Malagas is a settlement on the Western bank of the Breede River in the Overberg District of the Western Cape, approximately 30 kilometres south-east of Swellendam, accessible along a gravel road that turns off the N2 National road just west of Swellendam, which eventually leads to the mouth of the Breede River at Cape Infanta. Access is also possible via Bredasdorp.
The name Malagas is probably an adaptation of the Portuguse mangas de velludo, “velvet sleeves”, referring to the cape gannet with its black-tipped wings. Malagas is described as a place of exceptional beauty and peacefulness and the southern bank of the River is lined with idyllic homes, framed by the Potberg Mountain range, many with their own jetty. Tidal action reaches 55km up-river and fishing kabeljou, grunter, leervis and steenbras is any fisherman’s delight. The river is renowned as the best estuary fishing location in the country.
Malagas is a bird-watching paradise and African Fish Eagle, Cape Vulture, White Stork, Sunbird and Blue Crane are commonly sighted. The famous Whale Trail begins in the Potberg area and ends in De Hoop. The nostalgic pontoon ferry at Malagas operates from sunrise to sunset and is the last man-hauled pontoon cable ferry in South Africa. It is the only vehicular crossing to the Eastern bank in the area for further access to the Breede River mouth at Witsand. The pontoon will be replaced by end 2019 with an automated system.