Great Brak River (town)

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Great Brak River
The bus journey from George to Mossel Bay (2998965747).jpg
Great Brak River is located in Western Cape
Great Brak River
Great Brak River
Great Brak River is located in South Africa
Great Brak River
Great Brak River
Great Brak River is located in Africa
Great Brak River
Great Brak River
 Great Brak River shown within Western Cape
Coordinates: 34°02′33″S 22°13′53″E / 34.04250°S 22.23139°E / -34.04250; 22.23139Coordinates: 34°02′33″S 22°13′53″E / 34.04250°S 22.23139°E / -34.04250; 22.23139
Country South Africa
Province Western Cape
District Eden
Municipality Mossel Bay
 • Total 22.06 km2 (8.52 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 10,619
 • Density 480/km2 (1,200/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[1]
 • Black African 5.3%
 • Coloured 66.8%
 • Indian/Asian 0.5%
 • White 24.6%
 • Other 2.7%
First languages (2011)[1]
 • Afrikaans 90.8%
 • English 5.4%
 • Sotho 1.1%
 • Xhosa 1.1%
 • Other 1.7%
Postal code (street) 6525
PO box 6525

Great Brak River (Afrikaans: Groot-Brakrivier) is a coastal village in the Mossel Bay Local Municipality in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It is a historic village built around the lagoon of the Great Brak River, 17 kilometres (11 mi) north-northeast of the town of Mossel Bay.

It was founded by the Searle family of Surrey, England, of which the elder brother, Richard (originally a labourer), emigrated to South Africa under a government-sponsored scheme in 1845. He arrived in Great Brak River to work for the Central Road Board in 1850.[2] Richard's brother, Charles, and sister-in-law, Pamela, are credited with founding the village in 1859. The Searle family went on to become toll keepers (toll houses were operated by private contractors during the 1800s), and would establish shopping, accommodation, shoe-making and timber businesses in the village.

Today, Great Brak River is chiefly a holiday destination, with beaches and the lagoon providing the major attractions. The island residential area is linked to the mainland by a single lane bridge. Other highlights in Great Brak River include a local history museum,[3] historic buildings built between 1852 and the mid-1930s, the Wolwedans Dam, and a restored power station dating back to the early 1900s. The 4-star Botlierskop Private Game Reserve is the biggest commercial attraction in the Great Brak area.[4]