Wuppertal is a most attractive oasis in a very rugged wilderness, 72 km southeast of Clanwilliam and about 250 km from Cape Town. This picturesque place has been a Moravian mission station since 1865, although its origins are actually Rhenish. The name ``Wuppertal" derives from the Wupper River in Germany, from where two Rhineland missionaries, Theobald von Wurmb and Johan Gottlieb Leipoldt (grandfather of renowned writer C. Louis Leipoldt) arrived in the Cape in 1829 to spread the Word among the indigenous people.
The two missionaries settled among the seven Khoikhoi families in the valley and concentrated on their spiritual upliftment as well as to encourage farming. The population swelled shortly after slavery was abolished in 1838 and many freed slaves arrived from nearby farms. The village today consists of an old thatched Church, a store, and terraces of neat thatched-roofed little cottages and a meandering street with water flowing in furrows. A great deal of productive activity takes place which surprises any traveler descending the steep pass into the valley. Excellent velskoen (known throughout the country) are made and tobacco is dried and worked into rolls (roltabak). The other main products of the area are dried fruit, dried beans and rooibos tea. At Christmas time there is a festival of carol singing at the mission and the mountains echo to the voices of the people of Wuppertal. A place rich in culture, history and hospitality.