Most people know that Mossel Bay is the first place where Europeans set foot on Southern African soil. The Portuguese adventurer, Bartholomeu Diaz landed there in 1488, long before Jan van Riebeeck arrived in Cape Town in the year 1652. He found the Khoi people there who inhabited the Southern Cape from the Stone Age. Farmers from the Cape followed after 1700 and the Khoisan people were then displaced.
The quiet village, Great Brak River, located midway between Mossel Bay and George came effectively into being when a bridge was built across the river in 1859. A tollgate was managed by Charles Searle and the town gradually started to take shape around his endeavors.
East of the Great Brak River lies the beautiful village of Glentana. It is still unclear where the name came from, but the reigning story is one that states the kinship between the town and a Glentana whiskey that is still brewed in Northern Scotland. One smells the romantic connection between some Scotchman, a breathless encounter with this heavenly area and a memory of Glentana scotch whiskey. If one could only dig deeper, I am sure there must also be some connection with some Scottish lass bathed in beauty as well...
The coastline of uncoil white beaches and rocky enclaves leaves the visitor breathless. Glentana was unoccupied until about 1900 where after a few houses were erected in order for the owners to enjoy the beautiful scenery. It gained momentum and demand is still exceptionally high for property in this quiet unobtrusive jewel of the the Garden Route.
Wim van der Walt
13 April 2007