Coastal Links South Africa has a small presence in the beautiful fishing village of Hamburg in the Eastern Cape.

Situated along the coast between East London and Port Alfred, Hamburg has a population of about 100 people.

Wikipedia describes Hamburg as follows;

“A village and holiday resort on the southern bank of the Keiskamma River, 3 km from its mouth, 11 km southeast of Peddie, 74 km south of King William’s Town and 96 km south-west of East London. It was established in 1857 by members of the British-German Legion after the Crimean War and named after Hamburg in Germany.[2] The Hamburg Nature Reserve is located next to the mouth of the Keiskamma River, near Hamburg.”

At one stage it was a settlement for British-hired German legionnaires but over the years it transformed into a well-known fishing spot. Hamburg has been described on a tourism website as “one of South Africa’s top getaway spots for recreational and small-scale fishers”.

According to Wikipedia, Hamburg was founded by German immigrants in the 19th century, the ship carrying the immigrants came at first from Hamburg, Germany. Between 1961 and 1994 the town was part of the Bantustan of Ciskei.

The German soldiers were brought in as farmers and, according to records, most of them returned to the military after a few years.

“Later, however, a new wave of German immigrants was introduced to the area, and these people could actually farm. They set to their task with gusto and transformed large parts of the Eastern Cape into productive, lively settlements – Hamburg being one of them”

With a fairly new branch in this town, Coastal Links enjoys a very small-presence in the area, with some of the fishers who use Hamburg to catch coming from surrounding areas.

“We are still trying to get a foot in Hamburg, and since it is a small place, there has not been much development in the branch,” commented Masifundise fieldworker Lulamile Ponono. Masifundise is the secretariat of Coastal Links South Africa.

The South African Tourism site says that Hamburg is a top fishing spot and “every man and his boat seems to have worked the waters of the Keiskamma River and the local seaboard at some time or another”.

Hamburg is famous for its Monster Cob and Killer Steenbras.

Hamburg was a fisherman’s haven till the 60s but things changed after the apartheid government came into power and they incorporated the village into a homeland called Ciskei.

Wikepedia explains the British German Legion as follows;

The British German Legion (or Anglo-German Legion) was a group of German soldiers recruited to fight for Britain in the Crimean War. It is not to be confused with the King’s German Legion, which was active during the Napoleonic Wars. Great Britain raised a British German Legion of two regiments of light dragoons, three Jäger Corps, and six regiments of light infantry; a British Italian Legion of five regiments of infantry, and a British Swiss Legion of three regiments of light infantry. At the end of the war, the soldiers were entitled to return to their country of origin at the public expense, but some, fearing a hostile reception at home, settled in the Cape of Good Hope. The leader of the legion was Major General Richard von Stutterheim.[1]


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