Port Beaufort

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Port Beaufort
Barry Church, Port Beaufort
Barry Church, Port Beaufort
Port Beaufort is located in Western Cape
Port Beaufort
Port Beaufort
Port Beaufort is located in South Africa
Port Beaufort
Port Beaufort
Coordinates: 34°23′45″S 20°49′25″E / 34.39583°S 20.82361°E / -34.39583; 20.82361Coordinates: 34°23′45″S 20°49′25″E / 34.39583°S 20.82361°E / -34.39583; 20.82361
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceWestern Cape
DistrictGarden Route
 • Total2.71 km2 (1.05 sq mi)
 • Total321
 • Density120/km2 (310/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
 • Black African9.7%
 • Coloured2.2%
 • White87.2%
 • Other0.9%
First languages (2011)
 • Afrikaans72.3%
 • English26.0%
 • Other1.6%
Time zoneUTC+2 (SAST)

Port Beaufort is a settlement in Garden Route District Municipality in the Western Cape province of South Africa.

It is a seaside resort, formerly also a harbor, on the north bank of the Breede River estuary. The settlement was named after Henry Somerset, 5th Duke of Beaufort, the father of Lord Charles Somerset.[2]

Joseph Barry's business had a large influence on the city. He came from London to South Africa in 1819 and quickly saw that it was easier to transport goods by sea between Cape Town and the Overberg. It took oxcarts three weeks to travel from Cape Town to Swellendam. Barry immediately built a harbor on the north shore of the Breede River, which became Port Beaufort.

Once boats crossed the sandbank by the mouth of the river, they could travel 40 km upriver to Malgas, where Barry also built a wharf and warehouse. After several ships sank near the mouth of the river and lost their cargo, Barry commissioned the construction in Scotland of a 150-ton steamship i called the Kadie, which proceeded to successfully navigate the estuary for six years, until November 17, 1865, when it too foundered on the rocks on the southern shore. Barry's empire collapsed the following year, as the arrival of the railways eliminated the need for this sea route.

The town of Witsand is nearby.


  1. ^ a b c d "Main Place Port Beaufort". Census 2011.
  2. ^ Raper, R.E. Dictionary of Southern African Place Names. Human Sciences Research Council (South Africa).