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Hartenbos is a seaside village in the southern cape Garden Route, and is situated between Mossel Bay and George. The Hartenbos village was founded on the farm Hart en Bosch owned by Esaias Meyer. Esaias Meyer was granted the farm by the Dutch East India Company for assisting shipwrecked sailors in the 18th century. The original name, Hart and Bosch translates to deer and bush.


Photo credit: ATKV Reosrts                                                                    Photo credit: Hartenbos Conservancy

The farm was converted into a holiday resort for South African Railways and Harbours employees in 1933, and in 1936 the Afrikaans Taal and Kultuur Vereeniging (Afrikaans Language and Culture Organisation) acquired the farm for 7000 pounds. The farm, divided into 670 lots, (sold at 50 pounds each) became the Hartenbos ATKV Resort – as it is still known today.
The village is historically regarded as a bastion of Afrikaans culture and the ATKV frequently hosts Afrikaans cultural festivals in the resort’s amphitheatre. Characteristic of the Afrikaans culture, traditional services during the festive season - such as the “Kersdiens” (Christmas services) held on Christmas morning, the “Kerssangdiens” (Christmas Carol Festival) and “Middernagdiens” (Midnight Service) - draw attendees from far and wide.

Photo credit: Hartenbos River Resorts                                                   Photo credit: ATKV Resort

The ATKV Hartenbos Museum depicts the life and history of Voortrekker pioneers during the period 1835 to 1848. The Great Trek (1835 to 1848) constituted the movement of a number of Dutch speaking colonists into the country’s interior, in search of land where they could establish their own homeland independent of British rule.


                                                                                                                Photo credit: Hartenbos Mesuem 

During the annual peak holiday season (December to January). Hartenbos bustles with holiday makers seeking to enjoy the mild Mediterranean climate, sun drenched beaches and ‘the warm Indian Ocean. Hartenbos Beach is a Blue Flag beach and offers an idyllic environment for beach walks, safe swimming, angling and water sport activities such as surfing, water skiing, canoeing and boating. The Hartenbos River lagoon is a safe destination for canoeing and boating and is a popular fishing spot for Cob and Shad. Of a number of paragliding sites in the Mossel Bay area, Hartenbos is one of the most popular.

Photos credit: Cloudbase Paragliding

For marine life enthusiasts Hartenbos offers exciting whale-watching opportunities during the whales’ migratory season. Dolphins and seals can also be spotted from the Hartenbos beach. The Hartenbos estuary is home to an abundance of sea birds, and is popular destination for bird watching in the area.


Accommodation in Hartenbos includes a choice of accommodation options in the ATKV beach resort (ranging from camping to beach lodges), hotels, self-catering cottages, lodges, holiday resorts, beach cottages, caravan parks and camp grounds. There is a wide range of restaurants and eateries in Hartenbos and cuisines range from convenience foods to traditional fare.
Hartenbos is an ideal destination for family holidays, history buffs, sun seekers and nature lovers; with something to offer everyone!