The formidable Hottentots Holland mountain range forms a natural barrier between the Cape Peninsula and the south coast. It was often used as a refuge by the Hottentot people after stealing cows or retreating from a land squabble with the settlers.
The Dutch realised that the Hottentots loved the rocky mountains as much as they themselves loved Holland, so they named them the ‘Hottentots’ Holland’.
When the European settlers tried to get over these mountains they found only animal trails from migrating herds. They used these steep boulder-ridden paths to reach the Overberg (‘over the mountains’) and the scar of wagon wheels worn deep into the rocks can still be seen today.
On the summit in the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve is a natural garden of wild flowers with the richest and most diverse floral population in the world.