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Wupperthal Missionary Village

Wupperthal Missionary Village

Although this beautiful missionary village is only a straight 25 km southeast of Clanwilliam, the road takes you through 75km of breathtaking scenery, down into the Tra-Tra Valley at the northern foothills of the Cederberg wilderness area. The village was established in 1828 when two Rhenish missionaries, Johann Gottlieb Leipoldt and J von Wurm bought the farm Rietmond on the Tratra River in the Cedarberg area. The missionaries built a mission station named the village Wupperthal after the their home town in Germany. The village became home to a large number of freed slaves and the Rhenish Missionary Society started several industries, some of which were, masonry, millinery, leather tanning, woodwork, thatching and shoe-making (an industry that is still running in the village to this day). Growing their own vegetables and fruit, raising chickens, goats and a few cows is how this community has managed to survive over the years. A crop which has played a major role in the towns existence is rooibos, a locally grown tea. But fruit, dried legumes and rolled tobacco are also on their list of exports. The village is a small, isolated area on the banks of the Tratra River and only has a community of approximately 700 inhabitants. The village consists of quaint thatched cottages portraying the Cape Dutch style in all its glory. The cottages were built in rows against the mountain slope overlooking the Tra-Tra River and its lush green surroundings. The Church Square, is a short distance away from the cottages and consists of the mission church which was consecrated in 1835, the school and hostel, workshops, a small general dealer and Leipoldt House with an information office, a tearoom and a tiny museum. The Rhenish Mission Society withdrew from South Africa in 1965 and Wupperthal joined the Moravian Mission Society and has remained a Moravian mission station until today.

For more information contact the Church on
Tel: +27-27-4923004

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