Humansdorp lies at the foot of the Kouga Mountains and at the entrance to the Kromme River Estuary. During the 1840s, the sheep farmers in the valley of the Kromme (“Crooked”) River became aware of the necessity for a church and rural community centre in the area. In 1849, Matthys Human donated a large portion of his farm for this purpose. When the village was laid out, it was named after Human in return for his generosity.
Humansdorp is the first major economic centre between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. Wool, oats and citrus farming are the primary economic activities and the town is an important railway station on the narrow-gauge Apple Express railway line. The town lies in an area renowned for the diversity of its fynbos flora. Proteas, ericas and orchids are some of the 2 000 species of plants identified in this area. Every year, Humansdorp celebrates this natural bounty by holding a Fynbos Festival.
Adventure And Sport
Hiking: Various hiking trails and forest walks criss-cross the area.
Boskloof Trail: The 3-km Boskloof Trail allows visitors the opportunity to enjoy the sight of some 46 species of birds and various species of game that have made the habitat of indigenous trees and fynbos vegetation their home. The unique “drie-bessie-bos” (“Three berry bush”) is found nowhere in the world, except in the Eastern Cape, and can be seen on this trail.
Water port: The beautiful coastal resorts of St Francis Bay, Cape St Francis, Jeffrey’s Bay and Oyster Bay are within easy reach of Humansdorp.
Archaeology And Palaeontology
Klaasies River Cave: Human fossils, indicating that there were anatomically modern people in the region as long ago as 100 000 years, were excavated from this site.
History And Architecture
Kouga Cultural Centre: A unique new, landmark “African” building, designed to symbolise the birth of the African Renaissance, was recently erected in Humansdorp. The main objective of the centre is to provide the local community and the visitor with an opportunity to experience and participate in the diverse cultures of the people of the Kouga Region. Activities presented at the centre strive to unite people from different backgrounds by recognising their cultural differences and diversity. The centre will preserve the art, culture and customs, areas of historical interest, monuments and museums of the people of the region. A one-stop information and business centre will be part of this multi-purpose community centre.
Fauna And Flora
Fynbos Flora: This Cape Floral Kingdom, one of the six botanical kingdoms of the world is widely recognised and universally admired. South Africans refer to this unique and characteristic group of plants as fynbos. Fynbos is found in great profusion in certain areas of the Eastern Cape but especially in the Humansdorp area. Insignificant in size, rarely exceeding 4 m in height, these wonderful plants are evergreen, highly drought-resistant and usually make an excellent recovery after veld fires. As they usually occupy very localised areas, you may find that a walk of a few hundred metres up a mountain slope or some other area will reveal a few dozen species, of which at least one will be in bloom at almost any time of the year. Up to 121 species have been counted in an area of just 100 square metres.
Humansdorp Park: The park is probably the only garden in the world that is laid out in the form of the Union Jack.
History And Architecture
Humansdorp Museum: The museum houses a collection of farming implements and household items that add to the elegance of this charming building.
Watermill: NPH Rademeyer built this old watermill in Humansdorp in 1874.
The War Memorial: The memorial was built as a tribute to the inhabitants of the town who lost their lives in the two World Wars.