runs in a west to east direction. The surrounding western mountains formed the first continental divide experienced by European settlers in the 18th century. The Titus River and Dwars River become the Breë River.
The first catchment area of the river is in the Skurweberg mountain range close to Ceres. The head waters then runs through the modern day Mitchells pass before plaining out on its middle course in the Worcester area. The river mouth is in an estuary at Port Beaufort in the Indian Ocean.
Passing on its course through the Breede River Valley, the Holsloot and Smalblaar Rivers joins from their catchment area of the Du Toitskloof- and Stettyn mountain ranges. The Hex River with its catchment area in the Hex River Mountains also joins the Breede River from a north-eastern direction in the valley. Further downstream the Slang River and Buffeljags River drain the southern slopes of the Langeberg mountains before depositing their water in the Breede River. Near Swellendam the river is joined by the Riviersonderend, with its catchment area in the mountains surrounding the Theewaterskloof Dam near Villiersdorp.
Dams on the river
The Greater Brandvlei Dam, completed in 1936 and fully extended by 1987, provides water to various irrigation schemes through of the agricultural sector of the region. (also known as the Brandvlei Dam and the Kwaggaskloof Dam[clarification needed]. In the catchment area are a few more dams:
- Stettynskloof Dam on the Holsloot River tributary of the Breede Rievr.
- Zwiegelaars Dam
- Theewaterskloof Dam both on the Riviersonderend River
- Elandskloof Dam on the Elands River a tributary of the Riviersonderend River.
- Moordkuil Dam on the Hooks River a tributaty of the Breede River.
- Keerom Dam on the Nuy River a tributary of the Breede River.
- Klipberg Dam on the Konings River itself a tributary of the Keisers River, a tributary of the Breede River.
- Pietersfontein Dam on the Pietersfontein River a tributary of the Kogmanskloof River, again a tributary of the Breede River.
- Poortjieskloof Dam on the Groot River[disambiguation needed] also flowing into the Kogmanskloof River
- Buffeljags Dam on the Buffeljags River a tributary of the Breede River.
Activities on Breede River
River Rafting: The Breede River is a popular location for river rafting tours. The gently flowing water and the absence of crocodiles, hippos and mosquitoes make this a popular weekend destination. Several tour operators launch about 20 km south of Swellendam in two-man blow-up boats.
Frequently Bull Sharks enter the estuary and dwell in the waters of the Breede River, having been recorded as much as 5 km upriver. These sharks were featured on the second season of the series River Monsters.
Breede with Langeberg backdrop