6 April 1652
A small Dutch East India Company fleet arrived at the perilous Cape of Storms. Weary sailors stared in awe at the sight of the table shaped mountain as the flagship Drommedaris laid anchor in the bay.
The Drommedaris, Goede Hoope and the Reijger set sail from Holland in order to establish a way-station at the southern point of Africa. This strategic location on the maritime trade route between Europe and the East Indies was paramount as ships needed a haven where fresh water, vegetables and meat were readily available.
Jan van Riebeeck was the man charged with building the first fort, improving the natural anchorage in Table Bay and ensuring that agriculture took shape in this new settlement, which was since renamed "The Cape of Good Hope".
Little did he and his men know that this new settlement was to become Africa’s jewel and one of the most spectacular cities in the world.
As the years went by, this small outpost grew in size and became home to a new nation. People, who planted vines, raised livestock and painstakingly engineered a new world. Many great men followed in van Riebeeck's footsteps and built on his vast successes, transforming the untamed land into a thriving country.
The Drommedaris pioneered the crossing from the Occident to Africa and opened the way for millions who have since visited these shores. It symbolises a remarkable voyage to this strikingly beautiful land. A journey that will leave you in awe – an experience which is sure to create memories that you will cherish for a lifetime.
Izak J H Hough
Member of The Nautical Research Guild