Breede River

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Breede River.jpg
The Breede River about 5km inland from its mouth.
Name origin: Dutch for "wide" or "broad".
Country South Africa
Region Western Cape Province
Source North of the Swartberg
Mouth Witsand
 - location Indian Ocean
 - coordinates 34°24′S 20°50′E / 34.400°S 20.833°E / -34.400; 20.833Coordinates: 34°24′S 20°50′E / 34.400°S 20.833°E / -34.400; 20.833
Location of the Breede River mouth

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.

Catchment area[edit]

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.[1] The river mouth is in an estuary at Port Beaufort in the Indian Ocean.[2]


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[edit]

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:

Activities on Breede River[edit]

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.[3] These sharks were featured on the second season of the series River Monsters.[citation needed]


See also[edit]


External links[edit]